Monday, December 31, 2007

Indonesian Media Observers Slam Zainuddin Maidin, Say Media There More Democratic Than In Malaysia

Media observers criticized Saturday the statement made by a Malaysian minister regarding press freedom in Indonesia, saying the media here was more democratic than in Malaysia.

Communications expert from the University of Indonesia Effendi Gazali said Malaysian Information Minister Dato' Seri Zainudin Maidin had made a mistake by concluding the Indonesian media was insensitive to Malaysian politics on the basis that the views of Malaysian government opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim were given space in the local media.

"That was a huge mistake," he said, referring to the minister's actions. "He (the minister) said that just to protect his government's interest."

He said the minister should not have made an issue of the fact that an Indonesian reporter interviewed Anwar Ibrahim.

"We Indonesians would be very happy if the Malaysian media or scholars criticized President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or other Indonesian leaders."

Similar comments came from the secretary general of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Abdul Manan.

Manan said the minister viewed the issue from the Malaysian perspective, a country where the press is suppressed by the state.

"What's wrong with interviewing Anwar Ibrahim? Indonesians also have the right to know what's going on in Malaysia."

Manan said the media in the neighboring country was now in more or less the same situation as was the Indonesian press during the New Order regime.

"Press freedom is very limited in Malaysia, which makes the media there less critical of the government.

"Rallies or other events that may reflect negatively on the government are rarely covered because doing so invites repression," said Manan.

The minister's comments came amid other criticism of an October interview with Anwar on a talk show called K!CK Andy on Metro TV.

Host and Metro TV chief executive Andy F. Noya said Anwar Ibrahim was interviewed because of his ideas on Indonesia-Malaysia relations and the rise of Asians in international leadership circles. "As a reformist leader, Anwar's thought is worth listening to," Andy told The Jakarta Post. He added that Metro TV had no intention of meddling in Malaysia's internal matters.

"It's not the responsibility of the Indonesian press to maintain the stability of Malaysian politics. That's the responsibility of the Malaysian government. Speaking of sensitivity, how sensitive are the Malaysian government and media about Indonesia," said Andy.

Effendi said the Malaysian government and media frequently labeled Indonesia's democracy and press "too open" and misguided, while intimating that Malaysian democracy was on the right track.

"That was exactly how (New Order information minister) Harmoko and other New Order leaders used to defend themselves when they were asked by the international community about democracy in Indonesia."

Although economically Malaysia is now wealthier than Indonesia, he said Indonesians should be happy to know they are living in a more democratic system.

"Democracy in Malaysia is an artificial democracy. Just look at the trial of Anwar Ibrahim."

"Even people conducting peaceful demonstrations are taken into custody for internal security reasons," said Effendi.

He added that although Indonesian democracy had yet to bring prosperity to the people, at least the political tension in the country did not lead to bloodshed as it did in other countries. "Despite some problems, we are on the path to real democracy," he said.

However, both Effendi and Manan said Indonesia still had work to do to see through the implementation of democracy and media performance. "Our democracy has yet to guarantee law enforcement which is one of the essential pillars of democracy," said Effendi. Manan said Indonesian journalists needed to work harder to improve their public image. (Alfian, The Jakarta Post)

Three cheers to the Indonesian media observers for their very accurate assessment of the situation in Malaysia as well as for directly telling info-dictator Zam to stuff it. This intolerant umnoputera having already made an ass of himself domestically as well as on Al Jazeera, has now become notorious in Indonesia as well. It's about time he realised that he simply can't go to other countries and try his brand of bullshitting. Here because of his standing in Umno as well as the pro-Umno stance and logic he spins regularly with, he can get away talking rubbish. At least in future I hope he just keeps shut and not be a busybody giving out unsolicited opinion and advice.

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Anonymous Zainuddin is a Morone said...

Mamak Zainuddin Maidin is a fool and a disgrace to the journalist community. He told the Malaysian pressmen, that they should prevent information from reaching the "Big Ears" of the Prime Minister.

Isn't he a bloody hypocrit. Isn't he behaving against the ethical stance of a journalist. I guess he is behaving like an asshole.

Serves him right, that Indonesian media is blasting him.

8:10 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Antares said...

The best thing we can do for this pathetic excuse for a minister is...
ignore him! He deserves no further attention. Dead ducks don't quack.

8:18 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

Haha! Well done to the Indonesian Media!
Mamak Maidin has put his foot in his mouth once again.
The BS that he spews out is only accepted in Malaysia because we can't do anything about it. So? He thinks he can spew the same BS elsewhere. He should resign for making a fool of himself & disgracing Malaysia!
Yes, we are wealthier than Indonesia but in the long run we will turn into an Islamic Extremeist State which will eventually devour us, especially when looking at the calibre of our present Leadership. However, Indonesia will slowly but surely develop & grow due to the "real" democratic freedom that it has.

9:09 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Freedom & democracy for all said...

Zam Zam the misinformation man
Out of the fire into the frying pan

Indonesia is democratic and free
that sort of thing in Malaysia we never see

Opens his foul mouth, screams and shouts,
but doesn't know WTF he's takling about!

Thank you Indonesian media
Right thinking Malaysians salute ya

New Year Greetings one & all
May 2008 be the year BN falls

9:23 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

freedon & demoncracy for all,

I like the last paragraph of your poem!
New Year Greetings one & all
May 2008 be the year BN falls!
Maybe it can be the "rallying cry" of all right-minded Malaysians!

10:57 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you ever have a greater hypocrite than UMNO politicians? Hypocrisy has become an exclusive culture in Barisan Nasional!

11:26 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous pissnick said...

could the prime minister please tell zam maidin to shut up? the guy is an embarassment to his government and to the people of malaysia. better if the pm will just sack the fellow, but that is just too much to hope.

5:25 PM GMT+8  

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