The Curious Mind on Trial by Media in Malaysia and India

by Nurul Ezzati Aisya Mohd Zaki    

Article 10 (a) of the Malaysia’s Federal Constitution stated that “every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression”. Media is a form of speech and expression in the manner which they transmit information to be consumed by society. The dissemination of information assists society in comprehending issues and molding viewpoints. It is every citizen’s right to freedom of information in order to make informed decisions. However, the freedom is not absolute as stated in Clause (1) of Article 10 – “Subject to Clauses (2), (3) and (4)” whereby Parliament may impose law and restriction on said freedom. Guided by the notion that media is the check and balance for society, freedom of speech and expression is practiced either carefully or provokingly in Malaysia.

In order to understand the media take on freedom of speech and information, this paper will look into cases of trial by media in Malaysia and India. Trial by media is a “dynamic, impact-driven, news media-led process by which individuals—who may or may not be publicly known—are tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion” (Greer & McLaughlin, 2010). The process and object of fascination in any trial by media can be varied, from pre-determine outcome of an actual court proceedings against average everyday people, to the ruthless quest of high-profile personalities and public figures “deemed to have offended in some way against an assumed common morality”.

For a nation to function like clockwork, media has to take its seat as the fourth estate. Developing nations require media to be the watchdog – becoming the eyes and ears of citizen. As part of its power of distribution, media not only can attain information easily but also disseminate them to citizen beyond the restriction of accessibility. Media as watchdog is advantageous for society as they take the role as an agent of change, including making known and educating public of litigation. Trial by media in this sense is a welcoming act whereby media probe into marginalized issues and push them into the limelight. One of the common ways into which media probe an issue or individual, is through investigative journalism. Investigative journalism in its entirety as watchdog monitors authority and capitalist conglomerate, serving society as its stakeholder (Ismail, Ahmad, & Mustaffa, 2017).

Source from www.rage.com.my/predator/

The discussion will explore the investigative journalism championed by a group of young journalists for a Malaysia’s English newspaper, The Star. In light of worsening sex crime against children in the country, the team known as R.AGE, trialed men accused of grooming young girls into sexual acts. The 2016 extensive campaign, code name “Predator in My Phone”, includes online petition and a documentary film, is a six months intrepid investigative journalism exposé on pedophiles and the push for anti-grooming law. Sex crime against children is regulated in Malaysia, yet grooming or inviting children to sex act was not criminalized. The R.AGE team saw loop holes in the dire situation and took up the stand as agent of change and played a substantial role in the newly gazette Sexual Offences Against Child Act 2017.

Despite the expedient role media play in uncovering marginalized issues, trial by media can took a distasteful turn into sensationalizing court proceedings. Concurrently with the ongoing court proceedings, some media took to their hand the responsibility to meddle in the actual legal process. This include a separate investigation being run by editorial team related to the case in focus, building ‘a public opinion against the accused’, striping the accused of their dignity and right to privacy. The excessive publicity on suspects on trial may interfere with the administration of justice, due to prejudice and pro-plaintiff bias (Effect of Trial by Media before Courts, 2013).

Source from The Newshour Debate

Prejudice and pro-plaintiff bias are starkly apparent in litigation involving major capitalist conglomerates, public figures or celebrity status individuals. The star power of these proceedings increase viewership and readership which unethical media outlet devoured whole-heartedly. One prominent trialed by media example is the 2008 Noida double murder case, where a 13-year-old girl, Aarushi Talwar and her family live in 45 years old domestic helper, Hemraj Banjade, were found murdered in the Talwar residence. The long trial against Aarushi’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar as the accused was resolved, though killers still undetermined, as both accused were acquitted of all charges in October 2017. With the encouraging exposure by the media, the Talwar became and still to this day a household name in India. Both Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were trialed by media viciously due to the fact that they are from an affluent physician family in the county. In a recent HBO Asia documentary titled The Talwars: Behind the Closed Doors, the Talwar was still heavily distraught by the loss of their only daughter and the public judgment against them. Since the proceeding and media attack, the Talwar had to shut operation of their clinic and no longer able to practice medicine.

