RECENTLY, former senior editor Datuk A Kadir Jasin posted a video on his Facebook account. It showed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visiting a Ramadhan bazaar in Putrajaya with cries of someone in the background.
In his caption, Kadir, a former media advisor to the Prime Minister wrote “Listen to the cries of agony of the people. Not just here, but everywhere else”. Kadir was trying to insinuate that a trader took to heckling a VIP and this showed the depth of their frustration with the PM and his government.
Never mind that the traders’ exact words were hardly audible. As far as Kadir was concerned, the clip fit into his narrative about a PM being out of touch with the people.
But as it turns out, the trader was not even heckling the PM or anyone in particular. In a media report, the army veteran said it was his way of drawing attention to his mango juice stall to get more customers.
Of all people, veteran newsman Kadir should know that getting his facts right is the first thing they teach in journalism school. Anything else would be syllabus in fiction writing class.
It is understandable that Kadir, a staunch supporter of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has an axe to grind with Muhyiddin, his fellow Bersatu ally-turned-enemy following the latter’s elevation as Prime Minister. But any respectable journalist should know better than to allow his or her prejudices to cloud their judgements.
But then again, Kadir’s track record in doing political bidding supersedes his journalistic inclinations. It was during his time that The Star thrashed the New Straits Times (NST) which he edited, as the No.1 English newspaper. The NST has never recovered from then.
It is particularly telling that having put up the video and despite a clarification from the trader, Kadir has not removed the misleading posting, much less set the record straight or apologised. Surely Kadir knows that “right of reply” is a fundamental tenet in journalism.
Unless, of course Kadir had ditched his “journo hat” and put on the one symbolic headgear he is most accustomed and comfortable with – that of a political operative. – April 17, 2021
Abdul Rahman Idrush Shah