Heroes and villains: Mkini and Brahim Ali

By uppercaise

Love him (yes, some do) or loath him (more probably) Ibrahim Ali has undoubtedly provoked controversy through the year and cast more heat than light on Malaysia’s warped and twisted political process.

Malaysiakini’s choice of the Super Katak as Newsmaker of the Year was bound to fuel more heat, given its readership: sure enough, the comments so far (at midnight Wednesday) have been a load of sh*t, sh*t, sh*t — to quote Brahim’s own words, in one of his more notorious remarks in an Al-Jazeera interview.

Zorro also erupted in flames (a predictable outcome) by naming his own choice of either Zunar or Sarawak Report.

That’s the trouble with these “awards”.

First, the choices are subjective, and can end up being as controversial in the public eye as the person chosen.

Ibrahim is just the latest example.

Two decades ago, Ibrahim’s mentor and patron, Mahathir Mohamad, had been a controversial choice when The Star named him “Malaysian of the Year”. A public outcry erupted, although the Star had clearly stated that its choices would be based on who had made the most impact — for good or for bad — on Malaysians.

Many disagreed with The Star’s choice even though Mahathir had hogged the headlines that year, though not always for the best of reasons.

That controversy, as with the choice of Brahim, shows up the second reason these awards are prone to disputation.

People seek heroes, not villains.

Read more at: http://uppercaise.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/mkini-and-brahim-ali/