Why am I still reading Mainstream media newspaper ?

Posted on July 16, 2010


This morning, while sipping my cuppa of kopi-oh, I scan my “favorite” local newspaper The Star for the government respond to its  massive and mind boggling  operational expenses of close to RM 4 billion expected to incur in 2010 for the Prime Minister’s department.  This sum was announced in Parliment yesterday and the news was picked up by Malaysia Insider and MalaysiaKini. I couldn’t resist blogging about it too,  giving my 2 sen worth of assessment.  Suprise , suprise or as expected  – no mention of it . Similarly I culdn’t find news of it at the  online news edition of The Straits Times, Utusan Malysia and Berita Harian. Perhaps this piece of news was hidden somewhere in the pages and I could have missed it. The point is,  such a major spending should be reported for public knowledge at least in Page 2 if not the main front page. What does this tell us about the mainstream media reporting ?? It is blatantly obvious that issues/reports that portray or even hint a negative image of the government is conveniently unheard ( even though is announced in parliment )  and not reported.

WHY ? Don’t ask me, you know the answer probably even better than me.

This comes back to my own question : Why am I still buying and paying RM1.20 daily  and RM2.70 every Saturday  and Sunday for the news ?

To rub salt into the wound of the already bruise alternative media, last week we hear the government had decided to setup a Truth Committee which will led by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Nazri Aziz and Information Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim.

This committee will meet monthly , create a high level task force to determine the ” lies”  of the alternative media and offer a counter attack version. Immediately, the local blog-sphere had termed them the three stooges ! It does remind me of George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four with Big Brother representing  the Ministry of Truth , whose purpose is to rewrite history and change the facts to fit Party doctrine just  for propaganda. So do not be suprised, this task force will grow up to a sizeable size that it will become the Ministry of Truth here ! As I see it, this committee will infact ensure that the truth will not be told and if told,  will be a diluted version that will reflect well on the government.  This remind me again of a common lawyer’s joke ” As lawyers , our job is not to accept  the facts but to change/twist these facts to suit our client”.  Najib should have appointed lawyers here instead – I’d think the lawyers will do a better job than these three Ministers.

One blogger Joe  had described the three of them in these words:
Umno has thrown up three stooges to be our guardians of truth. One of them ( Rais Yatim ) is none other than our minister of propaganda, a long-winded chap who would mouth 1,000 words when only 10 would do. He once did a thesis and published a book decrying the emasculation of our judiciary by Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He subsequently, like furry rodents, abandoned his previous sinking ship and swam back to Mahathir’s Umno.
The second member of the inquisition is the tough-talking Nazri, the Clint Eastwood of Umno, who would shoot from the hip, and call a mamak mamak.
The third, Hishammuddin, is the ‘wunderbar’ of the Home Ministry. This chap is in the running with Ibrahim Ali for the National Buffoon Award. Not long ago, he banned comics, suspecting they could harbour certain dangerous falsehoods that will turn the people against the BN-Umno government.

Seriously, their appointments will only embarrass the government as these three men are well known for their consistent  sway of words to fit the occasion. For them to determine the truth is indeed a joke. Or is Najib using this as a way to get them out of the Cabinet ??? Only time will tell .