Let me change my mode

The alternative media does not need to convince Malaysians that the mainstream media is the propaganda arm of the ruling party. The mainstream media has successfully done this without any help from the alternative media.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Rais: Allegations against mainstream media baseless

The opposition and media channels they back, including some websites and blogs, have been pushing for the mainstream media to be sidelined only because their lies had not been entertained.

Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said allegations that the mainstream media tended to spin its articles to suit the government’s agenda were baseless, as truths reported often did not augur well for their own agenda.

“If a mainstream media does not publish or broadcast their point of view in full, it does not mean that democracy is crumbling.”

“The opposition now has its own newspapers and blogs and you can see they don’t even have one good thing to say about the government of the day.”

“They even ridicule something as novel as 1Malaysia,” he said when asked to comment about an email circulated widely over the Internet calling for a one-day boycott of the mainstream media yesterday.

The chain email, which appealed for support, claimed that there would be “greater things to come” in the boycotting process.

Universiti Teknologi Mara Faculty of Communications and Media Studies’ Professor Dr Mokhtar Muhammad said mainstream newspapers in the country still played the crucial role of nation building via its thorough coverage of the government’s agenda and policies that served the interests of the people.

“To say that the mainstream media which joined forces with the nation in the struggle to attain independence is irrelevant today is unacceptable, as they remain the mainstay public reference for information.”

“They are one of the main and reliable channels where the people could learn of what and how the ruling government is charting ways for the country to move forward and so on.”

“Mainstream newspapers play a role of more than disseminating news. They help readers to gain knowledge, including good language.”

He said repeated attempts by the anti-mainstream media propagandists to label the mainstream media biased could also backfire as the public would in turn see that the alternative media was on its own, serving their masters in its reporting.

Mokhtar also said the society could not distance itself from the mainstream media as even those disinterested in political reportage would still seek newspapers for other types of news that they believed were reliable. — New Straits Times


Rais does not seem to get it. The mainstream media is being boycotted not because it refuses to publish ‘our point of view’ but because it lies. If the mainstream just refuses to publish something then that can be forgiven. But the mainstream media is biased and serves a certain agenda and is not independent, plus it publishes distorted news.

Let us look at the case of the ex-head of CCID, Datuk Ramli. The mainstream media started ‘shooting’ Ramli with the headlines: RM27 million cop. The mainstream media spin is that Ramli is corrupted. He had amassed RM27 million in cash and assets and had failed to declare it.

Later it was proven that it was not RM27 million but just RM1 million or so and that he had in fact declared every penny. For a person who had served the police for about 30 years and ‘played the market’, RM1 million is pittance. Some people can make more than that from the KLSE in just one year.

So what was Ramli’s crime? Was it that he had RM1 million to his name or that he did not declare what he owned? Ramli’s crime is not that he had money. It is that he did not declare his wealth. But then he did declare it, as his trial revealed.

Now, the mainstream media stuck to this story of the corrupt cop who had RM27 million to his name and never declared it. It was the alternative media, however, that set the record straight.

Ramli was the man who arrested Nat Tan, my good friend and fellow Blogger. We should have been delighted that Ramli was now in hot soup. We should have tambah-tokok and added some spice to the issue. Instead, Malaysia Today, Nat Tan, Din Merican, The People’s Parliament, and so on, defended Ramli. We did not celebrate his downfall and delight in his predicament. We stood by him although he could be regarded as an enemy of Bloggers. And it was also the CCID that raided my house, confiscated my computer, and indicted me for sedition. Yet we stood by the CCID chief.

Rais says that the alternative media spins and distorts facts. In Ramli’s case it was the mainstream media that did this while the alternative media stood by the man who should have been declared the enemy of the alternative media.

Have you watched Malaysian TV news? When they report about the Middle East they use terms like regim ganas Yahudi (the violent Jewish regime). Is this unbiased reporting? Malaysian TV is clearly and unabashedly pro-Muslim extremists and anti-Jew. And the Malaysian TV news reports demonstrate this with no holds barred. Malaysian TV does not report the news. It gives an opinion. And Israel is always presented as the aggressor and the villain. Is this news reporting or spinning?

The alternative media does not need to convince Malaysians that the mainstream media is the propaganda arm of the ruling party. The mainstream media has successfully done this without any help from the alternative media.

Sure, the alternative media is biased. All media all over the world is biased. Even in the UK newspapers take sides. You can detect when a newspaper is pro-Labour when it reports that the Tories are trying to bring Britain ‘back to the dark days’. And the newspaper that supports the Conservative Party would report that it is time Labour is kicked out and is not given a fourth term lest Britain slides further down the slippery slope.

So, yes, all newspapers take a stand, even in Britain. But this is not wrong as long as they ‘spin’ but do not distort the truth. So, yes, the Malaysian alternative media also spins. Everyone does. But the Malaysian mainstream media spins and lies. That is a no-no. And Rais has to understand the difference between spinning and lying.

And Malaysian newspapers lie.


SEE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ts_87zEZFqk