FAT BIDIN MEDIA


In bleak times, faith in Allah should prevail

In bleak times, faith in Allah should prevail
By Zan Azlee

Three years ago, I remember shooting a television reportabout the “Allah” issue in Malaysia for a Dutch news agency. I had interviewed Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew, PAS parliamentarian Khalid Samad, the then home minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and several Malaysians.

The situation was tense then. The court case against the Catholic weekly Herald was taking place and a church in Klang was set on fire. It was a sad, depressing and humiliating time for Malaysia and its people when racial and religious tension was at an all-time low.

I have always used my column here at The Malaysian Insider as a platform to try and encourage discourse and understanding towards multiracialism and pluralism. It’s been so many years and I continue to use this platform, including every other media platform I have access to, for that purpose.

Now, we are in 2014. And what is the situation we are facing with regards to racial and religious tension? Has there been an improvement? The case against the Herald still exists. The issue of the word “Allah” being used by non-Muslims is being brandied around. And protests are happening.

It seems like Malaysia and its people haven’t gotten very far ahead since that television news story I did five years ago for that Dutch news agency. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

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Cambodia’s urban poor children… on In Focus tonight on Astro AWANI!

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Cambodia’s urban poor children
By Zan Azlee

Cambodia is most notoriously known for the 1970s violently oppressive Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot. In more recent times, it has seen quite a tremendous economic growth within the Southeast Asian region. However, one of the most jarring problems the country faces is the large disparity between the rich and the poor, and one can notice it most when it comes to the children.

In the early 1980s, a huge undocumented number of street children roamed the city and even rural centres trying to survive by either begging, collecting garbage or doing odd jobs. This was mainly blamed on the Khmer Rouge’s deadly tactics of killing enemies of the states, thus living many children guardian-less.

In 2013, a huge undocumented number of street children still roam the city and even rural areas trying to survive doing the exact same things. The difference is, these children have parents and families. They do it to support their poverty-stricken families.

To find out more about Cambodia’s urban poor children, tune in to ‘In Focus’ tonight, Tuesday (17th September 2013), at 8:30pm.

*Catch the new season of In Focus every Tuesdays, 8:30pm, on Astro AWANI.

[Read/view the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



In Focus: Singapore Rebel

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Tonight’s ‘In Focus‘ documentary episode takes a look at how Singapore, a country so representative of first world development is also one that is notorious for media censorship and also curbing freedom of speech. I hang out with a couple of artists (Art Fazil, Martyn See, Lee Kim Min aka Mr. Brown) on the island to understand better their situation.

In Focus
Tuesdays
8:30pm
Astro AWANI (501)

If you can’t wait for tonight, there is also an online special to preempt the TV version. Just click on English.AstroAwani.Com to check it out.



In Focus: A struggling Vietnamese rock music industry in a booming economy

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Tonight’s ‘In Focus‘ documentary episode takes a look at how a fledgling alternative rock music industry is struggling to survive in a country whose economy is among the highest growing in the world – Vietnam! So tune in as I interview Vietnamese rockers and death-metallers to find out their struggles and ambitions. ARGHHH!!

In Focus
Tuesdays
8:30pm
Astro AWANI (501)

If you can’t wait for tonight, there is also an online special to preempt the TV version. Just click on English.AstroAwani.Com to check it out.



In Focus: The Istanbul riots (Part 2)

‘In Focus‘ tonight is the second and final part of my Turkey Riots special. It’s like BOOM!! So make sure you tune in.

In Focus
Tuesdays
8:30pm
Astro AWANI (501)

There is also an online special to preempt the TV version. Just click on English.AstroAwani.Com to check it out.



In Focus: The Istanbul riots (Part 1)

My documentary series ‘In Focus‘ is going on strong in it’s second season. Tonight’s episode is something many should be looking forward to (or so I say!) as it is an in-depth, on the ground look at the Istanbul riots in Turkey. Being in Istanbul during this period is pretty intense and this is only part 1 of a 2-part series (9th and 16th July). So make sure you tune in.

In Focus
Tuesdays
8:30pm
Astro AWANI (501)

There is also an online special to preempt the TV version. Just click on English.AstroAwani.Com to check it out.



