Monday, 26 November 2007

Romancing the channel

It was not allowed into countries such as Singapore, China, Philippines and Brunei. It is only a minor system in Thailand and Indonesia. As of last year, no cable network in the US has been fit to carry it and it was (still is?) only available in the US via satellite or on the web.

But, labelled as having unbiased news about Iraq and one which reveals the truth about US’ invasion in Middle East, Malaysia welcomed it with open arms. With Kuala Lumpur being its flagship station in the Asian region, Al-Jaazera made its way into the highly censored Malaysian media.

Broadcasting from the Petronas Twin Towers, the pride of the nation, it was also said the government was so pleased with Al-Jazeera English that it was granted MSC status, one which effectively exempt the news channel from paying any taxes for a minimum of 5 years, amongst other goodies. Please note this piece of information is unconfirmed, but I wouldn’t be surprise if it’s true.

One thing for sure, the Malaysian government was very happy and proud to have Al-Jazeera broadcasting from Kuala Lumpur. Forget about CNN or BBC, Malaysia has Al-Jazeera! And seriously… CNN vs BBC vs Al-Jazeera, which one do you think Malaysia will favour?

But lo and behold, I am sure it never occurred to the Malaysian government that while it can ask almost 100% of the media to “shut-up” when it comes to sensitive news, it failed to check its pet, this Al-Jazeera station. Now, we all know which station did the honour of putting our country at the world’s stage in the last 2 weeks. And now, the whole situation changed.

Now, Al-Jazeera is said to have very good ‘actors’ as their reporters. Al-Jazeera was branded by that that that that that minister as a channel trying to portray Malaysia as a non-democratic country. Al-Jazeera was said to be
‘trying to confuse people living overseas’, again by that that that that that that minister.
And the best part is, where Al-Jazeera was once labelled as having unbiased news, suddenly that that that that that minister is saying that Al-Jazeera has biased coverage.

How fast things can change. And how funny when a pet bites its owner. When I look at the whole thing, I just find it so amusing. I guess this is what they call “harap pagar, pagar makan padi”.

Then Information Minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir (the predecessor of that that that that that minister?) made this statement in
a telephone interview regarding the launch of Al-Jazeera in Malaysia…

“It gives us an opportunity to be a role model and example and inspiration to the rest of the world”

Hahaha… indeed it has… indeed it has…

35 comments:

adrian said...

All MSC companies get tax exemptions for a certain number of years( perhaps 5, I cant recall).

This is typical Bolehland mentality govt isn't it. When it suits us, we praise it to high heavens and take pride in it. when it goes against us, we make noise and deny, deny, deny. Just like the many surveys that were done about things in our country, corruption index (we accuse its flawed), etc.

rachel said...

good one... good one...

bet it doesnt come as a surprise to anyone...

dan-yel said...

These leaders ah, had always overestimate their own intelligence but had many times underestimate the intelligence of other fellow human beings. Al Jazeera is an international body of middle-class educated people, and they understand very well the value of democracy and human rights.

These leaders ah... must know that most of the employees there were not the product of their debilitating education system which produce far more robots than productive liberal citizens.

These leaders ah... well, served them right! hehehe!

anthraxxxx said...

Ministers pwned in their own turf by reporters. Wonder when is Bapa Mertua's turn.

narrowband said...

Haha. Shy, man...

myop101 said...

Well, the fact that several Middle Eastern countries booted Al-Jazeera out should have been a "warning" sign that Malaysia should take heed that these people are not going to be cowed to obey the leaders of their broadcasting nations.

Btw, Bloomberg is also based in KL.

Hmm...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

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gobo upstairs, traders hotel

cilantro, micasa hotel

max!kitchen and wines, tengkat tong shin

le bouchon, changkat bukit bintang

Cameo, 10 Semantan, Damansara heights

i think this are more famous for their fine dining and for a more cozier nite rather then a formal dining ambience u will get in Prime, Le Meridien.

if not, give me a particular area you want to dine, n i can check for u..haha i m more used to surfing the floggers then you are..

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

yeap, one more thats darn near ur office,

chalet, equatorial hotel

Zawi said...

Zewt,
The love AlJazeera when the newschannel was reporting about the atrocities committed by Iraelis and The Americans in The Arab Countries. Now they hate AlJazeera because the cameras are now pointed towards Malasyia. Little did they know that this channel is not going to toe the lines after giving them all the freebies.
See Husin Lempoyang fine imitation of how Zam the minister of information reacted in Kak Ton's Tok Mommy blog which I reproduce in part below
I commend yo-yo-your journalists trying to project... to exaggerate more than what actually happened. That-that-that-that's it. We are not the-the and I-I congratulate your journalists behaving like an actor, that-that's it...
Read the full text at her latest blog comment.

Freethinker said...

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Monday/Letters/2093567/Article/index_html

The man himself even seek clarifications on his "performance" that day

Sharon said...

LOL, i like "that that that that that minister phrase"
serve them right i'd say. finally a media who's not afraid to ermm "bite its owner back"? go figure~

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Hmm.. I did not know al-jazeera was was broadcasting from Malaysia. Interesting. So now how? Are they going to revoke the MSC status? Kekeke.

missironic said...

once again,'they' found someting new to amuse us....lolz...

bergen said...

Al Jazeera shot itself in the foot in the Hindraf. The same guy, same style, same delivery minus the runnin' and huffin'. They played the same script once too many that made them look like bad guys to the kampong folks who consider RTM 1 the good guy.

My humble opinion,sir.

Huei said...

WUAhahAHhaHAHHA

damn funny

i cant laugh..seriously..too damn funny

tulipspeaks said...

when i saw their coverage on BERSIH, i knew Al-Jazeera going to land itself in trouble. Wonder what is the next action by Bee-End.. revoke the licence? :P


ammu.

