18:29, Apr 26 Updated, with correction and apology
IT WAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION minutes ago that "the guy who is supposed to be an aide to the PM" ("the aide") DID NOT offer any cash to any of the reporters who covered the event mentioned in my original posting below. Someone did hand out RM100 to the reporters but none of the reporters had seen the guy before.
My sincere apology to "the aide".
Journalists in this country may not be well paid, but they get paid. They are the most poorly-paid professionals in Malaysia, but there are perks: the New Straits Times Press provide monthly book allowances to its journalists while The Star is known to pay huge bonuses to its staff. Top journalists get to travel, car allowances, drivers, security guards at home. A few editors even went on to become overnight multi-millionaires but this was when Anwar Ibrahim was a powerful DPM and Umno deputy president.
Once in a while, however, a moron in the government gets the idea that our journalists must be so poor that they need "hand-outs". Like yesterday, when this guy who is supposed to be an aide to the PM, a wannabe candidate at the next General Election, he handed RM100 in cash to all journalists covering his event in Subang Jaya.
One or two of the reporters refused to accept the money. They have informed their editors and I hope their editors have lodged a formal complaint with the politician or with the Prime Minister's Office.
Or, better still, the MACC.