Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, press, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, crime, fat bidin, human rights, journalism, Keadilan, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, new media, news, pakatan rakyat, umno, zahid hamidi, zan azlee
In a previous life, I used to work with the foreign media. But then, a year and a half ago, I decided to go full on in the local media, hence I am now at Astro AWANI. Not much of a story behind the decision. It’s very clichéd actually. I wanted to feel more local stories and tell it to more local people. Basically, I wanted to serve Malaysia (chewah!).
In my opinion, for real impact, Malaysians need to be aware of the issues in their country and in their own context. Only then will they be moved to take action if it so requires. However, news about Malaysia in the foreign media is important because it puts some highlight on to the country and its issues.
Positive news that appear on a global media platform will bring pride and happiness to the people while negative news puts pressure on whoever is responsible. So I thought for this week, I would like to take a look at the different news stories on Malaysia that appeared in the foreign and international media. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, christian, christianity, fat bidin, god, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muhammad, muslim, quran, The Malaysian Insider, tuhan, zan azlee
Call me murtad (apostate), I don’t care. Call me syirik (polytheist), I don’t care. Heavy accusations in Islam, these two. I hope the accusers have the necessary proof, evidence and criteria to do so. I, an official Muslim, hereby publicly declare that I have no problems with other religions aside from Islam using the word Allah to refer to God.
Most of the times when I write my column, it is to address a readership that is as wide and as general as possible without targeting too specific a group. But this week, I am writing to Muslims in particular (err, but if you are an infidel, you can still continue reading!), and especially Malay Muslims.
As Muslims, we are obligated to believe in the existence of the prophets and this includes the prophet Jesus, who brought to the world Christianity, and even Moses who brought Judaism. As a Muslim, we are also obligated to believe in the existence of the holy books and this includes the Bible which taught Christianity and the Torah which taught Judaism.
And, when we believe in all this, we also have to believe that all Abrahamic religions come from one God, and in Arabic (the main language of Islam’s Quran) the word is Allah. So, when an argument is made that Christianity and Islam are two different religions, no one can deny it. It’s true. These are two different religions.
But when it comes to God, both these different religions refer to the same God. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (oh crap, did I just objectify God as a rose?). [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, christian, fat bidin, god, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, umno, zan azlee
Malaysia is a multicultural, multiracial and multireligious country, according to the government of Malaysia. And, Malaysia is also supposed to be harmonious, peaceful and tolerant, according to the government of Malaysia.
There are a lot of initiatives and efforts done to ensure that Malaysia continues to be a multicultural, multiracial, multireligious and harmonious country. And having a common national language is just such contributor to encouraging and promoting harmony and a self of belonging.
In Malaysia, the obvious language that is used to pull people together is Bahasa Malaysia. It is taught in schools and is also the official government medium of communication. Basically, almost every single Malaysian can speak the Malay language in one form or another and this is the common denominator for us all.
I like that we have something that is inclusive and makes all Malaysians similar. By having a common language, we all have something to call our own. A language that has been spoken since the 7th century (most likely even before that) and was the business language of the Southeas Asian region has deep history.
Anyone from around the world had to master the Malay language if they wanted to be able to trade and do business successfully. And it was a welcome to have Arab merchants, Chinese diplomats, European explorers and African traders learning the language when they came to our land.
The 17th century Dutch scholar, Francois Valentijn, even wrote that the Malay language was the lingua franca of the eastern region, much like French and Latin is in Europe. He added that it was a language that was even spoken and understood in the lands as far as Persia to the west and the Philippines to the east.
People around the world actually embraced the language. How cool is that? So it should be no problem for Bahasa Malaysia to be embraced within Malaysia itself. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: broadcast, directing, documentary, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, auditor general, barisan nasional, BN, corruption, documentary, endless possibilities, fat bidin, film, journalism, ketua audit negara, lost at sea, malaysia, media, new media, news, pdrm, police, politics, The Malaysian Insider, zahid, zahid hamidi, zan azlee
As many would know, aside from writing my articles, I am also a broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker. Hence, a lot of my time is spent on film and television production shoots. I shoot alone as a solo-journalist and also with a crew whenever the treatment calls for it.
