Filed under: Astro Awani, broadcast, internet, journalism, new media, The Malaysian Insider, writing | Tags: fat bidin, journalism, malaysia, media, multimedia, multimedia journalism, new media, news, solo journalism, The Malaysian Insider, video journalism, zan azlee
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: Astro Awani, broadcast, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: #SwedenLetThemGo, 501 awani, abuse, astro, astro awani, awani, Azizul Raheem Awalludin, culture, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malaysia, muslim, news, Shalwati Nurshal, Sweden, Wisma Putra, zan azlee
This week, Malaysians who have been following the case of Azizul Raheem Awaluddin and Shalwati Norshal, detained in Sweden for abusing their children, got the shock of their lives.
After two months of being held under remand, the prosecutor has finally charged them in court, and the list of what they have been accused of is a long one.
Both of them are accused of a total of eight counts of gross violation of integrity of their children, and all includes beatings, inclusive of the use of rotan, belt and even a carpet beater.
The shock is because everyone in Malaysia were of the thought that it was an obvious case of a clash of cultures.
In Malaysia, moderate corporal punishment is mainly accepted. Initial reports in the media (including here at Astro AWANI) stated or implied that the abuse was merely a smack due to one of their sons not performing his prayers. [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: Astro Awani, broadcast, directing, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: #SwedenLetThemGo, 501 awani, abuse, astro, astro awani, awani, Azizul Raheem Awalludin, culture, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malaysia, muslim, news, Shalwati Nurshal, Sweden, Wisma Putra, zan azlee
One of the subjects I used to teach undergraduates many years ago was Human Communication. It was one of my favourite subjects to teach. I loved it because it was the study of how people communicate with each other, taking into consideration the context of different cultures, languages and beliefs.
A core principal of good human communication is to understand that there are many different people in the world. And being different doesn’t mean being wrong. In fact, it is important that we never judge people based on their culture because culture is never wrong.
Vietnamese and Koreans enjoy eating dog meat and it is considered a traditional dish. But most Americans would find it wrong to eat an animal that is normally a pet. Who is right or wrong? It is a norm in Chinese culture (and many Asian cultures) to have the extended family all living in one house together. But in Europe, this is not accepted as children are suppose to leave the nest when they grow up. Right? Wrong?
And now that the world is getting smaller, people are more exposed to different cultures and clashes start happening. It’s not wrong to have these clashes. People just need to be understanding and open-minded. But of course there are cultural practices, after being compared with others, come out as totally wrong.
And through education, these are slowly expected to disappear. For example, many indigenous tribes in Borneo practiced head-hunting a long time ago. Now that everyone is more educated and ‘civilised’, the practice has been totally wiped out. Which is a good thing. Genital mutilation may be the norm in some African cultures but with more knowledge, campaigns are now being conducted to educate the people so they know that it is not a good thing to do.
But one thing that cannot be done is to blame these people for their tradition and culture. It is what they’ve been doing for generations without thinking it is wrong. It’s the way they are wired to think. But of course, the key word is education.
With more clashes of culture happening, the more our minds are exposed and opened up. We get to see things from many perspectives. And that will eventually cause the entire human race to progress and evolve.
Now what am I actually getting at? It’s quite obvious I’m going to relate all of this to the Malaysian couple, Azizul Raheem Awaluddin and Shalwati Nurshal, detained in Sweden for allegedly abusing their children. [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, 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: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: #SwedenLetThemGo, abuse, Azizul Raheem Awalludin, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malaysia, muslim, news, Shalwati Nurshal, Sweden, Wisma Putra, zan azlee
I don’t believe in corporal punishment when it comes to disciplining children and neither do my parents. So I have never laid a finger on my daughter.
I would much prefer to have a heated and honest argument which eventually ends in a better understanding for both parties than a quick smack on the buttocks. But when it comes to Azizul Raheem Awaluddin and Shalwati Nurshal, the Malaysian couple detained in Sweden for ‘abusing’ their son for not praying, I think I would sway in their defence.
Its quite easy why my rational logic tells me that corporal punishment isn’t the way to go with children, because it is just the Islamic way. Islam’s main principles are compassion, mercy and sincerity. And that is how I base almost all of my dealings in life with.
What is one of the most common phrase in Islam? Of course it is, bismillahirahmanirahim, which means, in the name of Allah, the most compassionate and most merciful. And there is ikhlas,or sincerity, which is the foundation of any and every single deed in Islam if it were to have any meaning at all.
The prophet Muhammad himself had never hit a woman, child or even animal. So that must say something about the negativities of corporal punishment. But now back to the issue with the Malaysian couple who has been detained while their four children have been separated from them and are in the Swedish foster care system. [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, economics, economy, fat bidin, inflation, journalism, kangkung, kuala lumpur, malaysia, price, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
The way the government is trying to appease the public with regard to all the price hikes that have been implemented is quite farcical at the least. Firstly, Malaysians were told that if they did not like the increase in highway toll prices, they could always opt for using different roads that have no tolls.
Then they said if chicken was too expensive for consumption, then eat other sources of protein like fish, which ironically is even more expensive. Now we have the huge vegetable fiasco that has become an internet phenomenon and also a treasure chest of content for the media.
