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Protesting RTM’s censorship

A DEMONSTRATION was held on 19 May 2010 outside RTM headquarters Angkasapuri in Kuala Lumpur calling for media freedom and to protest the termination of former RTM producer Chou Z Lam. Chou alleges that his documentary over the impact of the Bakun Dam on indigenous people in Sarawak was cancelled because of RTM’s leadership’s fears that it would negatively impact the Sibu by-election outcome.

Some of the 80-odd protesters came from Rawang, to protest the axing of another of Chou‘s documentaries on the building of high tension cables near villages in Rawang.

The protesters called for all remaining episodes of Chou’s documentaries to be aired and for Parliament to reform RTM to ensure its impartiality as a public service broadcaster. They also called for the dismissal of Yap Shy Cuan, who oversees the Chinese broadcasting programmes and protesters say is an MCA member.

The protest was co-organised by 528 Media Action Group, the Writer Alliance for Media Independence (Wami) and the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ). favicon

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4 Responses to “Protesting RTM’s censorship”

  1. Ritchie says:

    RTM should be named Radio TV Umno or Radio TV Propaganda Barisan Nasional. It has long lost credibility as one of the premier pioneering media organisations of the nation. It’s a shame to tune in to its news broadcasts that has succumed to the level of a public relations vehicle for BN.

    The sacking of Chou is not to be viewed as the first of its abuses. It has eclipsed balanced presentation of news features and analysis. It is no secret that Abdullah Badawi and Mahathir used it for their own vested interests and to circumvent the news to project BN as the saviour of Malay [Malaysians] and “only option” for non-Malay [Malaysians].

    It has a history of subtle intimidation featuring forums which support the ketuanan agenda. Often it was used to manipulate the people’s fears and to be a mouthpiece of BN. There is evidence to show that it had given free air-time to anti-Semites and anti-Christian proponents like Ahmad Deedat a free reign to spout his venom on prime-time slots. On the other hand, it restricted and curtailed any discussion or commentary of religous or political groups not aligned with the BN. It continually projected the opposition and opposition leaders as “enemies of the state” and failed to recognise them as elected representives of the people.

    In short RTM “manufactures” and develops selective and biased news to favour BN. It has shamelessly perpetrated replacement history in the name of national culture with half-truths as verification. After the mid-1970s it unashamedly prostituted the fundamental principles of balanced broadcasting to become a propaganda pollutant and instutionalised property owned and dominated by the establishment.

    RTM should take stock that the media horizon has changed and if it does not rectify such abuses it is destined to become an extinct species.

  2. They censor the press, all medias, but also individuals who use a blog or even Facebook. They have been threatening me of publishing some data I shared with friends. I told them that when I wrote even a sentence it was for others to read. What I can’t understand is why there is not an uprising or strikes. This country is ruled based on false historical data. I would like to contact Datuk Professor Anwar Fazal and beg him to publish the new results in genetics. I’ll publish my discoveries on microfilms in the Research section of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Are they part of the group I call sheep. The majority follow a Ram. The Ram falls in the steep ravine, dies, but the sheep continue running, falling, dying.

  3. mycuntree says:

    Yes, as the station is run using taxpayers money, the people must organise more awareness protests of the abuses of RTM directed by the Umno/BN regime. Companies who support the station should be advised to also boycott the station or have their products or services boycotted by the public in turn.

  4. Anonymous Coward says:

    How I wish RTM was like the BBC.

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