Tag Archives: military

Information in times of conflict

Information in times of conflict
By Zan Azlee

MARCH 8 – When conflict happens anywhere around the world, notice that conspiracy theories start coming alive. Allegations of propaganda and spin also start to emerge. For example, when 9/11 happened, many people believed (and some still do!) that President Bush Jr planned the attacks so he could continue to hold on to power.

This isn’t much different in Malaysia with the case of the invasion of Sabah by armed terrorists from southern Philippines. A conspiracy theory speculating that the government of the day is actually creating this whole incident to create panic before the elections is one. Another conspiracy theory that is making its rounds in the media is that the opposition had planned the invasion all along together with the terrorists.

Then there are the dozens or so accusations of fabrication and manipulation of information released to the public. Remember the first police deaths? First, the news said that they were killed by a mortar. Then, it was said that they were shot by snipers. A few days ago, the Interior Minister and Defence Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein and Zahid Hamidi, released pictures of the dead terrorists killed in an operation.

It took them a long time to release the photos and, of course, more conspiracy theories cropped up regarding the photos. Why did it take so long to release it to the public? Are those real terrorists? Was it a staged photograph? It’s quite funny actually. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

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The invasion of Sabah and a loyal media

The invasion of Sabah and a loyal media
By Zan Azlee

What role does the media play when it comes to conflict situations? It isn’t much different than non-conflict times. It’s to be the ears and eyes of the people. But what happens when the media is directly involved in the situation?

Take for example, the armed criminals that have invaded Sabah at the moment. How does the Malaysian media handle it? It can get quite complicated. We’re not used to it since Malaysia isn’t exactly a war-mongering country like the USA.

I, as a Malaysian journalist, of course, will openly admit that I support fully the protection of Malaysia’s security and sovereignty. And so where does my loyalty lie? Of course, the Malaysian people are those who I will be serving in my duty as a journalist. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.com]

Google’s top 2012 searches… that led to my website!


2012 according to Google
By Zan Azlee

DEC 28 ― The year is coming to an end and it is time to look back and reflect upon the momentous events of the passing year. I thought it would be a good idea to look back at 2012’s top ten searches on Google… and that led to my website, Fatbidin.com!

10. Ridhuan Tee Abdullah

Number ten could be one that has given me the most pleasure this year. I disagree with everything this academician, TV host and writer ― whose real name is Tee Chuan Seng ― says. We had a brief heated exchange in our respective columns (his is in Sinar Harian), from which I emerged victorious.

9. Kabul

Being the gloriously brave war journalist and adrenaline junkie that I am, I went to Afghanistan to shoot a documentary. After a decade of war and after the Taliban, it’s quite a surprise that the country is still getting media coverage.

8. Bersih 3.0

This has to be one of the lowest points of the year. I witnessed things that I don’t ever want to witness in Malaysia again. The police were brutally attacking demonstrators and even journalists like a bunch of street thugs ― after they removed their nametags, of course. But the spirit of Malaysians that gathered, now that was a high point.

[Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

iPhone Journalism in Syria

Inspiring journalism!

iPhone Journalism
By Zan Azlee

MARCH 16 – Solo-journalism has been my passion for many years now and it has been the basis of almost all my journalistic work till today. For the many news reports I do and documentaries that I produce, I would write, shoot, edit and take my own photographs, literally as a one-man-crew.

And I get to do all this thanks to all the technology available today. I have small broadcast quality video cameras, laptops for editing and mobile Internet. Over the years, solo-journalism has started to grow. Big broadcasters such as the BBC, CNN, Channel 4, etc, have been experimenting with the concept.

I, myself, have contributed news stories and documentaries that were produced solo-journalism style to some of these big broadcasters. But there really hasn’t been an entire news network or agency that has actually converted fully to solo-journalism in obtaining their content.

But things might just change seeing that one of the big international news networks, Al Jazeera International, recently aired a documentary shot fully with an iPhone. [Click to read the full article]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite (Part 10 – Living at the feet of Buddha)

This week is part 10 of my multimedia documentary, Guide To Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite, which includes video, still photos an text. As you would know, this is concurrent with the 10-part feature on The Malaysian Insider website, of which you can view part 10 here:

Living by the feet of Buddha
By Zan Azlee

FEB 13 — After the days I spent on patrol with Malaysia’s MALCON ISAF 2 in the rural areas of Bamiyan building water filters, educating health officials and saving lives, I was glad to be back in the safety of Kiwi Base in the city of Bamiyan.

Bamiyan is actually one of the safest provinces in Afghanistan and this is due to its population of predominantly Hazarat people who fiercely reject the Taliban. They are Shiites and were terribly oppressed, hurt and killed during the rule of the Taliban. So walking the streets of Bamiyan city is really like a walk in the park compared to in Kabul.

Now that I was feeling a bit secure and safe, I wanted to do something that I had dreamed of since I was 15 years old. That’s right! I wanted to go and see for myself, with my own two eyes, the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.

I was apparently still under the responsibility of the Malaysian Armed Forces, and the commander, Lt Col Rusman Sanip, did not want to allow me to roam outside of the army base on my own (although I had spent all my time in Kabul alone before meeting up with them in Bamiyan!). He was kind enough to escort me together with a couple of security team members. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Guide to Afghanistan: The Adventures of a KL-ite
Part 10 of 10
‘Living by the feet of Buddha’
Zan fulfills his 19 year dream of seeing the Buddhas of Bamiyan! And he discovers the ultra poor Hazarats living at his feet… literally.

Full Synopsis:
Zan Azlee, a Malaysian KL-ite journalist who has lived all his life in non-conflict zones, travels to Afghanistan to see if he can come up with the best travel guide for the country. With no idea what he is getting himself into, he dodges suicide bombers and IEDs, and even gets embedded with the army, to plan out the best tourist route in Afghanistan. This is a multimedia documentary produced by Fat Bidin Media and directed by solo-journalist Zan Azlee.

To view all the episodes, head to FATBIDIN.COM/AFGHANISTAN.

Click the thumbnails below to launch the photo essay (Part 10).

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available… just give me a buzz if you are interested and we can talk! If you would like to own original FAT BIDIN MEDIA documentary films and books to enhance your coolness factor, visit the FAT BIDIN e-STORE!