Media without a doubt possess a prevailing ability to reach out and shape public opinion. The power is a mandate by society that needed to be practiced with high ethical and moral stance. It is vital for media organization or individual journalist to write, record or edit with the public interest in mind. Guided by the urge to thrive for truth and unwitty curiosity, media are free to practice their freedom of speech and expression. However, cautious is the name of the game as freedom can be strip off as easily as it is given.

 

Reference

Effect of Trial by Media before Courts. (2013, November). Retrieved from Law Teacher: https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/commercial-law/effect-of-trial-by-media-beforecourts-

Greer, C., & McLaughlin, E. (2010). ‘Trial by media’: Policing the 24-7 news mediasphere and the ‘politics of outrage’. Theoretical Criminilogy, 15(1), 23-46. doi:10.1177/1362480610387461

Ismail, A., Ahmad, M., & Mustaffa, C. (2017). Investigative Journalism in Malaysia: The Battle between Outside and Inside Newsroom Challenges. 33, pp. 1-5. SHS Web of Conferences. doi:10.1051/ 73300079

PALU…From the Lenses of the Media

by Affendi Abdul Karim

Source: Image from RTM 1

It was supposed to be a usual Friday evening that day on September 28, 2018, just like many days before, in the city of Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Even more, hundreds of people were understood to have gathered for a festival on a beach.

But unfortunately, it was a saddened day to be remembered as the city, and the nearby area of Donggala and Mamuju was hit by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, and followed shortly by a 5-metre high tsunami. The shocking disaster has resulted in the loss of thousands of human lives and more others were displaced after their homes and buildings were destroyed and washed away.

Palu, located about 1,650 kilometres northeast of the capital, Jakarta, is a city populated by more than 300,000 residents. The city is also famous for its beautiful beaches like Tanjung Karang, Towale, Enu, Malera, and Moian. Many foreign and local tourists will commonly choose for water sports and diving for their relaxing holiday activities in Palu.

However, that common and relaxing atmosphere changes in ‘the blink of an eye’ when the Mother Nature speaks. The strong quake followed by a tsunami which smashed Palu has again moved people across the globe, after the last time the world was shocked by the most devastating Tsunami tragedy in Aceh province on December 26, 2004.

On the day after the quake-tsunami ravaged the Indonesian city of Palu, at least 832 people known to have died in the disaster. The number of dead people is also estimated to increase following the thorough search and rescue operation by the authorities across the city.

Meanwhile, the local and international media, both were seen often updating their reports of the tragedy to highlight the current situation from time to time. The Jakarta Post, Kompas TV and Metro TV were among the local media that first broadcast the breaking news and provide wide coverage about the disaster. They provided an array of footages of the incident, which not only captured through their lenses but by the amateurs.

Despite the footages, the media were also seen to cooperate with the authorities and experts on the disaster, through live interviews and by phone calls as to give the actual and most reliable reports to their audiences. In fact, they even exploited their official social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter actively, thus gave the local media a more effective two-way communication with their online users. This could be presumed to have assists the Indonesians and particularly the affected people with the accurate and valid information from the authorities and as to balance the input diffuse by the social media.

Meanwhile, the foreign media like the Guardian of United Kingdom, NDTV, India and the Malaysia broadcast channel, RTM, were also reporting the situation. However as a comparison, the foreign media, which their news sources lie relatively on local correspondents or news agencies, commonly involved in a slightly different approach in news reporting.

Apart from reporting the current situation or search and rescue daily operation, they were seen to facilitate their audiences by visualising the tragedy through the motion graphics and images. They even engage with experts to discuss the impact or by constructing a chronology of the incident to help their audiences in tracking or to have updating reports of the incident which happened abroad. Thus, this indirectly contributed to the people across the world who shared the sorrow and provided help to the Palu people.

The people of Palu and the nearby area were highly affected by the quake-tsunami tragedy. After nearly a month of the incident, the number of dead people is estimated to have reached more than 2,200 and many more are still missing. Approximately 70,000 houses and building were destroyed, damaged and resulted to thousands of people were displaced.

