Reality Shows Sentenced To Slow And Boring Death.
Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Thursday the guidelines were endorsed by the Cabinet early this month. He said the guidelines, numbering 20, have been submitted to the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission for implementation.
According to him, all local television stations must comply with the guidelines. Rais said the guidelines covered permissible clothes, speech and conduct of people who appear in programmes in order to safeguard Malaysian values and culture.
So folks the high executioner has spoken. Rais Yatim, also executing judge-cum undertaker, is safeguarding Malaysian values and culture! This is of course based on his assumption that the target of his constant vigil are total illiterates who have no access to other means of getting to see what they want and NOT what he would like them to or prefer they view. How much more Orwellian can you get?
Although the minister did not mention it, television viewers could be expected to see less footage of women in skimpy dress and beach-wear. Rais said the guidelines were necessary because of the mushrooming of entertainment reality shows on local TV, many of them carbon copies of Western shows. He said the emphasis on entertainment would not bring any benefit in improving public behaviour and was inconsistent with Eastern culture.
Again the senseless reference to a hypothetical 'Eastern culture' that exists only in the imagination of these preachers of morality. What has the culture of people in Malaysia in common with those in say Pakistan or Kampuchea? Each is different and unique and to lump all these diverse and rich cultures and term them 'eastern' is to insult all of them.
He hit out at "copy-cat" shows such as "Malaysian Idol" in which the judges criticised contestants harshly to the extent of humiliating them."We do not want our society to turn into a copy-cat society," he said.
There goes one of the very, very few Malaysian shows which has a nationwide audience that transcends race, religion or social categories. Since when did 'harsh criticism' constitute humiliation? If at every turn harsh criticism is avoided or banned then there will be no quality graduate emerging from our universities or excellent employees from the workplace.
Ask any doctor and he or she will tell you what real harsh criticism is, and how important it was in shaping them into the good medical professionals they are today. So please Dato' Seri Rais Yatim, don't give excuses that have no basis and admit that you have aged to an extent that reality shows in a way reveal that perhaps you are slowly getting out of touch with reality.