Saturday, September 24, 2011

Undilah video banning & perception

Pete Teo twits saying they (Undilah team) haven't contact TV stations and apply for approval from Film Censorship Board [Saturday, 24-September 11, around 12pm]


I believe Undilah video is a respectable effort made to encourage voting. At least the video is better than other stock-'voting'videos aired usually in our television in the sense of it being fun to watch, entertaining while at the same time able to educate us all. The fact that opposition leaders are in the video should not be an excuse to ban the video because the message is clear, for us to go out and exercise our rights during election.

Approval and banning status

As readers we should understand the status of the video. Moreover those who tend to criticise our government agencies upon reading news reported about the banning mostly by online newspapers.

The video has yet to be submitted to FCB (Film Censorship Board) meaning the producer or person-in-charge of the project in this case Pete Teo has yet to submit the video for approval. Hence, it cannot be aired in the television companies officially.

That is why MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) gave out official order not to air the Undilah video. Hence we now understand that officially and superficially, MCMC made that decision because the video is not approved by FCB. Why is it not approved yet? Because Undilah team has yet to submit their video for approval.

Media reporting: Don't believe everything you read

As readers too, we need to be aware of the style of reporting by news-reporting medium. As for example in this article by malaysiansmustknowthetruth you can see there the highlight is "The censorship board has not cleared it says Khalid Ramli, MCMC-Chief" while the other side of the story being "Pete Teo has yet to submit the video for approval is not told in the news". If this is reported then viewers and readers will understand the situation thus making the reactions especially towards MCMC different.

Meanwhile if you read in this themalaysianinsider article by its Editor, it's even biased and fail to report the news so that common people like you and I manage to understand the situation. In this article, you can read in its first paragraph how the statement is misleading when it said the video is banned "because it contains opposition figures and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's speech talking about Malaysia's problem". While as I've explained earlier, the video is banned due to other formality reason.

Us, making conclusions

Hence, don't hate. I've been viewing comments from many of my online friends and reading some blogs who directly and indirectly hantam MCMC because of this banning without understanding the reason behind it. This partly I believe is due to biased reporting by some of the online news-reporting medium that are currently very popular in Malaysia. Because while we can rightly ask MCMC why they made such decision, Pete Teo should be asked too as to why he did not ask for approval from FCB for the video to be aired in televisions.

So I would urge us to understand the issue and the reason behind it and at the same time keep pushing to tell the person in charge in this case MCMC, that the video is a very good effort and should be allowed to be aired.

MCMC & Pete Teo - A different way to tackle the issue

I too believe MCMC should have tackled the issue in another manner, less provoking and more accommodating manner. Since we know, Undilah has not been submitted for approval, MCMC can lead the way in approaching the video producer to get it submitted and approved by FCB. This way it can satisfy both sides and at the same time thousands and maybe millions of Malaysians watching television will be able to enjoy the message in the video.

By handling the issue this way, chances for biased-reporting can be reduced too. However having said that, the damage is already done and most people are already expressing their discontentment towards the decision by MCMC.

Yet we must admit too that should Pete Teo and his team make it easier and apply for approval from FCB, the issue can be resolved more easily. Only if upon application it is still refused due to 'having opposition leaders in it' then we should all go against the decision but since Undilah has not ask for approval, it is not right to blame MCMC on such decision.

Undilah - Conclusion and Direction

Although it is admitted the video put forward more opposition leaders compared to government leaders (due to whatever reasons we can speculate), the fact that its message is to promote voting especially among youths should be appreciated. This should be looked upon as serious and healthy competition so government leaders (if they are not satisfied by the rate of opposition leaders promotion in the video) can come up with such method and idea when it comes to promoting voting during election especially among youths. After all, most youths are getting tired of the same, old, traditional, boring, orthodox and inefficient way of reminding us on our rights to vote when election comes.

Undilah too can be good a start towards us realising and discussing our problems in Malaysia openly and for us to be more inclusive rather than exclusive when it comes to 'who can talk about Malaysia's problems'. More and more such video should be produced to further develop the idea of democracy however tolerance towards others feelings and customs should be put into consideration too.

And now there is this Undilah video, being able to entertain, educate and attract us to vote. So ask yourself this question, why make it hard for such video to be viewed and appreciated?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Keputusan, deria, merubah.