Obviously, it is definitely hard for the affected people to rise again from the tragedy. So, it should be best for the Malaysian to help their neighbour in any ways they can. But, the most important one is to learn the lesson and be prepared to any possible disaster.

 

Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesian Island of Sulawesi: A Lesson to Learn

by Dayang Saliah Noorshamsiah

(Image credit to DailyMail.co.uk)

At least 2,045 people were confirmed dead while as many as 5,000 others are remained missing during a devastating 7.5 – magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Palu capital and Donggala Regency, Central Sulawesi the epicenter of the Minahasa Peninsula, one of the four principal peninsulas on the island of Indonesia on September 28th, 2018 (The Time, 11th October 2018).

Series of natural disasters happening around our neighboring regions recently include the Typhoon Mangkhut which ripped through the northern Philippines’s land of Luzon, the earthquake in Lombok and the most recent deadly natural disaster in Palu, Sulawesi, should serve as a lesson to us, Malaysians. As a country that exists on the same continent, although from its geographical location Malaysia’s position is outside the ring of fire which accordingly making us protected from most major natural disasters, yet it does not necessarily mean that we should underestimate of any future possibilities.

Apparently, Malaysia is not completely safe from major natural disasters. As evident, the 1976 Sabah Earthquake, 2004 Tsunami in a few coastal areas in Peninsular Malaysia which reportedly has killed around 67 peoples as well as the Sabah Earthquake 2015 which has killed about 18 people. As a matter of fact, since the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake which has led to Tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, one of the deadliest natural disasters in history, the interest towards tsunami risks in Malaysia has also heighten. These series of events are the evident that our beloved country has experienced and may possibly continue to experience natural disasters and calamities that will affect the lives of many despite of its geographical position. Perhaps up to this date, we are yet to experience deadly major natural disasters but with the series of the mentioned incidents, it shows that Malaysia is also prone to those major disasters. Of course, as some may claims, natural disasters are the act of God and it is inevitable. But the real question is, how well do we have prepared should we encounter the next natural disaster or calamity?

It is undeniable that our national armed forces, fire departments and police force units as well as other emergency response teams are well equipped and trained to react during times of emergencies. But to which extent of emergency situation that we are truly trained and equipped remain the main issue. Given the situation that we encountered so far are the flashfloods and landslides. Questions arise on how if we truly facing a major natural disaster like what happened in Indonesia and Philippine off late? Nevertheless, to fully rely on these teams alone during such unfavorable situation is not enough. What we also need is well-educated and prepared public on how to react should we faced such emergencies in order to at least minimizing the casualties if not to fully avoiding it. Often during such unfavorable situation, public falls victims – panic stricken, confusion and fear – are the common reactions. Hence, it is important that the public are prepared both mentally and physically should any unfortunate events strike. At least with the knowledge of how to react during the emergency situation they can save their own and their families’ life while waiting for further assistance. That is why an environmental awareness and emergency evacuation plan education is very much important among the public even in a country like us, Malaysia.

In this age of information and media sophistication, there are many ways on how environmental awareness and emergency evacuation plan education can be executed by using the media as a medium. Especially with the growing popularity of the social media platform among Malaysia media users, messages can be disseminated instantaneously at all level of people through various social media platform. Emergency evacuation plans campaigns and education for example can be carry out massively using the social media at low very low costs to investigate awareness among the public on the importance of natural disaster preparations. Apart from that, rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts are also vital to be improved and focused on.

Having the best forms of disaster preparedness goes beyond possessing best facilities and services. The essential part is the infrastructure, manpower and strategic emergency evacuation plans should be constantly maintained, restructured and updated. There is no harm putting forward early prevention and preparation as we will never know when natural disaster may strike. Even if its not major disasters like earthquake, typhoon or tsunami, the annual flash flood that keep on happening in Malaysia every year like a clockwise is also can regards as natural disaster that required serious measures. Not to mention the Highland Towers landslide in 1993, the Cameron Highland mud flood in 2013 are also among other examples of emergency situation. Responsibilities to react during such unfortunate event does not only fall on the government or the emergency response teams alone but on the public as well. Saving and safeguarding lives is not only the job of those who paid or trained but also is the responsibility of each and everyone on this land. In the end, assuming Malaysia is safe from natural disaster is totally wrong and the whiplash of tsunami 2004 has proven that it is time for us Malaysia to start taking it seriously preparing for any possibilities that may happened in the future.