I have been in many different and sometimes unnatural and even dangerous situations when I am on my production shoots. I have been in quiet and serene environments such as in the jungle, small villages and air-conditioned studios where everything is nice and comfortable.
I have been in war and conflict areas whereby I have had to wear protective gear such as helmets and bullet-proof vests. I have even had to learn to shoot a gun (which I hated). I have been in huge protests, riots and demonstrations where people around me have been shot at, gassed, bludgeoned and even pelted with concrete slabs.
I have had experiences shooting on flat ground, on hilltops and mountains, on skyscrapers, underground, and even in the sky. But I have to admit, there was one situation in which I have to say was the most dangerous of all, and that was when I had to shoot on a boat at sea. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, astro, astro awani, auditor general, awani, barisan nasional, BN, corruption, endless possibilities, fat bidin, journalism, k-pop, ketua audit negara, malay, malaysia, media, new media, news, politics, zan azlee
I’m just an average person living an average life. I work an average job and I make an average salary. I’m as average as the average Malaysian can be. That is why I feel so helpless after reading the 2012 Auditor-General’s report and knowing that there is nothing I can do it about it, just like many Malaysians out there.
Some of the highlights (among many) of the report include:
- A RM303,813 travel claim by a Ministry of Communications and Culture senior officer to Geneva, Switzerland, which was worth RM50,000.
- TM was overpaid by RM27.59 million for the MERS999 project.
- The police lost equipment worth RM1.3 million, which included 44 firearms and 29 vehicles.
- Khazanah Nasional Bhd mishandling RM3.05 million worth of paintings.
- RM1.6 million spent on a K-Pop concert was declared by the Ministry of Youth and Sports as being paid by sponsors when it was really tax-payers’ money.
The annual Auditor-General’s report is always a very revealing document for the public. But history has shown that after reveal, nothing ever happens. This year, a tremendous amount of revelation happened and almost every single media (even the government controlled ones) are making noise.
But do you expect anything positive to happen now that all these revelations have been highlighted for all of Malaysia to see? The only thing I see happening is politicians going on the defensive and just denying everything that is in the report, or having an excuse for it (logical or illogical). [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, barisan nasional, BN, cpa, crime prevention act, draco, draconian, fat bidin, internal security act, isa, journalism, law, malaysia, media, new media, news, The Malaysian Insider, zahid hamidi, zan azlee
How well do we know our politicians in Malaysia? We know them well enough to know that they are populists when it comes to election period.
How many people remember when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, announced that the Sedition Act be abolished? It was before the elections. Then, when the elections were over, the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Ahmad Hamidi, stated that it should not be abolished.
And how many people remember when the Prime Minister said that the Internal Security Act would be abolished? It was before the elections. Then, when the elections were over, two days ago as a matter of fact, the Home Minister stated that there will be amendments made to the Crime Prevention Act.
Study the amendments carefully and you will notice (as many have) that the Crime Prevention Act will then become a new form of Internal Security Act. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, film festival, internet, journalism, lecture, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, beff, beff2013, borneo eco film fest, documentary, environment, fat bidin, film, islam, journalism, kota kinabalum terralingua, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, sabah, solo journalism, zan azlee
The movement and collection of heat and carbon dioxide caused by pollution and global warming shows a worrying trend for countries near the equator. Satellite images show that it is heading towards the equator where most of the world’s forests are, and that includes Malaysia, and more specifically Sabah and Sarawak.
The reason why the forest areas are the places heat and carbon dioxide gathers is because only the forests have the natural ability to actually treat the problem. And what is more interesting, studies have shown that the areas where most of the world’s forests are, are also places that have the most numbers of languages spoken.
