Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thank You Information Ministry - You're Doing Enough Damage Already.

I nearly did a double take when I first read the report; the Information Ministry has been asked to monitor and coordinate all the government and private television stations in Malaysia! The ministry in its almost 50 years existence has pretty much made a miserable botch of a lot of things and it does not have to add to its checkered history.

And who made this brilliant suggestion? It was at the hallowed hall of the Dewan Negara and the gentleman in question is Senator Tajul Urus Mat Zain, whoever he is. Supporting this recommendation was the Ketua Wanita Negeri Terengganu and Pengerusi Biro Pembangunan Sosial, Senator Hajah Wan Ramlah Bt. Ahmad. This lady is so concerned about the impact and effect of private television stations that she feels that there should be monitoring of programmes which are scary and contained elements of love and are seditious!(What is seditious, the love stories or the scary ones?).

The Deputy Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was more circumspect and said "if the task is given to the Information Ministry, God willing, there will be more jobs for us and we will perform it the best we can," adding that the ministry could only monitor programmes broadcast by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM). He did not deny that there were programmes which contained elements as mentioned by Wan Ramlah but said it did not necessarily mean that they contained negative elements which were bad for viewers. "In certain circumstances, they can be a lesson for viewers," he added.

What's with these Senators? Have they grown too old or have their thinking been on hold for the past few decades? That there are people holding such responsible positions still trying to muzzle and hoodwink( meaning 'to blindfold') the people is disappointing. I feel angry when I listen to such poppycock. They have no right or business to decide what I can or cannot see. As it is our private stations are paragons of virtue and seriously practice self-censorship lest some crazy minister demands the withdrawal of their permits. What do these people really want us to see on TV the whole day? Eh Senator Wan Ramlah? Reruns of Wanita Hari Ini, Jom Masak or Raihan unplugged?

Why do you think that RTM stations are unpopular? Simple. It's controlled by politicians and bureaucrats to whom 'creativity' is a bad word. Anything new is looked upon with suspicion by jaded minds; if they can't understand it then it must be either unsuitable, anti-national or both. Should others have the gumption to telecast that which they cannot comprehend then censor, ban, shoot it down, kill it. Only then can they sleep peacefully at night knowing that they have made a valuable contribution towards the 'moral upliftment' of our wayward citizens.

No responsible parents will want their children to watch filth on TV and most if not all will take precautions to see that their kids are monitored. We in Malaysia are fortunate that our programmes are relatively 'clean' albeit boring. The little we get in way of 'good' western programmes are also 'sanitized' beforehand. However there is this big bad place called the internet where anything and everything can be obtained with a few clicks of the right keys. This is what should worry the moral brigade badge-wearing grandpas and grandmas in the Senate and not the poor, much maligned private TV stations.

4 Comments:

Blogger Waris Tok Naga said...

Just dropping a line to say hello. Been reading your articles. Great stuff and keep it up !

6:26 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Malaysian. said...

Thanks. It's comments like this that makes the effort worthwhile and keeps me going.

7:04 PM GMT+8  
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