A most primitive way

Some time back, when I was on holiday in a beach resort, I saw 2 kids building sand castles on the beach. One was building a realitively big structure, with moats around the castle and towers and so on. It was a pretty impressive stuff.

The other boy was not so creative. His castle was just a blob of sand sitting on the beach.

Passers-by naturally stopped at the castle of the first boy and uttered complimentary remarks. The second boy must have got frustrated that no one seemed to pay attention to his work, and he suddenly ran across to the first boy’s place and smashed the  impressive castle with one stroke of his arm, in the process destroying the castle. What followed was screams and fights between the 2 boys.

I mentioned this incident which I have almost forgotten because of a news item today in MalaysianInsider, reporting  that that the minister in charrge of Information and Culture is going to review the licence of ‘Astro”, and wanted Astro to add more government friendly programs.

It is not cheap to subscribe to Astro. Recently it has upped its charges again. In fact, it is getting to be a burden to watch Astro.

But still people subscribe to Astro, footing big sum every month instead of watching the free to air channels TV 1, 2 ,3 TV 9, etc. To comply with government requirements, these channels which are government controlled are already carried by Astro (thereby adding to its cost of braodcasting and the cost is passed to consumers like you and me).

But now the minister wanted to review Astro. I do not know what he meant by review; could it be that he  wants every channel to braodcast some Malaysian news? So you watch CNN for a while and suddenly RTM news will take over and you are forced to watch National News; or you are watching a Wai Lai Toi Soap opera  and at the most exciting part, it is ‘ berhenti sementara’, and National news will come on.

Or worse, the government may decide to take off channel 312 the phoenix channel (or other channels deemed to be foreign) since it may deem to be anti-national interest by airing news on other countries, nevermind that now the world is globalised, and the more we learned about other countries , the more we can use that knowledge to build our own.

So this ‘review’ would not be a good thing to those who do not like to watch national channels because they are so stereotyped . 

The review itself   would be  like the second boy above, who could not make a castle as good as the first boy, so he resorted to the most primitive way — destroy it.

 The mentality is like this. If you are not as good, and nobody watches your show, simply destroy the quality of the competitor, so that they come down to your level, and then hope that by doing so, people will come to watch your mediocre shows/propaganda.

What they -the national tv channels – should have done is to find out why their programs are not attractive, and then try to improve on the programs. Try to revamp it to make it interesting. If the policies are bad and that affect the programs , change the policies to be  more people friendly and then it will attract more people to view it.

It  is like holding a motor race. In order to win it,  you make sure that all other cars are equipped with a speed limiter except yours, and the speed limiter will  make sure that your competitor will be slower than your snail-like speed, so you win not by merits but by exerting a unfair limits on other people.

This sort of mentality is disgusting and going backward. And with this sort of mentality , we will never be able to move forward and compete. No wonder even an Indonesian university has stopped taking in Malaysian students.

The power that be  have done it with main stream media, and now with broadcasting media, I wonder what will be next? Filtering news so that we can only get news from RTM? Sanctioning internet?

Why can’t they think of more proactive and forward looking ideas like letting more private TV operators to operate thereby introducing competition to Astro and by doing so lowering the monthly charges ?

Why do they only think of using state power to try to regulate?   What other pathetic ideas will there be? I shudder to think …


20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Loh
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 15:03:58

    ha ha ha Dr. Hsu,

    What you said above have been going on for a long long time. There are so many that you simply could not be bothered about it. That is one of the main reason for the 308 tsunami. If they continue to do what they like without the consent of the rakyat they will really feel it come the 13th GE.


  2. So Un-Petronas
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 15:29:50

    Our Info minister.
    So Un – Petronas.
    I guess he didn’t even watch the 2009 Merdeka advert on National TV.

    Pls let him know : “JALAN MESTI KE DEPAN DAN BUKAN KE BELAKANG” and NOT “Jalan mesti ke belakang dan bukan ke depan”


  3. penanglang
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 15:45:27

    Lu kah ee lang chit ki lang kong oi boh eng eh lah. Ee lang toh boh nao eh, kah ee lang kong cho simik? Liao lat.

    Kwah kwee lah. Eh chit kai dhat ee lang chut ki. Tuah tuah siah kah ee kong,



  4. disgusted
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 16:13:19

    The old horse approved the birth of Astro, but has now grown into an arrogant teenager, with monopolising rights to do whatever it likes.

    Re-runs shows over and over, subscribers given the short end of the stick, have to pay for new programmes and long-winded advertisements to boost its profit margins. Viewers are not given new programmes and shows they deserve paying from RM73 to the maximum for all shows.

    I agree that its licensing should be reviewed and conditions too to give viewers and subscribers a fairer deal and not just complaints by Rais.

    In fact, the ministry of misinformation should be scrapped to save tax payers money. That way we might even pay less for useless TV channels dishing out government propaganda. I have never watch TV 1 for 10 years and I don’t and didn’t miss anything in life.


  5. Dr Hsu
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 16:28:49

    Astro has a lot of problems but these can be solved by ending the monopoly and give more licenses to start private TVs or even cable TVs…

    The review is not to improve Astro but to introduce more government friendly rpograms into it. Meaning more propaganda.

    If the review is to make it solve all the problems you mentioned, it would be good. But I think the Minister has some other agenda on his mind.


  6. klm
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 17:24:31

    This Rais minister have been itching to regulate many things. His answer to any problem is more regulation. He try with the bloggers – failed. Tried with the Internet – failed. Now he is trying with Astro. I wonder if he is getting old and cranky and want to spoil the fun for everybody.