This study was made known to me yesterday, at the start of the 2013 Borneo Eco Film Festival in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, by speaker and festival organizer, Agnes Agama. I’m convinced the study, conducted by Terralingua.Org, is true seeing that the Amazon has so many different tribes and ethnicities and different languages.
And I am even more convinced when I see Sarawak and, more specifically, Sabah where there are also many different ethnicities and languages. It also seems totally logical without an ounce of coincidence that the responsibility of saving the earth falls on areas that have such wide biocultural diversity.
If you have ever been to Sabah, then you would know that the relationship amongst people of different races and religions is different than in Malaya. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, jalur gemilang, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, new media, news, shabery cheek, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
I’ve met Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek on countless occasions. Usually it’s to interview him, but there were times when we just had a drink or meal to chat.
I honestly think he’s a very nice person and many of the things he does in his capacity as a member of the cabinet and a politician have good intentions.
Being the Minister of Communication and Multimedia (of which he has held the portfolio once before), I’m sure he is familiar with how the media and public perception works. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 13 may, 13 may 1969, 1malaysia, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, film, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, new media, news, riot, shuhaimi baba, tanda putera, tun abdul razak, tun dr ismail, tunku abdul rahman, zan azlee
Tanda Putera is a film that is hot on the lips of so many Malaysians. And so, as someone who writes for the Malaysian public, I feel obliged to write a review of it.
A film is a film, whether it is a non-fiction documentary, docudrama or even narrative fiction. And each genre has it’s methods and style.
A documentary, being non-fiction, would have to keep to the spirit of truth and honesty. It has to strive to be an exact representation of what really happened.
For a fiction film, as the word fiction would describe it, is something that is created and made up. Hence, truth and reality does not have be a tenet in a fiction film.
For a film like Tanda Putera, the lines are blurry. It is supposed to be based on a true story. But as the director Shuhaimi Baba stated, there were parts that were dramatised and fictionalised.
Fair enough. A film director working on a fictionalised story based on something that really happened reserves the right of creative licensing.
It is, after all, a subjective interpretation by the film director. And when it is a subjective interpretation, then there is no wrong in the film being biased or opinionated.
This happens a lot and is accepted by most audiences. Take for example films like Adman Salleh’s Paloh, Aziz M. Osman’s Leftenan Adnan, Liew Seng Tat’s Flower or even Oliver Stone’s JFK.
So, what’s the big deal, right? Well, the big deal happens when a society is not mature enough to see how art (no matter how bad or good it is) is just art. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, hindu, indian, islam, j anu, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, merdeka, mosque, muslim, new media, tanda putera, zan azlee
It’s that time of the year again when all of the media gears their content towards that one national theme – Merdeka Day. How cliched, but somehow necessary. And so I find myself obligated to write somethhing alng the lines of the Merdeka theme as well. But I’ll try to keep things as current and as relevant as possible.
What does merdeka really mean, anyway? It’s suppose to mean independence or freedom. And an independence country means a country that is sovereign. An independent country is also one that is not controlled by anyone and is free to do as it pleases depending on what is right or wrong. It is the freedom to make a choice.
So what does it mean when in an independent country where there is suppose to be freedom of choice, big brother makes that choice for the people? It means that there really is no independence.
Recently, the Penang state government decided that they would disallow the screening of the controversial film about the May 13th 1969 riots, Tanda Putera, in the state. Okay, fine! Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng clarifies by saying that they are just issuing a cautionary advisory against watching the film. Whatever lah. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, architect, architecture, barisan nasional, BN, buddhist, chinese, christian, fat bidin, hindu, indian, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, masjid, masjid negara, media, merdeka, mosque, muslim, new media, zan azlee
Malaysia has gone to the dogs. But that would be such a negative statement for a column that has the intentions of commerating this year’s Merdeka Day. So I’m going to try my best to end it in a positive note. First of all, we can agree that racial issues have become a trend in Malaysia. Every racial group has a problem with every other racial group.
