By MANSOR PUTEH
“With the advent of the Internet, Facebook and other social media platforms, more and more hitherto unknown and insignificant individuals would thrust their face in various contortions to state a claim to fame, even by being stupid and ridiculous, it does not matter.”
NOT many are aware of something that I have seen with my own eyes; something that started way back in 1977, which has become all too obvious today.
It was when I just joined Utusan Melayu as a cub reporter after completing my studies at the then Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM), now Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Shah Alam with a degree in mass communications majoring in Advertising.
In spite of that, I opted to go into the world of journalism because I knew I would not be in it too long as I had other plans to go into the film industry to pursue a master’s degree in films in America.
For a short stint in journalism, I thought going to work with Utusan was a better option than to go to the other English language newspapers.
It was not surprising, as most of my fellow journalists who covered the same events and press conferences thought I was from one of the English language newspapers. They did not know that I was writing or reporting for Utusan Melayu and not the New Straits Times.
Anyway, what I noticed then was how the editors had started to open the can of worms and created a new style of journalism in Malaysia.
It did not turn out to be for the good of Malaysian journalism, politics, nor for the development of society and country.
It also caused the regression of the social, cultural and religious diversity that we once had that is now difficult to redress.
The only way to do it is to allow the dominant Melayu parties to govern the country, so that the minority races led by their chauvinist leaders would also know their special place in society and country.
This may sound to be a far-fetched an idea, but it is one that had been tested and proven to be good for the nation.
We could see this since Merdeka and following the fall of the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional government on May 9 last year, which unfortunately was led by those who had failed and conveniently deserted the people, mainly for selfish reasons and goals.
They also benefited through chauvinism, fronted a trusted personality and hid their political, religious and economic ideologies behind the façade of democracy – theatrics of which only they were aware of.
And how did that happen, way back in 1977?
This is how it happened.
It happened when Utusan editors opened up to allow space to voice out the discontent of those in the lower ranks of UMNO.
This led to a series of scruples and mud-slinging with previously unknown entities who were marginally linked to the government of the day and the dominant political party, which was UMNO.
Over the years, more color was added into the political scene so that in time it became stained by many irrelevant personalities who hardly held significant posts in their respective political parties to come forward with their own version on unlikely issues and got them published, too.
In the past only those senior officials of the political parties were allowed to make statements on behalf of their parties; but now everybody is entitled to their views, however insignificant and unintelligent it may be.
With the advent of the Internet, Facebook and other social media platforms, more and more hitherto unknown and insignificant individuals would thrust their face in various contortions to state a claim to fame, even by being stupid and ridiculous, it does not matter.