Wednesday, April 27, 2016

AG Apandi Ali and Press Freedom

pic by FMT
KL, 27 April 2016: At his luncheon talk with editors and media practitioners at the Royale Chulan yesterday, the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Apandi Ali, threw his audience two questions:  
1. Does the Press Freedom Index really reflect the freedom in Malaysia?
2. Does society benefit from false news? 
R. Nadeswaran, the seasoned journalist, took the floor to respond to the berita palsu question, which Apandi had asked at the very end of his hour-long talk. As the answer to the question must have been rather obvious (even if it had been asked by someone else other than the AG), Nades chose instead to lament to the microphone about  the unbecoming behaviour of some newsmakers (politicians, especially) who conveniently blame journalists for wrongful reporting each time they find themselves in trouble for the things they say in the media. Can't action be taken against these morons?
Apandi's answer was interesting. "Sue them," he said. Another seasoned journalist,  Nuraina A. Samad, seated beside me, quipped (more to herself): "Journalists don't do that." Which is a fact: we don't sue politicians who claim that we have misquoted them, we are just happy to know the morons for who they really are!
Apandi's response tells me a little bit more about the AG who has so far been associated, rightly or wrongly, only with the 1MDB issue and the fact that he had been brought in to replace Gani Patail, the AG who was said (never confirmed) to have been on the verge of charging the Prime Minister of the country for some crime ... *
That Apandi is a doer more than he is a talker. With this AG, I think it is straightforward: if someone breaks the law, arrest him, charge him. If you don't understand the law, seek legal advice. If you understand the law, helps others comprehend. If you can sue someone ass' off, take him to court. "Sometimes you have to teach this people a lesson," he told Nades. I like. 
* Gani was also said to be ill at the time

To be cont'd ... Does the RSF's 2016 index reflect our freedom?

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