Globalization and Popular Music in the Digital Age

By Shikhin Sazali

Globalization is defined as the increase of relationships between culture, economy and people. Music globalization refers to the impact on economic and social level for a country that affected by way of consuming diverse music that is offered by the global market. Popular music means music that is appealing to the popular taste including rock, pop, soul, reggae, rap and dance music.

Popular music is typically distributed to a large number of audiences through the music industry. This term was first applied to Tin Pan Alley (the collection of New York City music publisher’s songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century.

There are so many developments and changes that we have been through along with globalization. From the one function machine to a multitask robot, we have been positively, most of it, received great changes that makes everything much more interactive, easy and most importantly adaptable to our social life. New high technology that was invented in the field of music such as the invention of MP3 Player and up until now most of us tend and able to consume music simply through online streaming. We no longer needed to physically buy CD or vinyl to enjoy our favorite tune. Through this development, it helps to provide a convenient environment for the music listener in consuming music wherever and whenever they like.

The new communication transportation, which is the Internet, has helped a lot in increasing people’s interests into liking music/new music that we offer in the music market now. People from all over the world are able to listen or watch live concert and performances by their idols no matter where the actual event is being held.

Availability to reach new music styles that come from different country/region will directly makes the experience of enjoying music or event new music much more interesting for all these listeners. Especially for music students who need materials/elements of music from other country, the internet simply makes it easy for them to get the sources without the need to spend extra money or time to get the material that they need to accomplish their assignment.

Interchange of music styles create a new mixture of world music thus new culture is born. “ Thanks for the development of transportation and high technology, the music-related products can be sold everywhere in the world. The artificial music sound is becoming not as important as before; as a result of the worldwide teenage as the main consumers of pop music share the same view of pop music. Today’s world is more likely to become a global village, thus the globalized popular music is produced in order to fascinate the global market.”

There are a few elements involved as the effects of globalization that is happening around us these days such the economy and traditional local music. Well, it is undeniable that along with the rapid development of music in all aspects, it directly helps with the growth of economy status in most country. It is proven that some countries are depending on the revenue collected from music events and how it directly involved the costs that comes in from the tourism aspects when concerts and live performances are organized in their country. But apart from that, some people are arguing on how pop music effects the quality and existence of local traditional music in their country. Since most people especially young adults are constantly idolizing pop music that comes from outside of their country, most of it are scared that local music might be forgotten.

Dealing with New Media in Marketing.

By Razween binti Md Rashidi 

In this era of technology, everything in this world is moving rapidly towards a betterment. The most highly appreciated technology that had been invented is the Internet. Many people were very thankful with the emergence of the Internet due to the way that the life of each and everyone of us has been eased. The Internet has changed the way people communicate, consume information and many more.

Social media provide platforms for people to speak about their brands as well as the programs that they are going to market. In addition to that, researchers also informed readers that social media enables a business to reach a worldwide customer population. Besides, social media also provide instant platforms for public to communicate with marketers regarding an issue, which seems to be quite practical to all of us.

The participation of electronic and digital media enterprises started to involve in the marketing in order to deliver their products and services. In addition to that, marketing also can be thought as an ability for organizations to know the needs of their costumers and at the same time managed to serve them with specific products that they want.

The four main keys of marketing are The Four Ps of Marketing which are product, price, place and promotion. The elements of The Four Ps stated are also known as the marketing mix. One of the reasons why the marketing mix is important is because firstly, it helps marketing managers to match or attend to the customers’ needs. Secondly, it will create a competitive environment between the marketers whereby everybody will come out with the best product, for instance, in order to compete in the industry. Thirdly, marketing managers also need to make sure that all the marketing mix of an organization is well blended with current demand. Lastly, another importance of marketing mix is that it will help to match with corporate resources.

