Posted by: mylittlesnow | July 26, 2008

RM300,000 on publishing state magazine, is it necessary?

Although the sum of RM300k is not a lot compare to RM3.43m spent by Terengganu state goverment on Mercedes cars, i am still not sure if it is necessary to spend RM300k annually to publish state magazine by the Penang state government as well as the Perak state government. I have not read any of the magazines published yet but then again, there’s the Internet and you could have published it for almost free or very minimal cost. But maybe their aim is to reach to those who does not have internet access at all. And also lets not forget that the mainstream media is controlled by the gov and probably this is one of the way to reach out to more people, that is to publish your own magazine. It will be interesting to get a copy and read it, and then judge for myself what’s there to write in a state published magazine. So pass me a copy will ya?

From Malaysiakini.

Groups unhappy with Pakatan’s propaganda mags
Ahti Veeranggan | Jul 25, 08 8:51pm

Penang has Suara Rakyat and Perak, MCPXCitra Perak. The two Pakatan-led state governments are now under fire for wasting public funds on such propaganda magazines.

Civil society groups today blasted the two state governments, calling them ‘hypocrites’ as they were doing the same thing as the previous governments which they had earlier criticised.

Penang-based Media Watch group described Suara Rakyat, published by the DAP-led Penang government and Citra Perak in PAS-led Perak as “merely a public media tool of partisan propaganda.”

“The Pakatan Rakyat governments are no different from the previous ones after all. They are hypocrites by copying BN media policy to serve their cynical self interests,” said its coordinator B K Ong, stressing Media Watch’s stand on governments to ‘stay away’ from media publications.

Even if a state government funds and publishes a state magazine, he argues it should be administrated by an independent editorial board to provide free and fair news coverage.

RM300,000 annually

“But these magazines are more like mouthpieces of Pakatan Rakyat state governments than independent magazines,” he told Malaysiakini.

It is learnt that the Penang government will have to cough up RM300,000 to publish three editions of 20,000 copies each for Suara Rakyat annually, while Perak is expected to spend a similar amount for six editions of 10,000 copies each for Citra Perak.

The 52-page Suara Rakyat, distributed free to the public, contains government propaganda in three languages, Bahasa, Mandarin and Tamil, while the 20-page Citra Perak is published in Bahasa only.

Suara Rakyat was launched on Monday and Citra Perak, last month.

Former Penang chief minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon spent nearly RM300,000 a year to publish separate Malay, Chinese and Tamil magazines in Penang.

The Malay version, Wawasan Rakyat was published first in1994, Hong Yuan in Mandarin was launched in 1999 while Makkal Madal in Tamil was started in 2003.

The previous Perak BN government only published Warta Perak in Bahasa.

By following the precedent set by his predecessor, Ong said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had proven to be a hypocrite since “he had condemned BN-controlled media all these years.”

“He should have titled the magazine as Suara Kerajaan (Government Voice) not Suara Rakyat (People’s Voice),” he said.

Times are hard, save money

Meanwhile, United Hindu Religious Council president G Mugunthan criticised the Pakatan Rakyat state governments of not going on an austerity drive to save government spending, more so during such difficult times for the people.

“The Pakatan state governments claim to be thrifty but are wrongly spending precious government funds on propaganda. The money could have well spent for noble causes like helping the poor and Tamil schools,” he stressed.

Although social reform movement Aliran is not against the government-sponsored publications, it nonetheless said that state magazines should be more for “intellectual discourse, intelligent thinking and people centric.”

Penang Heritage Trust head Dr Choon Sim Poey concurred that it would not be right for the state governments to utilise public funds for political publicity, instead of publishing government policies and action plans for the information of the people.

Penang opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim on Monday criticised the state government of going back on its promise to cut operational costs due to a lack of funds.

“Is this what we call the ‘CAT’ government?” he asked, taking a swipe at the state government’s widely-propagated principles of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT).

 

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Responses

  1. 17. The next PM of Malaysia will follow R.A.H.M.A.N theory? (Fact).
    17. PM Malaysia yang berikutnya akan mengikuti teori R.A.H.M.A.N? (Fakta).

    Quatrain 17

    In the month of summer games
    When leaders are chosen and thrown away
    Man starts to think again
    Power, Gold and Glory to gain

    Problems to glory are but hindrances
    To be solve is such a simple game
    Sleeping partner is to be cast away
    Expendable are those as such before

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  2. I think it is a good move by the Penang and Perak state governments to publish their respective state papers to disseminate info about their on-going activities and to clarify policy matters pertaining to what their governments are doing. With the MSM not only blacking out Pakatan government news but worst still, twisting and spinning statements out of context, it is very necessary for these governments to be able to tell the rakyat their side of the story, otherwise, the people may fall prey to MSM propaganda.

    Quite apart from the harmful effects of these news spinning – best example, being the DAP-led state government was going to abolish the NEP which almost led to racial discord in Penang, the lack of info from the state goverments may lead to the perception that they have not been doing anything substantial since coming to power. For all you know, come 2012, the public may be so influenced into throwing out the pakatan governments. Is is what BK Ong want ?

    BK Ong may rant against all that is wrong with the Pakatan government, that is his right. But I also notice he has not said anything good about the Penang government except calling them hypocrites etc, etc. While I recognise his right to dislike the Pakatan state government, I want to know whether it is fair for him to do so in the name of the NGO which he claimed to represent.
    May I also know whther this “MedIa Watch Group” has ever condemn the MSM for the massive spinning of facts and news pertaining to the Pakatan governments so far ?

    There are presently many persomalities running around in town masquerading as civil society/ interest group leaders who try to prove their self-worthiness by projecting an anti establishment stance but sadly, more often than not, they seemed to bark up the wrong trees. I find this scenario most despicable.

  3. It’s better to spend on something which the rakyat can read and gain knowledge about the progress of their state rather than spending on a fleet of cars that is only useful to certain people.

  4. MEDIA WATCH GROUP ,baru celik mata..oh tidak baru terjaga dari tidur!

  5. […] RM300,000 on publishing state magazine, is it necessary? Although the sum of RM300k is not a lot compare to RM3.43m spent by Terengganu state goverment on Mercedes cars, i am […] […]


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