Filed under: broadcast, writing, new media, internet, journalism, The Malaysian Insider, Astro Awani | Tags: malaysia, zan azlee, fat bidin, The Malaysian Insider, news, media, solo journalism, video journalism, new media, journalism, multimedia journalism, multimedia
I wish I could categorise myself as a “Generation 5D” journalist. Unfortunately, I can’t because according to Spencer Chumbley, the person who coined the term, I’m a little bit too old.
If you don’t know, “5D” really refers to the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR camera model which was one of the first of its kind to combine high quality still photo and video capturing capabilities in a single camera (this was around 2008).
So these “Generation 5D” journalists can be considered natural multimedia journalists who have the skills to tell stories in a myriad of ways, combining text, still photos, audio and video.
And because this is a new way of telling news stories (and not to mention told by storytellers who were youthful and energetic), the stories themselves have a different approach and perspective.
It isn’t of the old style of journalism where objectivity is sacred and format is what determined if a news story was worthy or not. These “Generation 5D” journalists have a voice and an opinion.
Subjectivity, which was an evil curse word to the elders, is now almost mandatory in journalism. Of course, just because an opinion is included, it doesn’t mean that honesty is thrown out the window. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: anna, disney, elsa, fat bidin, frozen, journalism, media, new media, olaf, princess, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
My friends and family all know how fiercely protective I am when it comes to my daughter Athena’s exposure to anything princess-ey. I pray that she never develops the dreaded princess syndrome where she kills all ambition and passion just to be rescued by a prince charming.
So when the Disney film Frozen came out in the cinema, I was slightly apprehensive about bringing Athena to watch it. But I did and I was not disappointed. [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, christian, church, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, masjid, mosque, muslim, new media, zan azlee
When I was in primary school, I went to a school called SRK St. Joseph in Johor Bahru. Yes folks! It was a Christian missionary school complete with a church attached! I used to wander the church grounds with all my friends and sometimes, actually often times, we even had the opportunity to enter the hall itself.
I still went to my Pendidikan Islam class with my other fellow Muslim classmates and I knew, even at that young age, that I am a Muslim.
Going to church never confused me. I am a mixed breed child and come from a mixed breed family. So I have many relatives who come from many different race and also religious beliefs. I have been to many a church weddings, like the one between my Uncle Tuck Meng and his wife Aunty Renuka, which was held at that big church in Kelana Jaya by the LDP highway.
I still continue to believe that I am a Muslim and still attend mosque to do my prayers and even read the Quran to understand it better. Going to church never confused me. [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, chicken, fat bidin, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, onederful, pakatan rakyat, teresa kok, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
Time and time again I have said it. Malaysians have no appreciation for satire, sarcasm and humour. And that is just so laughable that it just is not funny. Everyone is now familiar with the parodic Chinese New Year video produced by Teresa Kok, the DAP MP for Seputeh, and her team. I was very amused by the video and found it hilarious, and quite true too (my Cantonese is atrociously mediocre, but I think I got a bit of the nuances!).
Okay, fine. I can accept the fact that not everyone would understand the video and that many might even be offended by it. That is okay. These people have all the right and freedom to oppose and object to the video. They can write articles, make statements, or even hold peaceful protests. Heck! I think the best way would be to actually produce another video to mock or even oppose the video by Teresa Kok and her team.
But then a group of so-called Muslim NGOs came out to prove my thought that Malaysians do not seem to have the intellectual capability to comprehend satire. By offering a cash reward to commit violence (RM1,200 for anyone who slaps Teresa Kok and provide photographic evidence) cannot be very Islamic. One of the most common phrases in Islam is “Bismillahirahmanirahim”, which means “In the name of God, the most compassionate and most merciful”.
That in itself proves that the basis of Islam is about compassion and mercy. And wait a minute! What does “Islam” mean? I think it actually means “peace”! I am sure that this group, which goes by the name The Council of Islamic NGOs, must be very proud that they are encouraging violence in the name of religion.
But I think I have a suggestion for Teresa Kok to turn the tables around and play another joke. This time at the expense of this so-called Islamic council. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: broadcast, directing, documentary, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, babi, barisan nasional, BN, dollah baju merah, fat bidin, halal, haram, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, pigs, The Malaysian Insider, wayang kulit, zan azlee
I remember many years ago, I directed a documentary film about Dollah Baju Merah, the last classically trained wayang kulit dalang in Malaysia from Kelantan. He has since passed on and I was the last person to officially interview him and to document his last wayang kulit performance on camera.