Polarisation among the people seem to be at it’s highest peak. This is happening in schools, universities, the private working sector, and of course, the public sector. Religious conflict, although thankfully not violent, is also on the rise and taking centre stage in our media. So Malaysia is truly going to the dogs.
Now let me slightly digress to see if I can further make the point that I am trying to make. Every Malaysian is familiar with the National Mosque, or Masjid Negara, in Kuala Lumpur. Conceptualised a month before Merdeka, completed and opened in 1965, it is a symbol of how Malaysia was, and how Malaysia should be now and forever.
Designed and built by a Brit and two Malaysians (Howard Ashley, Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim), that in itself would already be unheard of now. What?!? They let a non-Muslim design a mosque?!? Astarghfirullah! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, ridhuan tee, zan azlee
I cherish every opportunity I get to discredit, counter, disprove, disagree and slam our great Associate Professor Dr. Ridhuan Tee Abdullah. And so I am thankful for every time the good doctor produces an article that reflects his thoughts and tickles my fancy, just like his most recent writing in Utusan Malaysia.
His recent column in the newspaper dated 16th August 2013 was actually on something that I would really not have any beef with. It wasn’t really hard-hitting or ground-breaking at all. The good doctor criticised Singapore’s former Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew’s, latest book, One Man’s View of the World.
More specifically, he criticised Lee Kuan Yew’s criticism of Malaysia’s affirmative action for Malays, and that it is driving local talent away from the country. Although I do have a problem with affirmative action in this country (as I have stated many times in my many writings), I don’t have a problem with the good doctor’s rant about it. It’s his right to say so, anyway.
How does that saying go again? ‘I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’, right? I think it was said by someone named Voltaire. But when the good doctor starts harping on about going to war with another country, now that’s where I have to stop calling him the good doctor anymore. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, alvivi, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, racism, racist, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
It seems that one of the big discussions amongst Malaysians at the moment is if we are actually getting too sensitive. This is because of the “offence” that we have been taking over all kinds of issues.
First of all, there was the Alvivi case where this idiotic Chinese couple took a picture of themselves eating bak kut teh which they spread online and offended the Malays in the country.
After that, an owner of a private resort allowed a group of Buddhists to meditate in a room which was also allocated as a surau. And this offended the Malays in the country.
At a first glance, I can see the reason why many people are starting to think that Malaysians are actually getting too sensitive for their own good.
But at a second glance, I think I’m beginning to see a trend here. Can you see it? It seems like those who constantly get offended happen to be Malays. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, blasphemy, BN, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muhammad. prophet, muslim, new media, quran, zan azlee
So I’ve been threatened and warned to watch my back because I tend to question issues regarding Islam. And guess who are the ones threatening me? My fellow Muslims, of course! Apparently, only those with immense religious knowledge and high paper qualifications are allowed to delve deeper into the religion, and the rest of us should just shut up and listen.
I think I shall choose not to listen to these people because I strongly believe that they are wrong. Islam is pretty cool actually, and I don’t believe that it would preach such a thing. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, islam, journalism, Keadilan, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, news, The Malaysian Insider, umno, zan azlee
In just a matter of approximately a month, we Malaysians have been flooded with all kinds of propaganda that seems to be threatening our racial harmony. First, there was the stupid, moronic, idiotic and imbecilic couple Alvivi and their Bak Kut Teh spirited Ramadhan wish to all Malaysians.
Now, we have this harmless video of a Muslim woman who made a video (three years ago, mind you) with herself and her dogs wishing people Selamat Hari Raya.
Now for this third one, it gets a little bit tricky. Many say its insulting to Islam. I, however, do not think so since there is nothing stated anyway in the religious books that say dogs are un-Islamic (but I’m a dog-lover, so sue me).
I could not care less about whether Islam is being insulted, if there is a big racist plot to bring down all the non-Malays in the country, or if the fork ran away with the spoon. What bothers me is the fact that on Facebook timeline (yes, the world has come down to this – when an entire societal situation can be extrapolated from FB!), things are not rosy.
