Thursday, May 26, 2016

Workers' Protest - Has Media become partners of the oppressor, the powerful..?

Malaysian Media and journalist just not bothered about worker rights or community rights...?

Well, there were workers who came out bravely to fight for their rights - something that is just not easy at all. They risked all including the possibility of losing their jobs and hence their families livelihood...[Or even being arrested by the police...}

But alas, the Media was not bothered - in Malaysia, sadly media seems bothered only on 'popular' issues - politicians being barred entry from Sarawak, 'disputes' between and within political parties, Anwar and his numerous self-issues (noting that to date, Anwar is yet to champion better prison conditions or raise the other concerns of fellow prisoners), 1MDB, Mahathir's Citizen Declaration, RM2.6 billion, ..well, these issues are important but really the issues and struggles of ordinary people, workers and communities are also just as important..

Media decides what is 'popular', that is what they sometimes do not realize. 

They have the ability - nay the duty to highlight the voices of the small person - workers, local communities, etc... yet, in Malaysia, they are failing miserably... Take the issue of bauxite mining and its consequences to heath, environment, livelihood of farmers and fisherfolk ..but how many media organisations even carried that issue save for the New Straits Times that did remarkably well, in not just highlighting that issue but also following up with scientific investigations, etc.. and finally the government took note and may have started doing something..

Likewise, there are many injustices happening to workers, farmers and the 'small' people but alas, our MEDIA seem unbothered..

What happened in Tasek Cement? What was the reason for the picket? What were the workers' demands? What was the employer's response? What was the outcome of this struggle? ...Well, all I got was some images from Facebook..but, I too, am not sure of the demands or their struggle... Will our media follow up...

People bravely speak up - but our Media does not bother to highlight...As it is the government, the employer or even the political parties may be not bothered - but the Media, if they did their job, would have been able to provide the relevant information to the public and maybe we will all care and help justice be done. But, if we too are kept in the dark by Media - well, then how will we be able to help ensure justice in Malaysia?

There are less and less workers, farmers, fishermen and local communities speaking out, highlighting human rights abuses and claiming justice - and our Media, is not helping. It in fact, is helping the government and even big businesses ensure that the voices of people are not heard...

Malaysia's media's indifference only helps people lose hope - and injustices and human rights violations will reign supreme. Hence, the problems in Malaysia is being consciously or unconsciously being escalated by the their 'indifference' their 'policies', etc...

Highlighting the issues and demands of the people, getting in also the responses of the alleged perpetrators and the responsible agencies/Ministries, following up on what happens until the end - the victories or the failures will certainly help make Malaysia a better place...It will also encourage a generally 'docile' and 'silent in the face of rights violation' people in Malaysia by giving them HOPE that it is not useless and struggles can bring victories and general improvement in Malaysia - hence their lives and the lives of their families and communities..

Political parties are failing the people - many have forgotten that they too have a duty to champion justice and human rights for the ordinary people - even if it is a 'small' issue...But alas, even statements on human rights and justice issues by many groups and organizations are simply not carried.

In past struggles, it was the MEDIA that played a significant role in bringing about change because they 'communicated' issues of people to the larger community and that helped people generally to form opinions - hence the politicians and the government will be compelled to bring about change...but alas, Malaysian Media seems lacking or maybe they have unconsciously become 'partners' in oppression of the small person and communities? 

The government wants them to be the 'loudspeakers' of the government....the Opposition politicians want them to highlight their issues...But, the media is supposed to be 'loudspeakers' of ordinary people, workers, etc - to highlight their issue, so Malaysia hears, the government hears, the Opposition hears... and then will be forced to respond to ensure justice and human rights...

Now, in the internet age, we have also the alternative online media, blogs, websites and any/all ADUNs/MPs/Political parties can also have their own sites and tools of communication...just do a google search, and you would see how many really raises the issues of the small person and communities..?

Hopefully, our MEDIA will change..who will investigate this recent worker protest and tell us all what are the issues, the demands and follow up on it??? We shall see...we shall see...

1 comment:

Hakimi Abdul Jabar said...


Superb legal analyses and critical writings!

I just downloaded Spreaker Studio and was wondering whether you would mind if I podcasted/broadcasted some of your very enlightening articles. It's going to be my first time podcasting.


A.J. Hakimi