‘In Focus’ season 2 begins today!

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The 2nd season of my documentary series ‘In Focus’ begins tonight on Astro AWANI (501) y’all!!

In Focus
Every Tuesdays.
8:30pm
Astro AWANI (501)

The first episode looks at OrphanCARE, the NGO that introduced the controversial ‘baby hatch’ to Malaysia. You can view the Web version at English.AstroAwani.Com to pre-empt yourself for the show at night! Jeng jeng jeng!



In the Heat of Battle: The Story of Lembah Pantai – The TV mini-series starts tonight on 501 Awani!

Remember ‘In the Heat of Battle: The Story of Lembah Pantai‘ which I did during the campaign and election period last week on AstroAwani.Com? Well, the TV version is all done – it’s a 5-episode mini series starting tonight (Wednesday, 15th May 2013), every night until Sunday (19th May 2013), at 9:30pm, on 501 Astro AWANI!

The entire 2-week campaign and election period condensed into 4 episodes of TV time… it doesn’t get better than that! It’s like being there without being there yourself! Hahaha!



In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai (Part 9 – ‘A Malaysian Spring’ and ‘Report Card Day’ – you make the choice!)

Part 9 – ‘A Malaysian Spring’ and ‘Report Card Day’ – you make the choice!

The second half of the campaign season started with a bang. On one side, the huge campaign machinery went into full gear and came up with an event fueled by much fanfare, while the other side relied on community-based people power.

Click to hear to view/read/watch/listen/smell the full story!



In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai (Part 8 – Taxi!)

Part 8 – Taxi!

While on the Lembah Pantai campaign trail, I bumped into two taxi drivers, James Sundram and Navanathan, who offered to tell me their story over coffee in a stall in Lucky Garden, Bangsar. Apparently, things still aren’t as hunky dory as it seems even after 1,000 individual taxi permits have been issued by the government.

Click to hear to view/read/watch/listen/smell the full story!



In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai (Part 7 – The roaming carnies!)

Part 7 – The roaming carnies!

Ceramahs are lively events, almost like a carnival or a fun fair. You get to wander around all kinds of stalls selling all kinds of things, from traditional medicine (yes, just like in P.Ramlee’s movies!) to food.

Click to hear to view/read/watch/listen/smell the full story!



In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai (Part 6 – Who has a more winnable campaign style?)

Part 6 – Who has a more winnable campaign style?

Part 6 – Who has a more winnable campaign style?
Zan Azlee compares the campaigning style of Nurul Izzah Anwar and Datuk Raja Nong Chick Zainal Abidin. Whose do you prefer?

Click to hear to view/read/watch/listen/smell the full story!



In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai (Part 5 – The other side of the highway)

Part 5 – The other side of the highway

In part 5, I follow the candidates as they cross the highway into the ghettos of Lembah Pantai to campaign!

Click to hear to view/read/watch/listen/smell the full story!



In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai (Part 4 – Hantu Rahimah Balik Rumah!)

Part 4 – Hantu Rahimah Balik Rumah!

In part 4, I stumble upon a group of ‘phantom voters’ in Lembah Pantai. They spooked the hell out of me!

Click to hear to view/read/watch/listen/smell the full story!



In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai (Part 3 – It’s a three-cornered fight!)

Part 3 – It’s a three-cornered fight!

Part three of my multimedia project on AstroAWANI.Com is now live online! I follow the nomination day closely like it’s a cancerous tahi lalat on the back of my neck!! Nurul Izzah, Datuk Raja Nong Chik and Rusli Baba all three talk about their ‘message’! Hmm…

Click to hear to view/read/watch/listen/smell the full story!



In The Heat Of Battle: The Story of Lembah Pantai (Part 2 – Oh My! Just listen to out first world problems!)

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Part 2 – Oh my! Just listen to our first world problems!

Lembah Pantai has a very diverse population, most noticeably is the income level. You have the low-income group on one side of the highway, and the high-income group on the other side.

For the candidates in Lembah Pantai, trying to bridge the gap between these two groups can be very challenging indeed because it is obvious that the two groups have different priorities when it comes to election issues.

