Written by: Wan Anis Aqilah
Bajet 2018 is a budget allocation for every aspect such as education, country development of Malaysia, government servants’ allowances /bonus, and so many more. These would help the Malaysian citizens in many aspects. The Bajet 2018 was delivered by Prime Minister of Malaysia live in Television. This event is held annually by Prime Minister.
Following the Bajet 2018 presentation, many news agencies reported on the allocation in the Bajet including international media. Thus, this article will compare the news report on the Bajet 2018 between Al Jazeera and Sinar Harian.
Al Jazeera: “Malaysian PM’s last budget is last shot to win votes”
From the headline above, Al Jazeera did not write positive headline unlike the headline written by local news portals. The statement of “last shot to win votes” was portraying that the Prime Minister (PM) is trying hard to win Malaysians heart for next election.
News 1: “Bajet 2018 tumpu bantu rakyat hadapi kos sara hidup”
Headline in Sinar Harian showed totally the positive of Bajet 2018 and the whole story especially the statement of “Help Malaysian in living cost” also focused on the positive side of the Bajet 2018. Indirectly, it showed that Sinar Harian reporting is taking care the image of PM despite the Bajet 2018 was not that up to the par according to some people..
News 2: “Bajet 2018 Najib hanya untuk meraih undi”
However, in another news article of Bajet 2018 from Sinar Harian entitled as above was slightly negative towards Prime Minister. The headline was quoted from the former Prime Minister; Tun Dr Mathathir Mohamed pertaining to the Election of Malaysia which just 10 months away from the Bajet 2018 was presented.
This news portal reported with transparency of Bajet 2018 by writing a statement – “Prices rose sharply in Malaysia – where household debt is among the highest in Asia” in which that kind of statement will unlikely to be written by local news portal. The statement of “among highest in Asia” portrayed that Malaysia is facing the issue of high living cost. Al Jazeera also added that the high living cost due to subsidies cut and consumption tax (GST) implemented by Prime Minister himself.
In the news article, Al Jazeera reported that “The leader also faces a political challenge from his mentor-turned-foe, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who called Najib a thief in connection with a scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Najib has denied any wrongdoing”. This kind of statement we never see in the local news portal shows that Al Jazeera made fair reporting on the Bajet 2018.
The writing style of Al Jazeera made the article to be much more interesting by quoting a statement from international economist pertaining to the Bajet 2018. Al Jazeera also literally wrote that Bajet 2018 was the last shot of PM to win the votes in the upcoming election by maintain the cash-handout to the low and middle income earners and improving policies to provide affordable housing.
To conclude, Al Jazeera made a fair reporting on the news by taken several statements not only from Prime Minister, but the PM opponent and international economist regarding Bajet 2018.
News Article 1 was only a heads up of the upcoming Bajet 2018 presentation by the Prime Minister. The article was quoted from the Najib himself during an event. The body of the news are not totally mentioning about Bajet 2018, but toward the end of the news article, it was about an event that Najib attended at that time. The news article were covered only first few paragraphs.
News Article 2 was about Tun Mahathir Mohamed who did a live video streaming for Parti Bersatu Rakyat Malaysia (Bersatu Party). He claimed that Budget 2018 by Najib just want to win votes in the election that will be held soon. He also clearly claimed that Bajet 2018 as a corruption.
By looking at how Sinar Harian worded their headlines and how they wrote their news stories on this issue, it can be said that they are trying to be unbiased and fair in reporting, not to focus only to government side but as well provided the space for the other side (opposition) to voice out their thought.
News article published by Al Jazeera does not affect much on the readers as Al Jazeera is an international news portal. Those who read the news would might have the negative thought of Prime Minister of Malaysia. Also the headline speak it all.
There are two versions of news article written by the Sinar Harian where the first news article was portrayed the good angle of the news while the second news article was portrayed slightly bad about Prime Minister. It can be concluded that Sinar Harian does a fair reporting of Bajet 2018 which not only focusing on Prime Minister and government.