Kadang-kadang sesuatu keputusan menyentap deria kita sepantas itu sahaja.
Tanpa sempat kita berkata apa-apa, kita dikelukan.
Lalu merubah segala pengisian hati dan penghayatan hubungan.
Cuma satu keputusan itu, sudah cukup untuk menimbulkan persoalan.

Friday, September 16, 2011

1 Malaysia: Favouring the poor

SEPT 16— We have lived with the concept of 1 Malaysia since its initiation on September 16, 2010. The idea of 1 Malaysia was instilled in an effort to unite Malaysians from all races. But really, have we asked ourselves what is 1 Malaysia? What defines 1 Malaysia? I myself can never really answer this practically, referring to current situations in Malaysia. Is 1 Malaysia about multiracial Malaysians being able to sit down and eat nasi lemak, yong tau foo or tosai together? Or is it about us visiting the open houses of our friends from other races during their festivals? One can interpret 1 Malaysia that way but is that the only 1 Malaysia that we want?

Since her inception, people have been talking about unity and harmony in Malaysia. The phrase “although we are multiracial, we can still sit together harmoniously and united” is not new to us. We are told to be thankful for the Malaysia that we have. Indeed, we are. It is just that the concern here is what are the directions of 1 Malaysia? What is expected of us, the citizens, to compliment our 1 Malaysia concept? More importantly, what is expected from the government to walk the 1 Malaysia talk? Although the government managed to publicise 1 Malaysia successfully to every Malaysian, I am afraid they have yet to explain their directions in accommodating the concept.

Government policies especially during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time were said to favour the Malays and the Bumiputera Malaysians. I myself am one of the beneficiaries to such policies and I am thankful to the government. Without those policies it will be almost impossible for me to afford a place in a reputable university in United Kingdom. I believe many of us, Bumiputera Malaysians, too feel the same and are thankful. The policies enforced during the era of Dr Mahathir were to help the majority of the poor and at that time, it helped improve the lot of the Bumiputeras. Indeed, the majority of the poor were Bumiputera Malaysians.

From such policies the number of middle-class Bumiputeras increased and their socio-economic background improved too. However, in the spirit of 1 Malaysia, this question needs to be asked: what about our fellow Malaysians of other races who are financially restricted too? Not all non-Bumiputera Malaysians are well off and not all Bumiputera Malaysians are impecunious.

When I was in school I have good and close Chinese and Indian friends. We studied and “lepak-ed” together. Alhamdulillah, when our SPM result came out we did well in and scored distinctions. We talked about what we wanted to do after SPM and started applying for various courses. While I got offers from a matriculation college and a public university, some of them were only offered Sixth Form education, not even a place in our public universities. May I remind you that these friends of mine do not come from silk-stocking families. They, like me, could not afford to pay for private universities, which left them no choice but to continue in Form Six. On the other hand, we have too in Malaysia the Malays and Bumiputera Malaysians who are rich enough to afford private education but were offered places in our public universities. This situation leaves the system abused by some people in power, reaping the benefit provided in the name of being a Bumiputera while those who really need the support do not get it.

I praised a few of my Malay friends who despite being Bumiputeras refused to apply for government scholarships. When asked why, they simply said the scholarships are to help the poor and they can afford to pay, so why should they apply for something not theirs in the first place? Hence from there I realised that it is our responsibility as citizens not to abuse the assistance we are getting from government policies. Yet at the same time, it is the function of our government to introduce policies to best help Malaysians who are in need regardless of race, religion or whatever differences we have.

Poverty is colour blind is a reality anywhere in the world, not only in Malaysia. It is a problem affecting people from any race and any religion. A policy such as the NEP did help a majority of Bumiputeras, giving us a break by assisting us financially and giving us hope to achieve better lives. Yet, there are people who abuse and use their Bumiputera status for their own personal advantage.

Hence, now under the concept of 1 Malaysia, this is the right moment and time for the government to rethink and redesign government policies to really include the poor non-Bumiputera Malaysians too. If our policies can be designed to help the poor regardless of their race, I believe everyone who is qualified can benefit. However the government needs to be clear and firm in such a decision to reformulate its administration in favour of the poor over the Bumiputera status. If this can be done, it will be a new transformation and direction for our 1 Malaysia concept. After all, if this is achieved, the poor among the Bumiputeras can still gain while giving the same fair chance to the impoverished non-Bumiputera Malaysians too.

This article came out in TheMalaysianInsider here as well.

Salam ;)