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5 minutes behind reality

By Jyethe Wong

Watching international television programs was supposed to be the source of good, clean and fair news for everyone around the world

and now it hurts me as a fellow Malaysian that we won’t be able to trust what they show any more.

In Malaysia, the international television news you watch may not be the same television news watched across the rest of the world.

To me now Malaysia is just becoming more and more backwards than it already is.

Major broadcast networks beamed into the country including BBC, CNBC, Australian Broadcasting, Al Jazeera and other international news feeds are put on a five-minute tape delay while electronic devices scan the broadcasts for objectionable keywords such as the name of the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The censoring of news came to be aware by the public during the April 28th Bersih 3.0 rally to protest Malaysia’s unfair election laws.

When violence occurred, Al Jazeera reporter harry Fawcett filmed the police beating protesters to the ground. However Fawcett was rouged up and his own camera was pushed to the ground.

When that film was shown on the Al Jazeera broadcast that night, an Al Jazeera spokesperson said that police violence had been excised in Malaysia.

With social media sites such as Facebook or Youtube what makes them think they can hide all of this from us?

All of the major news feeds are routed through Astro, the Malaysian direct broadcast satellite pay television service, which is owned by Measat Broadcast Network Systems. which then is wholly owned by a subsidiary of Astro Holdings Sdn Bhd, controlled by Malaysia’s richest man, Ananda Krishnan, a long time and close associate with one of the government party UMNO.

According to a former Astro employee, the news feeds are routed through a small room in the Astro headquarters, where electronic devices search broadcasts for keywords that may be objectionable to the government officials.

It is now known that Malaysia’s mainstream media are all controlled by the country’s major political parties and all are closely monitored to present the most favourable possible view of the political situation to readers and viewers of local television stations.

159 Comments

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