Kadir Jasin: You can vent your anger at me, hate me but nobody can stop me from freely speaking my mind

OFTEN accused of being a bootlicker or mouthpiece of twice former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin has hit out at his detractors that “nobody has the right to shut me up”.

He decided to break his silence after an acquaintance told a friend recently to tell him to hold his tongue.

“He (the acquaintance) said; ‘Tell Kadir (that he) better keep quiet.’ His tone implies threat and disdain,” the national journalism laureate penned on his Facebook (FB) page. “He wasn’t alone and certainly was not the first to tell me to shut up. Attempts are continuously made to muzzle freedom of expression.”

Referring to his FB postings, Kadir claimed that many participants have contradicted themselves by telling him to shut up.

“Some called me old man and told me to go and die. But they continued to visit and leave comments. Thank you,” Kadir quipped. “Some are knowledge seekers. Others are angry souls looking for space to vent their anger and not the least cybertroopers writing for money.”

No matter how he is being pressured to seal his lips Kadir insisted that “I don’t think I can ever shut up”.

“I know of some friends and acquaintances who make a lot of noise when they don’t get what they want. But once they get what they want, they’re as silent as a mouse,” revealed the former editor-in-chief of mainstream New Straits Times.

“That’s their choice. If they keep quiet for money, that fine with me. Maybe their measure of freedom and dignity is having a lot of money. They can go on praising their benefactors for money but please don’t threaten others who choose to foresake wealth for freedom.”

More so, Kadir put it that this comes at a time when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim differentiates himself from his peers “by positioning himself as a democrat, an intellectual and a renaissance man”.

“Maybe his millionaire backers can fund programmes to teach his youthful supporters to love books like him and to pen better replies to this space. At last year’s Malaysian Press Night, the PM spoke about the importance of reading and thinking. Sadly, I don’t see any follow-up,” observed Kadir.

“I did tell one of his (Anwar) media officers seated at my table how to give the PM’s call a kickstart by having book reading and story writing competitions all year round with financial help from his many rich backers and for the RTM to broadcast them.”

Added Kadir: “A nation that doesn’t read couldn’t think. A nation that doesn’t think couldn’t speak. A nation that doesn’t speak has no voice.” – Jan 25, 2024

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