What I remember most about the interview was how he tried to explain to me his relationship with his art using a pig analogy. During an election year, he thought he was being religious by voting for a religious party (guess what party?), but it ended with him being ostracised for practicing his art.
“Those whom I voted for declared that wayang kulit is haram because it has non-Islamic roots. And whoever practices it is committing a sin,” he said.
“But let me explain to you about pigs. A pig is an animal created by God. The pig itself isn’t haram. It’s just an animal like any other animal in the world. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: broadcast, directing, documentary, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, video blog, vj movement, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, barisan nasional, BN, christianity, christians, documentary, fat bidin, father lawrence, herald, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, news, pakatan rakyat, solo journalism, The Malaysian Insider, video journalism, 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]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, fat bidin, interpret, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, quran, zan azlee
I’m a Muslim, or so I claim. I believe in the religion, its God and its prophet. I also sin like the rest of us. I’m like any normal Muslim, I guess. I’m not a religious scholar, imam, qadi, bilal, ustaz, mudim, or whatever. But I do a little bit of reading, studying, travelling, interviewing and asking around.
And on that basis, I feel that is my responsibility and obligation to sometimes stand up for my religion, from those who aren’t of the faith and, most of all, those of the faith. It seems that the number one gripe of Muslims in Malaysia is the fact that there can be no debate when it comes to religious issues.
Filed under: Astro Awani, broadcast, directing, documentary, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, dataran merdeka, dbkl, demonstration, documentary, fat bidin, interview, jingga 13, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, media, new media, news, protest, samm, smm, solo journalism, turun, video journalism, web video, zan azlee
As any other New Year’s Eve celebration in Kuala Lumpur, Dataran Merdeka was jam-packed with people who were there to usher in the New Year and to enjoy the live performances that have been organised there for years without fail.
But this year, the situation was a little bit different. A call by Gerakan Turun Kos Sara Hidup (TURUN), Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM), Jingga 13 and Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) saw thousands gathering there as well, but for a different reason. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: internet, journalism, new media, press, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, barisan nasional, BN, censorship, fat bidin, geramm, journalism, journalist, kuala lumpur, malaysia, media, new media, news, protest, the heat, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
And here we go everyone. The clampdown has begun! Shut up your face! We don’t like what you’re saying! Do you think you can say what you want? It doesn’t matter if what you say is the truth or not, or if you have proof or not.
We don’t even care if we look stupid by shutting you down. It doesn’t matter if everyone can see right through our intentions. Does it even matter if by shutting you down we would look like regressive neanderthal cavemen? No!
Do you think it even bothers us that we are showing everyone in the world that we are undemocratic? No! Do you actually think that we care if we are seen as uncivilised people who show no regards to human rights? No! [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, christmas, fat bidin, islam, jakim, jesus, journalism, malay, malaysia, media, muslim, new media, zan azlee
Recently, while I was casually browsing through the JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) website, I stumbled upon something interesting. (Please don’t ask me why I was casually browsing though the website. Just don’t!)
There is this one particular page on the site that caught my eye titled ‘Guidelines for Muslims celebrating religious festivals of non-Muslims’. As a multiculturalist Malaysian who celebrates a slew of festivals, from the Muslim to the non-Muslim kind, I obviously had to read it to ensure my Islamic faith is still intact.
It being the Christmas season, I will look specifically at the points that refer to Christmas, just to keep to a timely theme. Or else, this article would be just too long. The page states that if a Muslim is to attend an event, he or she needs to make sure that the event does not consist of ‘ceremonies that are against the Islamic faith’. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
Filed under: broadcast, documentary, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: fat bidin, journalism, malaysia, new media, news, solo journalism, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
It’s been a year and a half now since I’ve been fully employed at a local news organisation. This is after 10 years of being self-employed as a journalist. Many people didn’t think I would last this long. When I first came in, my new staff made bets that I would last no longer than six months in to the job.
In actuality, I’ve been enjoying my time being employed and have learned to adapt well to the new environment that I’ve put myself in. Of course, there are the pros and cons. I like the feeling of having a whole newsroom backing me up when I am pursuing a story. I also like the resources available for research and consulting.
But the ever so often must-cover-must-use stories and, worst of all, the management and administration duties, those are a pain in the butt. However, you work towards finding the correct balance for yourself and be happy with it. But of course, it doesn’t stop me from reminiscing about my freelancing days. [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, bigot, bigotry, BN, fat bidin, hijab, islam, journalism, kuala lumpur, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, racism, racist, singapore, tudung, zan azlee
What’s the difference between Malaysia and Singapore? That’s the age old question ever since the island state decided to opt out from being a part of Malaysia. Actually, it isn’t hard to see that there are many obvious differences between the two countries and among the main ones is food.