In the upper class neighbourhood of Bangsar, which also has a more cosmopolitan population, the locals tend to harp on more global issues such as human rights, racial-based politics and freedom of speech.

And this can be seen in the video above of a forum organised by Bangsar locals titled ‘Is Progressive Politics Possible in Contemporary Malaysia?’, which was participated by Pakatan Rakyat’s former Lembah Pantai MP, Nurul Izzah Anwar, and Barisan Nasional’s former Temerloh MP, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

[Click to experience the full story at English.AstroAwani.Com]

*Log on to English.AstroAwani.Com as much as you can this GE13 period to see Zan Azlee’s regular multimedia presentation of ‘In the Heat of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai’. Zan is spearheading Astro AWANI’s pioneer team of Solo-Journalists.

*Alternatively, just come over here at FATBIDIN.COM!


In The Heat Of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai

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Part 1 – Sup kambing satu!

The 13th General Election period has begun. And throughout the campaigning period, I will be focusing on the federal constituency of Lembah Pantai, which I feel is a nice sample of Malaysia and of the General Election.

There are the high profile candidates, the rich and powerful elite class, the middle class, the hard working class, all of the major races, long time locals and also the migrants from other parts of the country that have made this area their home.

Extrapolate it and you will see that this is a good representation of Malaysian society and politics. But of course, I am but a mere journalist who can only attempt to be as efficient and proficient as I can be. So you may disagree.(And full disclosure, this is also the constituency in which I am voting!)Nomination has yet to happen but the sentiments on the ground have been heated since almost two years ago. Going to the field to gather a feel for what are on Malaysians minds proved to be like opening a can of overly-compressed sardines. Official campaigning by the candidates hasn’t started since that is only allowed to happen after nomination day. So the first stop I made was to the heart of Malaysiana… the warong and gerais.
And if you think that is just the media’s spiel to side the caretaker government, just scroll slightly lower and watch the next video interview with another gerai owner who has been doing business in the area for more than forty years.

This General Election is believed to be the most heated one in the history of Malaysia. The number of registered voters is at a record high. People are coming out and voicing their opinions and expressing their wants and needs. The politicians have to up their game.This is Malaysia Memilih 2013.
*Log on to English.AstroAwani.Com as much as you can this GE13 period to see Zan Azlee’s regular multimedia presentation of ‘In the Heat of Battle: The story of Lembah Pantai’. Zan is spearheading Astro AWANI’s pioneer team of Solo-Journalists.


‘IN FOCUS’ is on NJOI AWANI’s YouTube page… means you get to watch it over and over again!

If you missed the first episode of IN FOCUS, which was on Astro AWANI 501, then you’re in luck! You get to watch it on NJOI AWANI’s YouTube page over and over and over and over and over again! The first episode sees me checking out how the street protest industry works in Egypt in Tunisia!

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Working together with Karim Raslan on the TV version of his column ‘Ceritalah’… on Asto AWANI!

Ceritalah Malaysia is the TV version of Karim Raslan’s long running newspaper column and book series where he travels the country speaking to ordinary Malaysians to get a sense of the true Malaysia. I used to read Karim’s writings more than ten years ago when I first started writing myself (funnily.. I haven’t read his stuff in quite a while now! muahaha!). But now we’re working together… and it’s pretty cool!

Produced by Zan Azlee and Karim Raslan for Astro AWANI (501). Every Monday nights, starting tonight, at 9:30pm (with repeats throughout the week).

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IN FOCUS… a new documentary series on Astro AWANI by… who else… the ZANSTER!

Come the new year of 2013… I am producing and hosting a new documentary series called IN FOCUS every Tuesday nights at 8:30pm on Astro AWANI (501). It covers current and social affairs, local and international. Expect all the awesomeness, machoness and coolness of Zan Azlee… and others too, of course!

The first three episodes is all about the Arab Spring after two years have gone by. I go to Egypt and Tunisia (and cancelled Syria… not macho enough lah!). So don’t forget to watch the premiere first episode of IN FOCUS this Tuesday (1st January 2013), 8:30pm, on Astro AWANI (501)!




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