    Heck, Astro is so regulated – all the transmission are censored. Astro already have in house censors. Astro transmissions are delayed because of this censor process.

    So what is there to regulate? It is a ploy to put out more propaganda.

    Dr. Hsu any new private TVs and cable TVs ventures are bound to fail in Malaysia. The cost to have country wide coverage is prohibitive. There are only so many contents. Astro through it regional operation can get better pricing than TVs or cables. There is a new cost of putting govt propaganda that drives viewers away.


  7. clearwater
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 17:30:48

    If the government forces Astro to carry propaganda type programs on specific channels, I will cut these channels from my subscription. If all Astro channels have to carry these programs, I will terminate my subscription. Astro, there are many people who will do as I do. Watch it.

    In any event, there are visual alternatives through the Internet than having to watch puke inducing garbage on government controlled TV. Let’s see whether the government can then filter Youtube and other entertainment websites.


  8. Justin Choo
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 20:37:35

    Dr Hsu,

    In no time they will tell you to downgrade your services as a doctor because theirs are not as consciencious and as qualified as you.



  9. disgusted
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 20:59:57

    This minister is worse than Zam and I pray he should be canned at the next general election just like Semi-valued. Cantonese says, “Da Pau” for good.

    Told you, this guy has cobwebs for brains.


  10. Justin Choo
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 21:41:46

  11. penanglang
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 22:21:36

    Ee lang chit ki lang si ani kwan eh. Au ban, boh nao, boh kah lu kong li yiu eh. Ee kong tiok, tohsi tiok. Lu boi sai kong ee boh tiok.

    Kwah kwee lah. Eh chit kai dhat ee lang chut ki. Tuah tuah siah kah ee kong,



  12. 过路客
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 22:34:26

    过路客 wanna ask Dr Hsu….

    What what is wrong with the government of the day of today???

    Perak double version of government.. selangor next on najlis list, TBH case cover up!, cow head on the road ok according to home minister….

    7-0 to BN in Penansular byelections and still the do not get the message… Petrol price increased.. pay for ron97 or use the lower grade ron95.. aiyoyo

    I am sick! real sick of all these…

    I used to and try to be fair by giving one of my vote to BN and one to the DAP in all previous GE….

    But next GE, I am not give anything to the BeeNder



  13. romerz
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 22:35:10

    Good post Doc. I echo what Justin said. These people have no hope!


  14. disgusted
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 22:44:32

    Double vision (Perak), double EGMs and Malaysians should be double Federal Government…..two-party system.


  15. A true Malaysian
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 23:19:31

    People are not blind
    They can see
    People are not deaf
    They can hear
    People are not stupid
    They know right and wrong

    But some spoiled brats
    They are blind
    Though they can see
    They are deaf
    Though they can hear
    They are not stupid
    yet they dunno what is wrong
    They have everything
    But have no WISDOM

    In short, don’t worry, they get what they sow, very soon.

    I know what to do next with my one vote.
    You too?


  16. Meng
    Sep 03, 2009 @ 00:29:39

    The simple reason is they cannot see anything or anybody doing well and outstanding in their performance. They have to bring it down to their standards set by them..mediocre. I am sure you know what are all these…of the various institutions.

    Neither can they see peaceful interaction amongst the ppl of different races. They have to create incidences and blame it on others. They will then come in to show that they are the ones capable of providing the peaceful environment.

    It is jealousy in governance..they cannot provide any excellence in their governance and therefore incite hatred, accuse and create mistrust among those governing the other states. Their MPs are of medicore standards unable to face and accept the presence of other MPs that are rational and reliable. It is the dirty works of politician. Politics is good but their politicians are dirty,corrupted and poor ethical values and yet maintain their arrogance.

    Astro will not be the last in their dirty manipulative plot.

    It is the call of “”The other boy””


  17. A true Malaysian
    Sep 03, 2009 @ 09:19:21

    It takes a bit of WISDOM
    a bit only, not much
    to “faham” my message

    There is a thin line
    that divides people and spoiled brats
    spoiled brats are people, but
    not all people are spoiled brat

    Umno, MCA, MIC & Gerakan, ie BN
    They are people too, but
    Some are spoiled brat

    PAS, PKR & DAP
    They are people too, likewise
    Some are spoiled brat too

    a bit of it, is what BN & PR need
    not to let people see them as spoiled brat

    If you still cannot faham what I said
    You are people, but
    You are spoiled brat too

    In short, don’t worry, they get what they sow, very soon.

    I know what to do next with my one vote.
    You too?



  18. klm
    Sep 03, 2009 @ 10:06:48

    I just don’t understand.

    1. Why must a bull die because of UMNO politics?
    2. What has the bull done to this stupid political party?
    3. Why can’t these stupid people be happy with bull shit?
    4. Why must they use the bull’s head


  19. ahoo
    Sep 03, 2009 @ 11:07:11

    I’d terminated my ASTRO subscription last year when they decided to charge a higher rate and started to change the package grouping. Thus, far are happy without it as most of the time we don’t have much free time sitting there to be entertained.

    Likewise, also stop reading my daily newspaper as the news are just too biased or pro govt. No semblace of fairness and as the saying goes :
    ” Without the news, we are uninformed and with the news, we are ill-informed.” So it is better for me to be uninformed by the MSMs’ as I can still read online news etc. at any time to my convenient. My take is, no Astro and no MSMs’ until we can have a balance reporting and equal air time for even the opposition party.


  20. anonymous
    Sep 03, 2009 @ 12:28:15

    Dr. Hsu,

    This link is not primitive, but very high tech. It describe who are behind the cow head demo,


    If Astro cannot entertained you, this link can.


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