I have to admit that the food in Malaysia, especially the street hawker kind, is just far superior from what you can find in Cheen Chia Poh. We make better lontong, better mee goreng, better nasi beriyani, better murtabak, better sup tulang, better prawn mee, better bak kut teh and even better Singapore fried meehoon.
Then there is the law that we have to abide to in Singapore, which are almost borderline mental asylum-style rules and regulations. No eating chewing gum! No crossing the street! No watching TV! No talking! No breathing! No winking! No no no no no no!!
But one thing that they are encouraging is sex! Everyone should have sex and procreate whether you are a man, woman, married or single. Play your role in saving the population! Then, of course, there is the issue about media control. If we Malaysians think that we have it bad with our media censorship and licensing, then we haven’t seen anything yet.
However, these are all differences that we can see on the surface. Look a little bit deeper and we might discover that we all aren’t that different anyway. Recently, the issue regarding Singapore’s banning of the tudung (hijab) by women working in certain governmental organisations and in school came in to the limelight.
Many Singaporeans are against this saying this it is racist and discriminatory. There is even a Facebook movement started called ‘Singapore Hijab Movement’. However, the island’s government says that since Singapore is a multiracial society, the ban is required to maintain the country’s overall social harmony. [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, circumcise, circumcision, fat bidin, journalism, kalenjin, kenya, malaise, malay, malaysia, marathon, melayu, new media, sunat, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
What are the Malays best known for globally? Aside from being the inspiration for the English word ‘malaise’, I really can’t think of anything much. Well, I think I might have the answer as to why this is so. And it is closely related to a certain tribe in Kenya known as the Kalenjin.
I was listening to one of my favourite radio programmes called Radio Lab and it’s latest episode talked about why the Kalenjin are so good at long distance running. They have dominated the sport like no other superhuman group of people has ever done before, coming in the top three in almost every major marathon in the world.
For example, this year’s Berlin marathon saw Kenyans winning first place right through to fifth. And in the Chicago marathon, they placed first till fourth.
According to David Epstein, “There are 17 American men in history who have run under 2:10 in the marathon. There were 32 Kalenjins who did it in October 2011”. Epstein is a sports journalist and writer who wrote the book ‘The Sports Gene’, and was interviewed on the Radio Lab episode.
Now many unproven reasons, or should I say urban myths, have been thrown about as to why the Kalenjins are such good long distance runners. One of the most popular reasons for this is that in the past, the tribe did not have any other mode of transportation other than their legs. So they ran everywhere.
But the actual truth may be due to the Kalenjins having to go through cultural circumcision when they reach puberty. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: writing, new media, internet, journalism, Astro Awani | Tags: 1malaysia, allah, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, chinese, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, new media, racist, ridhuan, ridhuan tee, telur, umno, zan azlee
I know Ridhuan Tee wasn’t aiming his latest column in Sinar Harian entitled ‘Mana telur kita?’ specifically at me. But my column today is aimed right at him.
Sometimes I feel quite stupid arguing with what this Chinese man says since what he says is always quite stupid. But I can’t help it. It’s just incredibly fun! In Tee’s latest column, he highlights the fact that no political leaders seem to have the balls to stand up against the infidels and their demands.
First up, he says that how dare the Hindus question the right of Muslims to want to slaughter cows in a public school. Hey pang yau (in case Tee has forgotten his mother tongue, ‘pang yau’ mean ‘friend’)! It’s okay for them to question it.
And it’s also okay for Muslims to concede and do the slaughtering somewhere else. It’s call respecting other religions. Islam says that’s the way mah! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
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: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: 1malaysia, astro, astro awani, awani, barisan nasional, BN, fat bidin, journalism, malay, malaysia, new media, umno, waze, zan azlee
My father recently started learning how to use Waze on his smart phone. He’s 62 years old, so you can imagine the comedy that ensued for my brothers and I! Of course, we already had our fun when he was trying to figure out how to use his smart phone when he first acquired it (“Okay daddy. You have to turn it on first!”).
But when it came to Waze, that wonderful Jewish app that helps you beat the ridiculous Kuala Lumpur traffic, it just took our amusement to whole different level! As many would know, Waze helps you navigate roads so that you can always beat any heavy traffic. And this is done through user generated data.
It’s kind of like a GPS system, but way better since you would know how heavy traffic is at a location before getting there, from people who are already there. Waze would then also recommend to you an alternative route that would get you to where you want to go faster, if you trust it enough.
My father would type in the address of his destination and off he would go to follow the directions of the sexy voice of Ms. Waze. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
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]