On the other hand, talking about new media marketing, it can be seen that the power of new media especially social media in bringing the impact to the marketing industry is very significant to the industry. Abundance of marketing campaigns were carried out in social media received a lot of feedback from millions of social media users in the country.

Besides that, social media sites have been actively used in marketing industry to enhance advertisements and promotions in order to be able to generate more revenue to an organization. The platforms provide in any social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram manage to help an organization to publish and receive instant feedback from people all over the world.

Social media websites give opportunities for many companies to engage and interact with potential and current customers. Through the platform of social media, customer relationship can be maintained well because customers will feel close to the organization and at the same time, any enhancements can be made by that particular organizations because any comments or suggestions can be sent directly to the organization through social media. Business is getting easier through the emergence of social media.

In conclusion, it can be concluded that the emergence of new media has helped to ease the life of many people including the media organizations in this country. Traditional way of marketing was also useful but it might not help an organization to receive much feedback as what is happening now. In addition to that, it is also said that new media is the best marketing channel to be used by marketers nowadays due to a few advantages that the technology bring.

Digital Marketing on the Rise

By Nurul Fathnie Rustam

Source: http://aimhigherafrica.com/

What is digital marketing? Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online. From the website itself to a business’s online branding assets — digital advertising, email marketing, online brochures, and beyond, there’s a spectrum of tactics that fall under the umbrella of “digital marketing.”

We all know the importance of involving oneself in digital marketing especially if you own a business. Any business will do, be it food and beverages, property, clothing line, education and all types of business require digital marketing unless you are doing it offline. Why? It is simple, because everyone in this world currently owns smartphones and have access to the internet. People nowadays even read newspaper online and watch television dramas online. It is super easy, free and all you need is a high-speed internet connection. Thus, there is no wonder why business men and women nowadays are using this digital marketing to promote and sell their products. Now, what are the advantages of this digital marketing? Why is it so important to businesses?

Firstly, a business man should know that digital marketing tactics is the most cost-effective way to market your business. One of the most important benefits of digital marketing is that it is the most cost-effective way to market your business. When it comes to traditional marketing, it is pretty hard for small companies especially start-ups with limited budgets to compete with big and large companies for ad space. We all know how expensive it is to advertise your business on the television and billboard for example. Now, with digital marketing tactics, small businesses have other better options which are very much affordable than the traditional way.

Secondly, digital marketing allows you to target your ideal buyers. When you purchase ad spaces be it on the billboard or magazine, it is likely you are taking a shot that the message will reach its intended audience. It is different with digital marketing, you can ensure the right consumers are viewing your content. SEO allows you to reach those consumers who are searching the web for content and topics that are related with your business. For example you are selling women’s clothing, make sure you are putting the right title or the right keyword to ensure the SEO will capture the words. Worry not, because it will be targeted to the right audiences without hassle. It is pretty easy right? Just make sure you are putting in the correct keyword to make it easy for your consumer to find your page. Social media advertising enables you to target those who are most likely to be interested in your products or services based on demographic information and general characteristics.

Thirdly, people are on social media and digital marketing can help you reach them. Perhaps the most important on our list of benefits of digital marketing is this. No matter what industry your business is in, there’s a good chance that your buyers are spending their time on social media channels especially Facebook or Twitter. Digital marketing will not only help you reach your consumers, it will also help you to engage with them. You will be able to publish and promote unique content on these social media sites, and you are able to reach your consumers through advertising. Social media platforms like Facebook offer sophisticated targeting options that help you reach the consumers who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. What’s more is that social media also provides an effective platform for communicating with and engaging your target audiences. Rather than just posting content and never hearing from your consumers, you can have one-on-one conversations in real-time that allow you to gain valuable insight into your brand. That’s something that traditional marketing tactics just don’t allow for.

So these are few of the advantages of digital marketing. If you wish to start a new business, do not hesitate to promote your products using digital marketing. Not only it is effective, it is also affordable. Good luck!

