Zam – “Eminent journalist” who has “become predator of the press”

As former top journalist, Zainuddin Maidin should have blazed the path and expanded space for greater media freedom. Instead he has done the reverse.

Although the instruments of repressive media control are with the Ministry of Internal Security, it is Zam as Information Minister who presented the public face of the Barisan Nasional government of such media control. In fact, he is the Barisan Nasional ideologue for media control and censorship.

Last year, Zainuddin was awarded the Eminent Journalist (Tokoh Wartawan) in appreciation of his contribution to journalism in the country.

Who gave away the award to him? None other than the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the Malaysian Press Night 2006 organised by the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) in November last year.

I do not know how Zainuddin dared to accept the award of Tokoh Wartawan when he has become the “Predator of the Press” as the government’s chief hatchet man to suppress press freedom in the country.

In the last few days, there are already several cases of the screws being tightened to throttle press freedom and the fundamental constitutional right of freedom of expression of Malaysians.

Only yesterday, top editors of Tamil and Chinese dailies were hauled to a 90-minute meeting in Putrajaya for the latest dose of brain-washing — not not to highlight stories and photographs relating to the Hindraf rally on Nov 25 and on all other matters involving the coalition.

Malaysiakini today, under its report “Ministry clamps down on Hindraf coverage” stated:

“We were basically told not to give prominence to Hindraf,” said an editor, adding that Tamil-language dailies were specifically mentioned for their coverage of the rally.

At the same time, the editors were also told not to publish news that would put the police and the government in a bad light.”

Malaysiakini yesterday reported that several presenters — including some popular ones — had been punished for supporting Hindraf.

It is learnt that seven radio DJs of Minnai FM had been punished, including two presenters working on contract.

This is from the Malaysiakini report – The severe action was for either taking part in the Hindraf-organised rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 or for giving prominence for the rally and Hindraf on air, added the sources.

Among those sacked or suspended are popular DJs K Meenakumari, K Sillalee and V Jamuna. The latter was a hugely popular contract presenter.

State-owned Tamil radio station Minnal FM has been urged to lift the suspension imposed on several presenters over their alleged involvement in the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rally.

Media watchdogs Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) have called for the lifting of the suspension as they were concerned that suspected involvement in the rally had been used as a basis to suspend the presenters.

Their joint statement said: “The action taken against the presenters only creates the perception that the government is intolerant (of) the democratic rights of its employees.”

The groups said the suspension indicated that Minnal FM viewed as an offence, the involvement of its staff in their personal capacity in public assemblies.

The joint statement said: “CIJ and WAMI would like to stress that freedom of assembly is a right guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and the radio presenters should not be discriminated against the right due to their professional relation to the government.”

Then there is the ridiculous case reported by Malaysiakini of the song Seloka Cak Kun Cak nyanyian bersama Tan Sri SM Salim dan M Nasir kena gam kerana terlalu banyak menyebut perkataan ‘bersih’!

Ini kerana lagu tersebut sering diputarkan ke udara tetapi sejak akhir-akhir ini, ia tidak kedengaran lagi, sehingga menimbulkan persoalan di kalangan orang ramai.

Lagu tersebut ciptaan M Nasir, dengan senikatanya ditulis oleh Seth.

On November 10, there was a 40,000-strong turn-out for the BERSIH gathering in support for electoral reforms for clean, free and fair elections. The Bersih initiative was so successful that the authorities seem to have developed a phobia for the word “bersih”, as in the sudden coldness towards the song Seloka Cak Kun Cak.

Bahagian yang dikatakan tidak senangi itu ialah bahagian korus lagu tersebut yang berbunyi:

Kulitnya bersih, hatipun bersih
Budi yang baik hatinya pengasih
kulitnya bersih, hatipun bersih
memikul belati tiada yang memilih

Jadikan bersih, hatipun putih
Berkata benar bermulut fasih
Jadikan bersih, hatipun putih
Biarlah khazanah pintu terpilih

Secara keseluruhannya, lagu tersebut menceritakan sejarah kegemilangan orang Melayu pada suatu ketika dahulu.

Is the government so insecure that it is now afraid of the word “bersih” that a clamp has to be imposed on the song, Cak Kun Cak?

(Opening Speech when introducing RM10 salary-cut motion for Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday, 5th December 2007)

  1. #1 by budak on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:20 am

    cant event talk properly on LIVE TV, can become Menteri…
    cant uphold the true stories, can become Eminent Journalist…
    who’s fault?

