i was very mad when i read in malaysiakini about how a ntv7 host was ‘reassigned’ just because she asked her guest to rate najib’s performance after his 100 days and the guest gave a low rating (“C or D”).
it was the programme ‘point of view’ hosted by florence looi (aired on sunday evening) and her 2 guests were author syed akhbar ali and consulting editor leslie lau of news portal malaysian insider. it was leslie lau who responded with the rating “C or D”… and believe it or not, just because of that, florence received a warning letter for asking the question (to rate najib’s performance) and was immediately transfered to the newsdesk.
huh? what if leslie gave a “A” rating? florence would be praised for asking the question? why is the boss of ntv7 so afraid of najib? is this the kind of 1malaysia najib is talking about – 1 malaysia, 1 (want) everything for himself!!
even if leslie gave a C or D rating, so what was wrong with that? as CIJ director, gayathry said, it was just an opinion, and everyone are entitled to an opinion. democracy is really dead if one can’t give an opinion on public tv. er… the tv station belongs to the government… meaning belongs to najib, so it figures lah!! you can’t say anything bad or negative about him. if you do… censor! censor! warning! warning! reprimand! reprimand!
my dear PM, this incident only give a deeper meaning to 1blackmalaysia!!
(click on ‘read the rest of the entry’ for the malaysiakini’s article.)
TV host ‘reassigned’ over Najib scorecard
Ng Ling Fong & Yong Kai Ping
Jul 13, 09 6:17pm
All her guest did was to give premier Najib Abdul Razak a ‘C’ or ‘D’ rating for his first 100 days in office.
It was enough to see ntv7 talk-show host Florence Looi being issued a warning letter and an immediate transfer to the news desk of the private television station.
Looi, who hosts the popular ‘Point of View’ current affairs programme, was said to have ‘breached editorial policy’, according to ntv7 sources.
The two guests on the talk-show, aired on July 5, were author Syed Akhbar Ali and consulting editor Leslie Lau of news portal Malaysian Insider. It was the latter’s remarks that landed Looi in trouble.
The sources said she was verbally told that she should not have asked her guests to rate Najib’s performance. As Looi is the host-cum-producer of the programme, she was the only one who received the warning letter.
Looi, who is assistant assignment editor, has since been reassigned to cover news, ostensibly because of a shortage of human resources at the news desk
This incident might well seal the fate of ‘Point of View’, which has just concluded its second season. There has been no announcement yet as to whether there will be a third season.
However, the sources believe that, even if the programme is continued, a new host will be appointed.
Looi refused comment when contacted, while efforts to reach the management were futile.
Ntv7 is one of the four free-to-air private TV stations belonging to media giant Media Prima Bhd which is closely linked to Umno. The other three stations are TV3, 8TV and tv9.
Media Prima has also spiked news about the mansion that former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is building in Shah Alam. The blanket ban was applied after the ntv7 Chinese news slot at 5.30pm aired the bulletin.
‘Only an opinion’
Centre for Independent Journalism executive director V.Gayathry took ntv7 to task for practising self-censorship.
“The comment by the guest on the performance rating is not anything critical, but just an opinion,” she said.
She said that Looi was punished for asking an important question at a time when everyone else was evaluating Najib’s performance.
“The show has provided a lot of space of good discussion (and Looi has been doing a good job),” she noted.
Gayathry recalled that, when Najib took office, Media Prima had issued orders to the four television stations not to name political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda when reporting the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case. Razak is Najib’s confidante.
”We would like to ask if it is Najib’s policy to put people in the TV station to practise censorship,” Gayathri added.
‘Point of View’ has been broadcast at 6pm on Sundays. Guests are invited from either side of the divide on such hot topics such as the Internal Security Act, language-switch policy, vernacular education, police accountability and the recent PKFZ scandal.
Since Najib assumed power, top media personnel aligned to former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi have been replaced.
Those who had served during the tenure of Dr Mahathir Mohamad have made a return, leading to the perception that there is a return to a more restrictive media environment.
Former New Straits Times group editor Ahmad Talib is now Executive Director, News and Editorial Operations, at Media Prima, as well as the Executive Director (Editorial) of New Straits Times Press.
Former Berita Harian Sdn Bhd group editor Manja Ismail is Media Prima news and current affairs editor, assisting Ahmad.
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