Monday, July 25, 2016

A Newspaperman's Regret

Social media in Malaysia is buzzing with the news about the US Government's action against 1MDB.

Mainstream media, however, chose to not run the story in their print versions, despite reporting about it on their web portals. UMNO-owned New Straits Times front-paged a story on vaccination while MCA’s The Star, and The Malay Mail chose to go with a story on the possible snap elections in Penang, as did Malay daily, Utusan Malaysia.
The only daily which reported the news was the vernacular publication, China Press.
Mustapha Kamil (right), the former group editor of the New Straits Times who quit his job at the newspaper in April, lamented on his Facebook profile on July 21, 2016 at 00:39 how editors in mainstream Malaysian media "have missed a very big story":
He wrote: “I would like to ask my former colleagues in the mainstream media this one question: Where are we to hide our shamed souls now? I say 'we' because I feel ashamed of myself too as for a long 28 years, like you, I failed to play my role as the public's watchdog. That was why I left. I take no pride in leaving the profession but I wasn't strong enough to go against the tide. What has been laid bare by the US Justice Department for the world to see should not have been allowed to happen to this great nation. We journalists in the mainstream media knew this all along. We spoke about it in the newsroom corridors, during our coffee and smoking breaks. But whenever our paychecks arrived, we enjoyed our perks but forgot that we owed the public nothing less than the truth. My time is over my friends. Don't for one minute think that am standing proud now for having left. Quite frankly, I have nothing much to show. Journalism is not about rubbing shoulders with the powerful, being driven around by a driver and with a few honorific titles to show. It is about how we help society master their world by helping them make the best decisions on matters that affects their lives. Lying and the suppression of the truth is not journalism. For you who are still in the profession, there is still time to turn back and put journalism in order. You owe that to the society you serve”.

Ii is kinda sad that only now he has realized that he and his lot had sold their souls to the devil!
On Saturday, I attended the Premier Advanced Toastmasters meeting at the Amoda Building in KL’s Jalan Imbi. I took part in the Table Topics session and I won this ribbon for my effort:

I was there to show support for Solmaz Parpaei who took over the club presidency for the 2016-2017 term.


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