Tag Archives: police

Writers should not be threatened with police reports



Writers should not be threatened by police reports
By Zan Azlee

The recent police report made by a chairman of an NGO against online columnist Mariam Mokhtar for an opinion piece she wrote is a worrying precedence.

As is the case in Malaysia, every single expression that could slightly offend someone can be made into a police report in order to intimidate the person making that expression.

For someone to have to resort to making a police report over a piece of writing, it just goes to show that he does not have the ability to engage with the writer in the most appropriate way.

Personally, I have read many things that I find offensive written by many people (such as Ridhuan Tee and the likes) in many publications, online and in print.
But I do not make police reports against these writers because I believe that they have a right to express whatever their thoughts and opinions are, no matter how absurd.

But what I would do, and have done many times, is to engage writers by writing my own thoughts and opinions to counter what I disagree with.

In fact, there have been times where another writer and I had a go for several weeks criticising and having a blow with each other in our weekly columns. No reports were made.

And that is exactly how it should be because that is what a rational discourse is supposed to be like, with the public chipping in and making up their own minds as well.

No good ever comes from shutting people up through force rather than logic and reasoning. And that is why I will continue to advocate for no censorship.

If police reports are continuously made against writers because of their writing, then it would be a matter of time before there will no longer be thought-provoking writing to push society. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Don’t doubt the ‘lost at sea explanation’


Don’t doubt the ‘lost at sea explanation’
By 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]

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
Astro AWANI (501)

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

You can’t teach an old politician new tricks


You can’t teach an old politician new tricks
By 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]

You can’t fire me! I resign!


You can’t fire me! I resign!
By Zan Azlee

Watergate – the granddaddy of all political and government scandals. US President Richard Nixon was forced to resign in 1974 as investigations against him being involved in a break-in looked like it was going to lead to an impeachment and conviction.

Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s former Senior Advisor, went under investigation for ‘improper political influence over government decision-making’ and was forced to resign in 2007. Well, the US has a lot of high-profile scandals.

In the UK, a sex scandal at 10 Downing Street is currently putting Prime Minister David Cameron in a bind (apparently, details can’t be spared at the moment due to legalities). Actually, the UK government has been facing a string of scandals in the very recent past.

Last week, a Conservative Party MP, Patrick Mercer, was forced to resign the Conservative whip after being caught by the BBC for receiving money in return for posing questions in parliament.

A Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Hancock, will also go through the motions to see if he will be expelled from the party over allegations of sexual assault. And a Tory MP, Nigel Evans, has been arrested for sexual assault.

Many countries all around the world have all kinds of governmental scandals that have caused so many politicians and government officials to be forced to resign from their positions because what they did were wrong.

In other words, if someone has done something wrong (and most importantly, get caught doing it!), the only right thing for that person to do is to own up, apologise and resign from his or her position of trust.

Now Malaysia isn’t void of her fare share of governmental scandals either. We’ve had quite a few that have piqued our interest and created a lot of stir in the country, and even internationally.

But what is slightly different in Malaysia, as compared to the rest of the world, is that the rate of officials resigning and admitting to the blame when they are caught is so much lower than anywhere else around the world. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]