F.O.N @ frostee said...

Yea... this made me laugh too! I'm just counting down the days whene the news station would be told to close and leave.

That-that-that-that's democracy ala Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-laysian style.

Alas... the circus is STILL in town!

mr jp said...

Hahah , you have a good point there.

Of course the channel is suddenly 'biased' when it reports the truth about our country.

Why does our country feel so Orwellian sometimes?

j or ji said...

that that that that that is so funny.

Anonymous said...

same same as doing business with garblement ppl...

if kamcheng ( also must c/w fat angpow ) very good then easy-easy can get po.

huh! they can screw you and some more you must be happy but... can not screwing them back unless you oledi want to tar pau your business.

----

marriage of convenience...

kadir...

info ministry + al jazeera = strange bedfellows

zainuddin...

info minstry + al jazeera = strange bedfellows went soured

Angie Tan said...

Hmmmm...

Adrian, the tax exemption for MSC companies is about 10years, I believe.

Anyway, I'm not surprised by the turn of events about this tv station. As always, our mis-information minister has the audacity and naivety to "think" that they can control a foreign TV station.

Helen said...

Our dear garmen is just childish.

"I'll only friend you if you only talk good things about me..."

Anonymous said...

this fella realy brings the information ministry into disrepute. time for him to take leave and stop embarrasing the nation further. wonder how did he receive his tokoh of journalism award? really beats me.

kyh said...

oh our naive gamen! they shud feel honoured AJ has chosen here to be its Asian hub over the likes of S'pore and HK. Now they r blaming AJ for bias when AJ is just holding on to their principle in reporting the truth on what's really going on here. Seems like the one trying to spread false information and cover up the truths is the gamen instead. Gah! I can't beliv the majority of M'sians r still so naive to support them all these yrs!

I bet Astro now has an independent channel dedicated to AJ English for 24 hours (we've terminated our astro subscription for 1 yr plus)? Last time AJ has to share the same channel with Astro News and DWTV if I'm not mistaken... The reason I like AJ is bcos of their different approach in reporting world news from the dominating Anglo-American perspectives in CNN & BBC (tho i still love the latter 2). Even though it's an Arab channel headquartered and financed by Qatar (an emirate, hence, Islamic), it does not censor any news touching on Christianity (think of its wide coverage on the Pope John Paul II's death, papal election and Pope Benedict XVI's ascension, as well as the Pope's papal visit to Turkey), which is really a praise-worthy move by an Arab channel.

I still remember I was waiting in front of my TV last yr and counting down to its official launch in the English language (my home has this *beep* China satellite dish which can reciv channels like AJ English, DWTV (German information/news channel), CCTV etc for 24 hrs). Heh.

alan zed said...

i was laughing like hell hearing the interview between the minister and al-jazeera. his english so 'power'.

bensiu said...

Ishh... I say " MEMPER-SIASUEH-kan"

that that that that that minister... betul betul SIA SUEH!

zewt said...

adrian - well, i do know that MSC companies are given tax holidays, just cant confirm if al-jazeera has been given the status.

rachel - and i tot you dont like politics? hehe... but this is social stuff though.

dan-yel - as al jazeera employ more and more former CNN and BBC journalists, i think malaysia is in for an interesting time.

anthraxxxx - sleeping still.

narrowband - what else is new sigh.

myop101 - i think malaysia are too oblivious about it. bloomberg... only business news so it's still ok.

zewt said...

constant craver joe - have decided on prime already. havent been there before and heard it's fantastic so i guess it wont do much harm. thanks anyway.

zawi - haaha... yup... i knew about that particular interview with that that that that that particular guy. he is famous... trust me.

freethinker - another classic blamology.

Sharon - well, i think it wont be long before astro is asked to dump the channel. just watch.

purple mushroom - maybe ask astro to dump them?

missironic - and we are again entertained hehe...

zewt said...

bergen - i think kampung folks are stlll sheltered. seriously, to them... malaysia can conquer the world already since the so called angkasawan phenomenon.

Huei - all in our malaysian life.

tulipspeaks - like my reply to some comments... perhaps can ask astro to dump them?

F.O.N @ frostee - the circus is not only in town but running the town.

mr jp - and when the channel blast US for invading iraq and all... malaysia cheered for them. hahaha...!

j or ji - hahaha... a new malaysian englih... zamglish.

zewt said...

anon @ 1.26pm - hahahaha... very nice equation there.

Angie Tan - easy way out... boot them out. just wait and see.

Helen - now they say "i dont fre fre fre fre fren u already".

anon @ 4.14pm - malaysia boleh mah... boleh wan.

kyh - hmmm... is that satellite dish legal or not ah? hehe.

alan zed - like i said... zamglish.

bensiu - hahahahahaha.... indeed... indeed...

Seaqueen said...

We'll see if the government dare to kick them out of the country or not. If they do, it'll be even better cos it'll make the govt look even more guilty. Stupid people. Never learn.

Maverick SM said...

I like this article. How true!!!!

Al Jazeera is great!

kyh said...

of cos it's *beep* lah. Hence why I censor my word. :P

Anonymous said...

I was gonna refer you to the same article in the NST that freethinker did.

This was the most understated statement in the article: "I spoke clearly and directly, and while my presentation may not have been eloquent, it was something that needed to be said"

Not eloquent? Clear & direct? More like atrocious! And appalling

(p.s. great blog!)

zewt said...

seaqueen - they can always do other things...

maverick sm - hehe... glad u like it.

kyh - heh heh... i shall not tell anyone.

anon @ 3.39pm - thanks.... as for that statement... eloquent? i am surprise he has that word in his vocab.