    I believe BN facing brain drain syndrome liao… :-)

  2. #2 by grace on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:30 am

    Lest we forget, Mr. Lim, keep up the heat on Lingam tape.
    Looks like everyone is so engrossed in HINDRAF DEMO.
    Both the issue must be solved

  3. #3 by max2811 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:33 am

    This Minister is a shame to the country. Can’t even speak proper English. Doesn’t the Gov have someone else who can speak better. He talks nonsense most of the time. He only thinks that his views are correct and impose them upon the editors. No wonder Msia is going down the drain. Corrupt ministers, stupid ministers and racist ministers. You name them we have them.

  4. #4 by Jamesy on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:36 am

    “Last year, Zainuddin was awarded the Eminent Journalist (Tokoh Wartawan) in appreciation of his contribution to journalism in the country.”

    Pardon? Pardon? Pardon?

    I can’t hear you, you are Tokoh Wartawan?

    Or you are Tokoh Sensorship?

    That that that that that that that that that that that that that that it.

  5. #5 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:39 am

    UMNO Ministers are now seeing ghosts around every corner. Can you blame them??

    Zainuddin is given the role of ‘Ghost buster”. Should that suprise anybody?

  6. #6 by Libra2 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:43 am

    Their joint statement said: “The action taken against the presenters only creates the perception that the government is intolerant (of) the democratic rights of its employees.”
    What perception???
    It is fact, not perception. The government now fears its own shadow because it is weak, because it loosing ground support.
    In no time Zam will die of heart attack if he continues to work himself up unnecessarily with fire and fury.

  7. #7 by oknyua on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:46 am

    YB Lim, I am just an unseen face, but can I suggest that we don’t waste time on Zam as most bloggers would just continue to say the obvious about him. As grace mentioned, keep the heat on Judiciary Tape. Reason: If we have weak executives, as least the judiciary is clean, strong an independent.

    Secondly, at ground level, the general discontentment is obvious, not just among Chinese of Indians. Even Malays are asking questions. Bloggers, please refrain comments on racial, or religious line, but limit yourself to issues. If you don’t believe, take a drive around Malaysia. (I just did).

    Personally, YBLim, I am looking forward to a good showing by DAP this coming GE. Get a slogan YB Lim…”Pantang dicabar”..change to “Boleh dicabar” or something similar. Maybe “Malaysia Bebas…”

  8. #8 by grace on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:52 am

    The ruling party is haunted by many ghosts. They are frighten even of shadows. this is because no much sins have been done by them.
    Remember Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.
    Suddenly UMNO forgot the equivalent in Bahasa Malaysia which is Istana KEADILAN. So scared of the word KEADILAN that they forgo their principle of championing BM.

  9. #9 by sotong on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:57 am

    No one is born a dictator/authoritarian…………..the circumtances of having to hold on to power at all cost, made one a dictator.

  10. #10 by madmix on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 10:26 am

    Malaysia is the land of great opportunity where a man who can hardly articulate himself on TV can become a minister and a Tokoh wartawan.

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 10:38 am

    Umnoputras are smart. They have perfected the technique of transforming a common, even silly too, person into someone of importance (socially, interllectually, financially, etc).

    Have’nt you seen the number of different awards and titles created to boost people’s image and credibility?

    By bestowing awards (like Tokoh this and Tokoh that; Umno Wanita Gold Medals for the best Malay female students in a cohort in various public universities; etc) and titles (Tan Sri, Dato Seri, Emeritus Prof, Prof, Dr, etc) to various people, many undeserving people become elevated and sanitised overnight to be respectable manusia.

    We live in an instant, pseudo, and cosmetic society.

  12. #12 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:00 am

    Malays like titles to their names. This should be obvious. I’ve never seen any country that bestows this many titles to its people. What are the perks of being a ‘Dato’? Do you get special treatment anywhere? I know some who are embarassed to see such titles preceding their names and would prefer not to use them. Does this not make a mockery of it?

  13. #13 by Godfather on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:05 am

    Zainuddeen Maideen is truly a tokoh- his title is Tokoh Mamak. He is nothing more than a local Goebbels equivalent.

  14. #14 by Godfather on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:07 am

    It isn’t too difficult to attain “eminence” status in Bolehland. The standards are so ‘high” that you only need a form 3 English pass-grade to become minister of (mis)information.

  15. #15 by k1980 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:08 am

    This Minister is a shame to the country. Can’t even speak proper English.

