Latest game in town: Restricting the media


Imposing restrictions on the media seems to be the flavour of the week.

Spot the difference – if any:

New media denied passes by Umno

Banning NST won’t solve anything

Harakah, Suara Keadilan banned 3 months

You see, once politicians start restricting the media because they think certain media have been “unfriendly” or “biased” or whatever, there’s no end to it…

Restricting press conferences or party events to only “friendly media” is short-sighted and reflects on the insecurities of the politicians concerned.  Can the Pakatan leaders  now complain with a straight face about the restrictions on the new media in covering the Umno assembly after what has happened in Penang?

In more liberal democratic societies, the media regularly and often savagely lampoon and mock their leaders, but do we see the leaders who have been targeted then barring the media from their press conferences or suspending their permits in retaliation? Relations may be a little strained between the politicians and the media after that – but hey, that’s life in politics.  Get over it.

Of course, the media in some of those countries belong to corporate media empires friendly or critical to the political parties in power for whatever reason.

But to be a political leader means accepting dose close scrutiny and a regular dose of criticism – some of which might be considered unfair – as a fact of life. That comes with the (political) territory. Get used to it.

A statesman-like politician could always hold a press conference or issue a press release to clarify matters. If that is not enough, in exceptional circumstances, he or she could turn to the courts for a remedy.

Gutter journalism should rightly be condemned but barring “unfriendly” media from covering events or suspending their permits leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

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25 Mar 2009 11.55am

No,No, incoming PM says ” Don’t regard new media as our enemy”.

Wow, what a hypocrite…. for a new PM.

Maybe someone has something good to say about this new PM,I just cannot think of any.If there is any ( good thing )Let’s hear it.Just for a change lah!!!!

Worse to come when the new PM officially takes over…Be ready rakyat of Malaysia.

25 Mar 2009 11.50am

Your typo ‘dose scrutiny’ reminds me of Private Eye’s legal problems when they reported an MP drunk in parliament (dose scrutiny, geddit?). He sued, if I remember correctly. Forever after, Private Eye referred to public figures as ‘tired and emotional’ when they meant drunk.

PR should accept the slings and arrows of gimp-on-a-leash reporting, they could always use it to their own advantage. The government mouthpiece press is fascinatingly glib. Why doesn’t PR have a regular blog at It would be easier to laugh at the irony in NST if we didn’t pay for it first.

25 Mar 2009 11.11am


Don’t ban.

The funny thing is that in terms of content, M’kini is actually less skewed than NST.

Yeah, NST should prove itself. Someone from there wants to be a Citizen Nades by talking loudly and not coming out with anything.

25 Mar 2009 10.42am

NST – where is your list?

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
25 Mar 2009 10.17am

I agree with Anil.

Banning or excluding “unfriendly media” does not solve anything.

It’s all about winning the hearts and minds of the people
(the people in the middle/the undecided/the fence-sitters). The political partisans have already made up their minds and will only selectively listen to “their side”.

There’s plenty to learn from the Obama campaign in terms of handling public relations, winning political support and mobilising people.

Approving Authorities
Approving Authorities
25 Mar 2009 9.41am

Sueing a particular publication that has already lost its credibility and who will not be hurt financially by virtue of its shareholders having deep pockets, is an exercise in futility.

If such a publication doesn’t even have the decency to back up its claims, cold-storaging them will be a better idea.

25 Mar 2009 9.17am

Old game-lah. Penang State Gov started the trend first. I think it’s something they picked up from Sun-Tzu’s Art of War, a modern interpretation.

25 Mar 2009 7.58am

Good post. Denied and be denied

25 Mar 2009 7.28am

What can you expect? They know that the media is right that’s why they want to gag it. Reasons given are plain stupid and they still think the public are naive. Maybe we should do the same with Utusan since Najis has given us a hint that we could. To UMNO: Stop hitting urself!

25 Mar 2009 5.34am

At this stage it is just too complicated to say what is fair as the playing field has many up and downs and bumps all around.

But in general, if there is fair recourse and zero control by gormen or by virtue of ownership of media by political parties, then your argument holds true

Null hypothesis

25 Mar 2009 2.28am

lim guan eng started it.

Andrew I
Andrew I
25 Mar 2009 1.28am

Gutter journalism. Constructive criticism. You’d hardly think some politicians actually know what these things mean, given how they are bandied around to stave off criticism.

Tell me, ever heard a politician admitting to a single criticism as being constructive?

25 Mar 2009 1.11am

Betul lah.. latest game in town sekarang ialah semua bersama-sama tidur lah.. sebab game pertama ialah LOMPAT macam KATAK, game kedua ialah TERBANG macam BURUNG and latest game ialah TIDUR macam B… lah.. apa news pun no need to baca, jadi banned for 3 tahun pun tak apa lah.. MARI KITA BERSAMA-SAMA TIDUR LAH…

25 Mar 2009 12.44am

When PR barred NST, they are barring a newspaper, citing unacceptable bias. This has been observed and well documented. This is not new, as the mainstream media in Malaysia have long been viewed as lackeys of the establishment. The frenzy that these media outlets fall into during the last GE is a nasty reminder of what they have become. They are now viewed as propaganda tools rather than news outifts; opposition are painted in a negative light, and the right of reply, a standard characteristic of a free press is non-existent. Lampooning and satire aside, calumny and slander are their… Read more »

tok iskandar
tok iskandar
25 Mar 2009 12.12am

Bukti elit atau golongan bangsawan kuasai UMNO

tok iskandar
tok iskandar
24 Mar 2009 11.59pm

Info Tok dapat tentang pegangan Mukhriz Mahathir di dalam syarikat Opcom Holdings Berhad dan Kosmo Tech.Tok tak sempat translate sekadar nak berkongsi dengan kengkawan bloggers dan pembaca semua.Kat sini tok bagitau tentang Opcom Holdings dulu pasal panjang sangat 1. Opcom Holdings Berhad Mukhriz sebagai chairman atau managing director syarikat Opcom.Lt.Jen (B)dato’ Seri Zaini b. Hj Mohd Said pula sebagai independent non-executive director Produk syarikat ini ialah kabel fiber optik(Aerial Cable,All Dielectric Self Supporting (ADSS) Cable, Duct Cable,Direct Burial Cable,Anti-Rodent Cable. The Group’s major customers are as follows: Telekom Malaysia Berhad Tenaga Nasional Berhad Celcom (M) Berhad Maxis Broadband Sdn… Read more »

24 Mar 2009 11.07pm

I received an interesting SMS today – “Where’s the list, NST?” I guess certain things are being said about LGE but where is the list NST? You promised the CM of Penang the list – so show him the list or make it public. Don’t spin stories and now getting Anil to do the job for you. If you are ethical , do what is right


sword of justice
24 Mar 2009 10.25pm

Dear Bro Anil, How right you are! many of my level-headed colleagues are of the same conclusion that politicians or potential statesman-politicians need to adress “accusations” hurled onto them by holding media conferenecs and/or meet-the-media sessions in a bid to clarify those “allegations” they have been “dumped onto their heads” or rather a heavy granite millstones tied around their necks! By banning the voice of the people expressed by the people will mean that these politicians have gone bankrupt in rying to avert those allegations. fact them with dignity and integrity and provide explanations to the people instead of clamping… Read more »

24 Mar 2009 10.06pm

Right of reply and the right to defend his/her reputation in court would be the right approach.

Ligitation would only be affective only if court seen to be fair