27 Oct 2006
At today's Feature Writing tutorial, we did Media Law and our instructor showed us a 29 minute documentary featuring the incinerator project in Bogra, 50km away from KL, at the KL/NS border.
To put a finer point to the story and to cut it really short, it mainly talked about a woman, Alice, who fought against the incinerator (biggest in Asia! Malaysia Boleh! Yay!) being built there and brought it to the media (who finally black out all related news because of instructions from people "above"), directly to the politicians (who wanted to wallop people for asking questions) and finally, through the legal road.
Took em 3 years but the end result is that the project is scrapped without explanation.
However, the government spent RM3.5mil on advertising campaign, and the company contracted to do the project estimated the price to be at RM1.3bil, but the government estimation was RM1.5bil.
So, my dear readers, what is the RM.2bil for? Politicians pockets.
Where is this figure from? Taxpayers, there's where.
And there were a trip to Japan for the village headmen and Wakil Rakyat to see their modern, *safe* incinerators so that they can come back and turn their back to people whose interest they're supposed to look after and become government propagandaists...
Wanna bet who funded this so-called trip?
I seeth with anger sometimes seeing the way people's money is used.
But, it's another divide in the road once again.
This documentary is meant to tell us that in Malaysia, where free press is pretty much just a theory on textbooks, where every single damn act we do that is not in the interest in the government can be placed under OSA, ISA, PPPA and Seditions Act, there is hope. There are small steps we can take, loopholes we can use, things left for us to do yet.
And this is the kind of things that matter to the people, to reveal the truth, for a fair, just and objective truth.
Where journalists are able to give people information, not some watered down, over-PRed, copywriting-edited flowery words to convince people to part with their money, uttering Malaysia Boleh.
To investigate, to not twist words...to be the watchdog.
Knowledge is power, indeed.
Never forget that.
Thing is. This is the road that divides me. I know I don't care about entertainment. Economics is something I do not understand. I care. I care about my country. But, for what cause can I champion? Is this what I want to do? Should I join in the masses, get a stable livinghood, or champion for the people, not knowing when's my next paycheck and risk getting thrown into jail?
And of course I'm scared. I'm not on auto-pilot. How would I know where to find my sources, whose truth to believe in, how to put the story together and tell people about it?
And in the middle of it all, I still want to travel. This is what I want to do. And I talked with Ms. Ngoi again, and yes, I want to earn my masters. This is my dream. Travel. One I will not let go. One I will hold on to.
Perhaps I'm thinking a little too one-sidedly lah. There are many ways to reach out to people, to help make Malaysia a better country. I will find my niche.
But I also think, it is our responsibility to be politically and socially aware of what's happening around us, what the government is doing, because we ain't getting them from the government, because our media is controlled by them, because it is their purpose that our education taught us nothing politically and because we're Malaysians. We. Us. Not the person sitting next to you, not the masses on the streets and malls, but you. You and me.
GenieOnTheLoose made this comment,
Funny, I just watched a video on that last week. It's called 'Alice Lives Here" and it's over at think.com.my. But when the movie ended, Alice was still fighting for the cause. So I'm glad to hear that the stupid project has been scrapped
Jun Hoe made this comment,
Yeah, I can relate to it. Getting a simple desk job with stable pay sounds so tempting, is it really worth it to risk going out trying to build a better world? Well, as much as I try to be politically aware, the cause close to my heart is well, the environment. It'll be really amazing, if each of us really do champion different causes in our own way.
sportsnut218 made this comment,
If you come work in a less opressed country, your words are printed whether you agree or disagree with the government. You can create a website about the opression to let everyone know what's wrong and what needs to be changed.