Photos that bring dignity to the battlefield


I felt no sense of mission as a combat photographer. I just felt maybe the guys out there deserved being photographed just the way they are, whether they are running scared, or showing courage, or diving into a hole, or talking and laughing. And I think I did bring a sense of dignity to the battlefield.

David Douglas Duncan, war photographer, 1916-2018



Can Malaysians cope with free speech?

Can Utusan meet the challenges of a new era?

UiTM protest 2008. Can Utusan meet the challenges of a new era? [Utusan photo]


How will TV3, New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia report news now? Will they still shut out any news from Pakatan Harapan? They obviously can’t, that would mean not reporting on the Malaysian government. Will they be very critical? Maybe they should be.

What about news organisations that have been anti-establishment? Anti-establishment doesn’t mean anti-BN any more. I’m going through the same adjustment too.

Utusan Malaysia have continued to take the stand of preserving Malay rights. Many people slammed Utusan for being racist even though the rest of Malaysia had already moved on. Let Utusan say whatever it wants to say. It is a new era of freedom of speech. But let other people also say whatever they want. Let this discourse and debate happen in the media and just keep it from being violent. That is true freedom of speech.

Malaysian people need to increase their media and news savviness. They need to be more aware so that they don’t become gullible and subservient to all the differing opinions and information. We must not fall into a lull and must always be on our toes. — Condensed from Malaysiakini | » Can Malaysians handle freedom of speech?

How Barisan failed spectacularly on social media

Najib Razak launching the 1Malaysia Negaraku campaign in August 2017

Najib Razak launching the 1Malaysia Negaraku campaign in August 2017. [Photo: Malaysian Insight]

Arms-length, slick prime minister-driven campaign with a lot of chest-thumping

Barisan Nasional’s propaganda campaign failed on social media by trying to beat social media users “into submission” the way it had with the controlled mass media, according to a branding consultant. BN had used social media aggressively but had not used it properly. Instead of being based on issues that mattered to the voters, BN created an arms-length, slick, prime minister-driven campaign with a lot of chest thumping, but Pakatan Harapan supporters “were embracing voters in the digital coffee shops with informal, instantaneous responses to issues”. — Free Malaysia Today. | » BRANDING GURU TELLS WHY BARISAN NASIONAL FAILED

Umno out, but its racial policies still survive

Graphic: The Economist

Graphic: The Economist

Malaysia: still one country, two systems

The Economist

Even as Malaysian politics has been turned upside-down, there has been little questioning of the premise on which UMNO had governed Malaysia since independence: that Malays deserve special privileges.

1Malaysia called for reforms in the name of national unity. It was soon discarded. No one now wants to emulate the man who dreamed it up

Race has dominated Malaysian politics since colonial times.

The “New Economic Policy” helped shape a corrupt system of patronage politics that proved predictably durable.

In many respects Pakatan Harapan marks a break with all this. Voters united across racial and religious divides to support the coalition, which also includes explicitly Muslim and indigenous parties.

But the government is not seizing its opportunity to undo racially discriminatory policies. The coalition hangs together partly because all parties have agreed on a binding principle: that the constitution and its privileges for Malays are supreme. Continue reading



How much did you give to make up for lost GST revenue?

Debt relief donations v GST revenue lost

Debt relief donations v GST revenue lost

Debt relief donations compared to daily GST lost revenue

Based on an estimate of RM48,000,000,000 (billion) in 6% GST collections for this year.

Daily revenue from 6% GST would be 48 billion divided by 365 – RM131.5 million

Total donations to Tabung Harapan up to 3pm yesterday came to RM49.19 million, or not even half of one day’s GST revenue that has been lost. Daily average donations paid to Tabung Harapan amount to RM4.91 million – or 3.7% of lost daily GST revenue.

Doesn’t that give you that nice, warm, feel-good glow all over?

Sirul may be sent back for new Altantuya murder trial

Sirul Azhar Umar

Sirul Azhar Umar

November 2006, Shah Alam.  Reporters at the murder scene

Reporters at the murder scene [Photo:]

Exclusive: Former bodyguard convicted of Mongolian translator murder could face a new trial potentially exposing links to senior government figures

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

The Guardian

Australian authorities have approved a request from Malaysia to extradite a former prime ministerial bodyguard convicted of the murder of a Mongolian translator in a scandal that dogged Najib Razak’s time in office and transfixed the nation, the Guardian has learned.

A source said the Malaysian government had recently approached Australia to request that Sirul Azhar Umar be brought back to Malaysia, and that the plan had been given the green light after Malaysia agreed to cover the costs. It is believed Sirul will leave Australia within a month. Continue reading

Utusan to lay off half its 1,400 staff

Najib Razak opened Utusan's new headquarters of  three seven-storey blocks in Jalan Enam, renamed to Jalan Utusan, in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2013, Najib Razak opened Utusan’s new headquarters of three seven-storey blocks in Jalan Enam, renamed to Jalan Utusan, in Kuala Lumpur. [13 Sept 2013 – Star photo]

Half the staff and workers at Utusan Malaysia are to be laid off. The troubled Umno-owned newspaper, which is bleeding millions every month, says it has to “rebuild from scratch”.

Utusan Malaytsia front page June 7

Utusan Malaysia today

The company’s group managing director, Datuk Mohd Noordin Abbas, said a Voluntary Separation Scheme would be considered. The work force will be cut, probably by 50 percent from the existing 1,400 staff but the company would need to find the money to fund the lay-offs.

Similar job losses have already taken place at the New Straits Times Press and The Star, where the company announced last week that Star group editor Leanne Goh, together with the chief operating officer and the head of advertising, had taken early retirement. Senior and experience journalists had already been let go since last year at both NSTP and Star.

Continue reading