Boycott the newspapers ! (1)

Posted on December 24, 2007



My friend, Helen Ang, has a wish for this Christmas.

Read about it below.


Do we, the people, have it in us to bring the falsehood mongers to their knees?’, Haris asks. 

Well, all I want for Christmas is that we, the people, give the falsehood mongers a present of Hartal.  

Hence the call by People’s Parliament for boycott on Malaysian newspapers. 


To persuade other people to stop buying BN propaganda 

Purpose of action:

1)    Knock newspaper circulation                                                                                                                                                                2)    Convince advertisers to pull back or pull out 

Plan of action:

1)      As individuals                                                                                                                                                                                       2)      Collectively 

Mode of action:

1)      A civil society initiative                                                                                                                                                                           2)      In concert with Opposition 

If you’re reading online and reading this now, chances are that you’re already sceptical of local news coverage by mainstream media. MSM has a deplorable track record of disinformation. It has relentlessly shaped public opinion to be favourable to BN’s vested interests, and conversely detrimental to our own as tax-paying rakyat. 

Their unconscionable spin on recent shows of public disaffection – the Batu Burok episode, then the Bar Council, Bersih & Hindraf marches, protests against the Election Commission and earlier demos against toll hikes, petrol prices & rising costs – puts them firmly beyond the pale.  

Now’s the time to put a brake on MSM’s runaway spin train.  

Why now? 

Because the general election may be just around the corner. Remember two elections ago and the despicable campaign that MSM carried out against the Reformasi movement. Remember how they vilified the attempt of PAS and DAP to work together. Through their false representation, MSM helped retain BN in power and so we get the government we thoroughly deserve. 

Don’t let history repeat itself. We’ve learned. This time, we’ve got WMD: Weapon of Mass Media Deconstruction. Our WMD is ICT. Information is no longer the monopoly of the traditional gatekeepers, i.e. BN’s biddable newsboys. We’ll use technology to fight back.  

Why is now a good time? 

Because MSM have shot themselves in the foot by defending the indefensible. They have endorsed police curbing our right to free expression, the Home Ministry denying our fellow citizens arrested under ISA the right to due process, and painted a misleading picture of what’s happening in our country because they figure they can fool all Malaysians all of the time. 

Previously MSM stabbed at our intelligence. They made out Hishamuddin Hussein’s clearly belligerent keris-waving as a ceremonial and conciliatory gesture to the non-Malays. MSM were cheerleaders when the Education Minister gave a stinging slap to Malaysians, who turned the other cheek to be slapped again and at this year’s Umno general assembly meekly bared their arse to be kicked.  

The People’s Parliament is an advocacy to have better quality MPs to represent us in the august House. BN’s rogue gallery are shoddy goods and ought to be shipped out to sea and sunk. 

Improving our political landscape and decreasing MSM influence are two objectives that go hand in hand. We know that some – or you might even contend, many – of the Ministers and BN MPs suck. Yet MSM has brainwashed our less informed brothers and sisters that this bunch of bananas (who call us “monyet” and “beruk” and “bocor”) are wonderboys (sons and in-laws par excellence) and we don’t have other options.    

I, for one, would choose to brave the deep blue sea than stick with the devil we know. If there’s anything I’m proud of as a Malaysian, it’s that I’ve never voted BN and don’t intend to. 

Please give us your input on this thread. And invite your friends here or forward this to them. It’s urgent that we act. 

You can also post questions and I’ll try to give you a backgrounder on the workings of newspapers from my experience as a former copyeditor. ‘Boycott the newspapers’ will run as a series and continue tomorrow. Part 2 will explore how we can hit at MSM.