Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Malaysian Inciter

Kay Tat and Jahabar after a night in prison in 2015

Bangsar, 23 March: Was thrilled to bump  yesterday into Jahabar Saddiq, who has become a pain in some people's necks with his plan to bring back The Malaysian Insider's glory days in the form of a brand new portal called The Malaysian Insight (copyright of TMI belongs to Tong Kooi Ong's The Edge now, hence the change from Insider to Insight). 

We (ex colleagues at NST) poked fun at his "quarrel" with Ho Kay Tat (also an NST alumni), who is Tong's trusted editorial supremo at The Edge. Jahabar downplayed it, insisted he and Kay Tat were not at loggerheads, so we let it be.

I didn't ask him about the Insight's funders, either (always a sensitive issue in this country and something Kay Tat has challenged Jahabar to come clean with in a letter to editor The Edge man sent to the Straits Times after Jahabar was quoted by the Singapore daily blaming Kay Tat's The Edge for Insider's demise; pls read Reveal source of funding, soon-to-be-launched news portal told - The Star, 21 March 2017).

I know - or I think I know - at least one of the parties backing Jahabar's new, exciting venture but the thing I needed to know was not who but when ...

"Bila Insight mau start?"

Unless Jahabar was setting me up for an early April Fool's joke, the Insight should be up and running from April 1. That would be exactly two years after he'd spent a night in jail for an article in the TMI [The Malaysian Insider CEO: I'd like to go back to being a journalist - The Star, 1 April 2015]

All the best to the new TMI. And good luck, Jahabar, here's a chance to go back to being a journalist!

Journalists in Malaysia, meanwhile, are up in arms against the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, pressing him to reconsider the restriction imposed on those covering the parliamentary proceedings. Please read Journalists protest parliamentary restriction - The Mole, 22 March 2013.

I was thrilled to read former Information Minister and ex-Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief Zainuddin Maidin's comments on the subject. Dignified and thoughtful. I think that's because Zam was speaking (and thinking) as a journalist ...

If they had asked me, I'd call on the journalists to boycott the Parliamentary proceedings until the Speaker lifts the restriction. Takde pasal cari pasal! 

I was not thrilled to read this:

Read the story h e r e

But you know what would be really thrilling? If NSTP and Jahabar's new portal were to join forces and take on the rest (and at the same time help restore Jahabar's faith in the big media companies ...)

"The Edge experience has soured me on working with big media companies that say they share same values but close you down for commercial reasons on the first sight of trouble," Mr Jahabar said. - Comeback bid by Malaysian news site that was shut down - Straits Times, 16 March 2013


  1. used to rite10:13 am

    why is it that you talk about writers in a "glorified" light? you guys are losers who just followed orders.

    now with the net, every tom dick and harry has a platform.

    no need for losers who are paid to right a wrong anymore. anyone with a good nose can smell the shit and with a little intel can start giving out views.

  2. Anonymous11:33 pm

    Dear Rocky,
    Sometimes I feel that I know your feeling right now. Being so lonely, a patriot must sacrifify. You know the truth but nothing you could do. It is really painful when you have to burn yourself. " If we cannot fight them, joint them". But you must persevere fighting your own belief. This is the world of capitalism. Cash is King!

  3. I foresee TMI will always be good at instigating people. Which at the end of the day, made common people quarrel and bring no good to this country.

  4. Frank Swettenham7:29 am

    Thanks jahabar for returning to journalism. Now we know TMI was never journalism.

    Can journalism survive without food and shelter?