My timeline has been divided into two distinct sides – those who are on one side, and those who are on the other. And it pains me to see this happening. With all these stories coming out in the media, there has never been a larger rift in Malaysia than I can ever remember in my entire 35 years of being alive.
I cannot help but wonder if all these are just part of an elaborate media strategy with an aim to create dischord and disharmony amongst Malaysian… for selfish reasons. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, anjing, barisan nasional, BN, chetz, dog, fat bidin, haram, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, najis, new media, news, samak, togom, zan azlee
About seven years ago, I was elevated to the position of ‘ustaz’ by members of the Malaysian public. All because of a short film I had made at that time called ‘Samak’ (which was invited to a few film festivals! Wahh!)
It was a simple documentary about dogs and how it is okay for Muslims to keep them as pets. But what made it so appealing to people, I think, was the explanation on ‘samak’.
So what is ‘samak’? It’s just the method of cleansing for a Muslim after he or she has touched a wet dog. And it’s only when the dog is wet. When it’s dry, it’s totally clean.
I literally got phone calls from people I didn’t know calling me ‘ustaz’ and asking me for advice on how to samak themselves, and even their homes (paranoia?).
I am a Muslim and a dog lover. And I have also had the pleasure of caring for two pet dogs in my lifetime so far – a Rottweiler named Martian and a Cavalier King Charles named Keropok.
Now, in response to all the hoo-haa about dogs and Hari Raya, I feel totally at ease and not the least bit insulted by the video of Chetz Togom and her dogs. [Click to read the full article and to view the short film at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: Astro Awani, broadcast, directing, documentary, film, internet, journalism, new media, video blog, writing | Tags: 501 awani, art fazil, astro, astro awani, awani, censorship, documentary, fat bidin, film, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, in focus, interview, journalism, martyn see, mas riddim, media, mr brown, new media, singapore, singapore rebel, solo journalism, video journalism, web video, zan azlee
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.
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: astro, astro awani, awani, baby, fat bidin, george, george alexander louis, headline, journalism, kate, media, new media, news, paparazzi, prince, royal, royal baby, scandal, sensationalism, william, zan azlee
As journalists, we strive to always find the most interesting, if not the most scandalous scoop, to parlay to the people. Sometimes, we go to the extreme and risk life and limb even. And so it was for me when I decided to embark on this particular story of which I am about to tell to you right now (if you decide to read further).
A month ago, I had gotten a tip from a source (a very trusted one) that there was one woman who had been in labour for approximately eight months. This excited me. Firstly, it was because it was a woman. Secondly, it was because she was pregnant. But most importantly, at eight months, we could probably tell the sex of the baby!
I staked out at the private hospital in Damansara, and I could not stop from peeing myself when I heard the news. It was going to be either a boy or girl! Amazing! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, ipcmc, isa, journalism, malaysia, media, new media, news, pdrm, police, sedition, sedition act, The Malaysian Insider, wan junaidi, zahid hamidi, zan azlee
What happens when an elected representative does something in office that is against the wishes of his electorate? To be more specific, what if he does something without consulting his constituency and is mainly for his own personal benefit?
Well, in most cases around the world, this would be unethical and the elected representative would come under heted pressure and probably lose in the next election. But in Malaysia, it happens to be quite all right. Because, you see, in this country, elected leaders are one step higher than normal people.
What they say is like gospel for everybody. Don’t believe me? Then check out our newspapers. It’s filled with elected leaders saying this and that as advise for the people. Take for example, the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Ahmad Hamidi, who recently said that the Sedition Act should not be abolished.
He says this with full aplomb as if his judgment is the right one and should be the decision best for the country. In truth, the Sedition Act is as archaic as the ISA and a sack of fosilised mammoth bones that is about to turn into petroleum and then processed by Petronas. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]