    That’s why he wants the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English to revert back to BM so that the 7 year-old school kids will no longer laugh at his own inability to converse in English.

  16. #16 by lakshy on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:20 am

    I like what someone said….in any other country he would be an Indian. Only in Malaysia can his like be considered Malay. But he is a disgrace to Indians.

    Cant talk but can be tokoh!

    Typical mentality, duit takde tapi gaya tetap mesti ada. Converted to brains takde tapi title tetap mesti ada. Anyway as shown in Lingam tapes, all can be negotiated! Any title, position. Its up for grabs. So anything malaysian, got no value.

  17. #17 by sj on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:43 am

    So people of Malaysia, make sure you vote the right people to do the right job. Dont get carried away with the bonus given to you by BN.

  18. #18 by max2811 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 12:22 pm

    What bonus? Spore Gov just gave its workers 2 months after a pay hike. What did we get? The Ministers say we just got a pay hike so no bonus. They think that we have enough but it has been 15 years since we got a pay revision. They don’t feel the inflation, the petrol hike and a general increase in prices because they are bloody rich.
    The country is not progressing. They only care about politicking and how to defend their turf. They don’t care if you don’t vote for them. They don’t need your votes. They have everything in place to keep them in power. The only way is for UN, US or China to dictate to the UMNaziO gov.

  19. #19 by sotong on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 1:15 pm

    Over indulgence in self glorification….these people must be grossly under achiever and insecure.

  20. #20 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 1:18 pm

    Sorry, what award did Zam win? Did I hear Tok-Kok Wart-I-Want?

  21. #21 by mendela on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 1:24 pm

    This Gomen even decides for mainstream newspapers which photos and the minimum photo sizes to be printed!

    Remember 2 days ago all the newspapers printed the very SAME photos of Mahathir kowtowing to both Bodowi and wife. That photo was really tasteless.

    I guess all newspaper cameramen can quit now since pictures are provided by this Gomen for free, no need to waste your efforts to shoot anymore!

  22. #22 by boh-liao on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 1:25 pm

    theStar (6-12-07): Malaysians are not only the strongest supporters of democracy in Asia but are also the most confident that their country’s elections are fair and free, according to a recent study by TNS and Gallup International.

    Wow, weeeeeh!

  23. #23 by k1980 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 1:26 pm

    Romance of the Chamberpot Maid
    The Prime Minister is in blissful dodohland, happy with the maid who was recently promoted by him from the chamber pot to the bedchamber.

  24. #24 by fm2 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 1:30 pm

    Wonder will it be one day, one of the TELCO in malaysia was forced to change colour, no longer can use YELLOW.


    wht kind of mentality is this?

  25. #25 by k1980 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 2:17 pm

    This is what you get for voting in the wrong political party

  26. #26 by malaysia_mana_boleh on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 2:19 pm

    I know Zam is a huge fan of limkitsiang’s blog and I wish to say:

    It is truly a wonder that Stupid(bodoh) people like Zam, who cant even construct a proper sentence of English, can be a minister.

    It is even more miraculous that Stupid(bodoh) people like Zam can be awarded the Eminent Journalist.

    Eminent Journalist. I can only deduce that this award carries no(zero) credibility and it’s only purpose is to polish shoe and syiok syiok sendiri. Tak malu keh?

    Eminent Journalist? hahaaha… eminent journalist, you hear that Zam? hahaha.. .

  27. #27 by malaysia_mana_boleh on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 2:27 pm

    Eminent Journalist award = stupid piece of crap award

    for incompetent and people who cannot speak English.

    Where is that damned award.. Ptuiiiii…

  28. #28 by cheng on soo on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 2:39 pm

    that award sounds like “talk cock what I want” in english

  29. #29 by smeagroo on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 2:42 pm

    The chinese dailies are only allowed to dispense news on HOng Kong entertainment and Tamil dialies shlould just concentrate on the Bollywood issues.

  30. #30 by oknyua on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 2:44 pm

    My suggestion on a “slogan” for the DAP preparing for the coming election has no response at all.

    YB Lim, any suggestion? What about “Perjuangan Bebas?” I want the DAP sticker on my car, at least until the election.

  31. #31 by Cinapek on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 3:31 pm

    “Last year, Zainuddin was awarded the Eminent Journalist (Tokoh Wartawan) in appreciation of his contribution to journalism in the country.”

    Who gave it to him? Must be another one of those “jaguh kampung shiok sendiri” kind of awards.