Right before I started writing this week’s column, I had breakfast with a friend of mine. And over our meal, we had a nice long, conversation about life. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]
Filed under: Astro Awani, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: astro, astro awani, awani, borobudur, fat bidin, jogjakarta, zan azlee
What better time than right now, with all the controversy going around the entire social and traditional media world about vegetable prices, for me to talk about one of my favourite topics?
That’s right, folks! After months of not writing about this subject matter, I am now going to touch on it once again. The topic is none other than the most important thing in my life – my daughter.
I like to believe that I am a world traveller. I love traveling to places around the world like I love my two thumbs. At the age of 35, I have been to a total of 32 countries. And I ain’t stopping!
I honestly believe that by seeing different countries, different societies, different cultures and different people, one will become a more wholesome human being.
With all the different experiences that traveling can offer, one will be more open-minded, more accepting, more understanding, more empathic and more cultured.
So, when my daughter, Athena Azlee, was born, I promised her (and myself) that I would show her the world. And I’ve been trying very hard to keep that promise to her and not break it.
She is now two and a half years old (she will be turning three this year) and she has been to a total of five countries. And I’m going to make sure she ain’t stopping! [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]
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, exoticism, fat bidin, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, yuna, zan azlee
Congratulations to Yuna for making it to number 19 onHuffingtonpost.com’s top 20 artists to listen to in 2014. It’s quite an achievement for her and for Malaysia. Even the paragraph that introduces her in the article seems to acknowledge this achievement by stating:
‘There’s a good chance you don’t have any Malaysian musical artists in your current music library, so let Yuna be the first.’
Before I go on, let me state that I’m not much of a Yuna fan. Although I don’t think her music is awful, I also don’t think it’s extraordinary. But that’s beside the point. What I really want to highlight here is to wonder what could be the real reason of Yuna’s success in America.
After the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City, followed by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States has had a terrible relationship with Muslims. They have had to go through very damaging racist accusations due to their racial profiling activities in the name of national security.
The negative implications and treatment towards Muslims, especially those living in the United States, were huge and quite shocking actually. And now, the former superpower of the world is on a big crusade to try and fix this problem internally by attempting to improve Muslim and non-Muslim relationship. [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, journalism, malay, malaysia, najib razak, rosmah, rosmah mansor, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
Ahh… the eleven steps taken by the government to cut their spending. This was announced earlier in the week by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Let’s see. There is a cut of between 5 to 10% in the allowances for ministers and deputy ministers as well as senior government officials.
Then there are the cuts in utilities costs in all government offices and reduction of road transport tolls for senior government officials as much as 30%. There will also be reductions in the ordering of buntings, of food for meetings, seminars and workshops as well as more efficient office space architecture.
Let’s see. Cutting down the allowances of ministers, deputies and senior government officials is a good move. However, it doesn’t reduce costs by that much. What would be a much better move would be to remove certain ‘retired’ ministers from the government payroll altogether. There are several of these individuals who have been given special posts and are probably getting paid as much as ministers are, including allowances and benefits.
And then there is the reduction of bunting orders. How significant of an amount is that? Unless, of course, the government prints a gazillion buntings a year! As for the excessive ordering of food for meetings, workshops and seminars, well I can’t argue with that one as it is quite true. [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, broadcast, internet, journalism, new media, writing | Tags: astro, awani, britain, england, fat bidin, kamarmahtum, london, mak mok, malaysia, malaysia airlines, siti aishah, slave, united kingdom, zan azlee
I woke up in the morning (okay, late morning!) and headed out for breakfast (okay, lunch!). There wasn’t really anything I could do but wait and see if any updates crop up. I couldn’t help the fact that the British newspaper, who flew my aunty Kamarmahtum (Mak Mok) to London to meet her missing aunty the alleged slave Siti Aishah, took to protecting their exclusivity really seriously.
I tried calling up the Malaysian High Commission to find out what was happening but everyone I talked to didn’t know anything. It was only much after lunch time that I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer so I headed to their office to see if I could get any better leads face to face.
As soon as I arrived at the Malaysian High Commission, I met one of the staff and he told me that everyone was out and that Mak Mok and Hishammuddin Rais had came over but had also left. I didn’t know what was going on, but somehow, my gut told me that they were on their way to meet Siti Aishah. Again, I couldn’t do anything but wait. [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, ethnic cleansing, fat bidin, islam, journalism, malay, malaysia, muslim, plaigarism, ridhuan, ridhuan tee, tee, teresa kok, The Malaysian Insider, zan azlee
I’ve been secretly smiling to myself almost everyday the past week. It is because I’ve been very happy with certain stories I’ve been reading in the media lately. The stories I’ve been reading has given me joy because they are about how Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has been accused of lecturing about ethnic cleansing to his students.
And even before that, a few months ago, he was accused of plagiarism in his academic writings and research papers. Happy happy joy joy! It’s no secret (especially to my regular readers) that I’ve made it one of my life’s missions to counter and destroy his every single racist and bigoted thought.
And when issue of his credibility and professionalism comes into question, I will obviously jump on the opportunity to highlight it. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]