Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Plummeting Press Freedom

These days, I have stopped buying newspapers – simply because they have been belching nauseating government propaganda – preferring instead to get my local news from the Internet, be it from The Malaysian Insider or the Nut Graph. Well, except, maybe The Sun, which is still credible. I suppose it is to be expected since Malaysia’s print media is largely owned by political parties – e.g. UMNO owns The New Straits Times and Berita Harian; and MCA owns The Star. Is it any wonder that Malaysia went into free fall in the Reporters sans Frontiers press freedom rankings from 92 in 2006, plunging to 124 in 2007, and nose-diving to 132 in 2008?

UK’s The Independent carried a ‘Premier League: Club by club guide’ (August 10, 2009), which detailed English clubs’ prospects this season. I am just going to focus on the Top 6 Clubs – as per Steve Tongue’s predictions – and it is interesting to note that this football writer expects Chelsea to be No. 1 (No. 3 last season), Liverpool No. 2 (No. 2 last season), Manchester United No. 3 (No.1 last season), Arsenal No. 4 (No. 4 last season), Manchester City No. 5 (No. 10 last season), and Tottenham No. 6 (No. 8 last season). I definitely don’t agree with this assessment, and my bet is Liverpool winning the EPL in 2009/2010! And to pre-empt the howls of protest, I wish to state here matter-of-factly that I am rational, even if I am biased.

After all, Liverpool has a proven and potent strike force in Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres – and barring injuries – they can demolish any defense in the world. Which EPL team has the firepower to match Liverpool? Goals decide the outcome of any match – and these two can deliver bountiful goals!

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