    With his standard, an objective assessment would be a sack from any journalism job.

  32. #32 by mendela on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 3:42 pm

    Who gave to him?

    In Malaysia, with money, you can buy anything!

  33. #33 by fm2 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 3:56 pm

    No matter who u vote, it will also become non-BERSIH.
    Bodoh gaumen will make it BERSIH that BODOH win.

  34. #34 by carloz28 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 4:18 pm

    Zam Zam oh mentri penerangan kami,
    Mulut cam lori otak tak bestari,
    entah bagaimana jadi menteri,
    Bahaso Inggeris dah macam tahi,
    ‘Wat wat? u u dun repot wronnng stories..’
    Main cakap ikut naluri,
    Buat malu saje Malaysia dan angkasapuri.

  35. #35 by Libra2 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 4:24 pm

    “I saw no more hope for the non-Malays in Malaysia”…..
    Read it here. From a non-Malay manager.

  36. #36 by sj on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 5:53 pm

    Boo Zam, BOOOO. Balik kampung dan tidur lahh. Jangan buat kacau. Kamu sepatutnya sudah dipecat.

  37. #37 by greenacre on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 7:37 pm

    A woman said to Churchill ‘you are drunk’ and Churchill replied ‘lady you are ugly’…a drunk will be sober but ugliness sticks and so zam all the above comments rightfully yours to stick on.

  38. #38 by borrring on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 7:48 pm

    I think this Zam fella is better off with an “Tokoh Mengampu” award. He can’t even construct a decent sentence, let alone speak in proper english.

    I wonder why he was chosen as the info minister at the first place. He’s not even articulate.

    How does one can get the “Tokoh Wartawan” award? What’s the criteria? What kind of journalism deserves this award? What kind of contribution did this Zam fella actually made towards journalism?

  39. #39 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 9:15 pm

    “Zam – “Eminent journalist” who has “become predator of the press”

    Journalist – agreed; but only for BM paper. He can hardly speak or write in English!
    Predator of the Press – agreed.
    Plus: BIG HYPOCRITE leaking with hypocrisy – agreed.

    “Eminent” – Totally disagree.
    “Tokoh Wartawan” – Totally disagree; Typical of awards only recognised in Malaysia Boleh for political ‘ampuism’.

  40. #40 by abbas gany on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 10:00 pm

    When ministers are stupid only then can a Prime Minister survive his position. If they become smart, the PM will have to count his days.

  41. #41 by justice6 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:34 pm

    maybe Zam will ask China to change their Olympic mascot as it is a piglet..hahaha

  42. #42 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 11:58 pm

    So this Zainuddin fella has joined the Tok-Kok club. What’s new?

    Go here

  43. #43 by sotong on Friday, 7 December 2007 - 5:56 am

    ” Erection ” every 5 years, one coming soon, don’t you think he had enough problems of his own already!!

  44. #44 by Jackychin on Friday, 7 December 2007 - 9:06 am

    Some reporters got fired attending the hindraf and bersih ralley…

  45. #45 by Jimm on Friday, 7 December 2007 - 9:33 am

    It’s not how you begins …
    It’s how you end it ..
    Most politicians are basically a self centered individual that crosses the line of self pride and went into the darker side.
    In Malaysia, politician are just another ‘fellow’ want to be richer than everyone else in his circle.
    Those politicans from the Islam faith are worst among us as they are purely ‘faked’ and very confused individuals.
    Let us pray for these kind that their days will not be tainted with too much of sinfulness.

  46. #46 by etlee on Saturday, 8 December 2007 - 7:22 pm

    eminent journalist?!?!?!hahahaha.have u seen him on d al-jazeera interview thingy..just listening to him makes me ashame to admit im a msian…HORRIBLE,TERRIBLE, “ALL-THE POSSIBLE-GRAMMAR-ERROR-&-TERRIBLE-PRONUNCIATION” ENGLISH!!1 can only wonder how he became the info minister..can’t even give a CLEAR answer in an can 1 possibly understand any info he gives in english….this just goes to show what our politicians are made of..please!!learn some real english before going on INTERNATIONAL TV!!

  47. #47 by messy on Saturday, 8 December 2007 - 11:43 pm

    here comes the monkey that does things without sense without thinking and also who has a “perfect english” to rule the media…
    where is freedom of speech?

    monkey cum brainless cum stupidity minster

  48. #48 by Malaysia for Malaysians on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 - 12:04 am

    Malaysia = Umno’s playground

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