 

SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY PROVES ONLINE USERS ARE NOW CONTRIBUTING TO SEXUAL EXPLICIT CONTENT IN SOCIAL MEDIA

By: Zayana Isa

A smartphone is indeed no longer a requirement in our lives; it has becoming a need instead. Statistics by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in 2017 stated that smartphone users contribute 89.4% of the device used by Internet users to access the Internet where smartphones remain the most popular means for users to access Internet. According to the statistics, 89.3% of Internet users visiting social networking sites to socialize and build up networking.  By looking at our society nowadays, the above statement is undeniable anymore.  Scenarios such as bosses give an order or work instructions on the phone, a teacher leave homework messages through Whatsapp group for students to finish their homework at home and a husband simply a message to his wife upon meals for the dinner are closest example that we can relate on how people nowadays occupied themselves with smartphones all the time.

In other cases, have we ever encountered in a restaurant where a group of youngsters are having their dinner, yet everyone is enjoying their “meals” with the smartphones? These scenarios are no longer unusual situation to be seen. However, there’s something more serious that we need to ponder and look into. Since the social media has taken place more than it supposed to be, the content of what users post in it might be abused by some people. The emergence of new media, especially the social media has taken the world of communication to other dimensions. Users are mostly occupied with their online social network and socializing among themselves virtually.

Research by Sirianni & Vishwanath (2012) suggested that online users now are becoming sexually self-produced materials which also known as sexually explicit user-generated content (SEUGC). SEUGC is defined as non-professional photos, videos or written messages (e-mail, instant messages, blogs, mobile phone text messages) that are created by individuals planning, soliciting or actually engaging in sexual activities for non-profit purposes.

In addition, some scholars have observed that the prevalence of sexual self-presentations on social media seems to reflect the prevalence of sexual messages in mass media content popular among adolescents (Vandenbosch et al, 2015). Literally, the content of social media that is controlled by the users itself became an explicit content as we can see many photos or videos posted in social media (Instagram and YouTube).

By looking at Social Cognitive Theory, Bandura (1978) explains that behavioral, personal and environmental factors influence people’s thoughts and behaviors simultaneously in a reciprocal fashion. Behavior is contingent on expected outcomes which represent what individuals might expect to achieve from performing a specific behavior and serve as motivators that guide people’s behavior (Sirianni & Vishwanath, 2012). The online users are actually been influenced by the social media society where there are users who posted their nude photos shamelessly and those who are seeing it repeatedly may be influenced by the behavioral and doing the same things. In Malaysia context, this is totally against what we practice in our culture and beliefs.

Bandura (2008) also finds that behavioral, cognitive and affective learning can be achieved not only direct experience but also vicariously by observing the actions of others and the outcomes that they engender. The online users find any post on nudity or sexual explicit may not be harmful as they’ve seen on the Internet and as a result, their actions of posting such photos or videos is harmless and they think they have the rights of doing so.

However, the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum (CMCF) has already provided the Content Code that we should abide. Under the Guideline on Content; Indecent Content states that materials which are offensive, morally improper and against current standards of accepted behavior including nudity and sex and Obscene Content are prohibited. Many users may not aware of this Content Code and they might be offended by any actions of such prohibited content.

Overall, the recent studies by scholars show that mainstream mass media content have the potential to stimulate adolescents to produce and distribute their own sexual self-portrayals (Vandebosch et al.,2015). As far as the SCT is concerned, the online users are influenced by the behavior they adapt through the social media society.

 

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It’s A Scam!

by Joven Junip

It’s a scam. A phrase we have heard very often because it means that someone had been scam out of their hard earn money. What is a scam? According to the Cambridge dictionary, a scam is an illegal plan for making money, especially one that involves tricking people. It involves tricking someone of their money in simple term. The Businessdictionary.com defined it as a fraudulent scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group, or company in an attempt to obtain money or something valuable. Scams traditionally resided in confidence tricks, where an individual would misrepresent themselves as someone with skills or authority i.e. a doctor, lawyer, investor. Now with this definition, it is clear to what a scam is that are hotly debated in our local and international media. In this era of information technology, more and more information is shared among those online, hence we are more vulnerable to scam. According to Dr. Frank Mcandrew, PhD, a psychology professor from Knox college, Galesburg Illinois in his article entitled “Why We Still Fall for the “Nigerian Prince” Scam” at phycologytoday.com gave a general reason on why we still fall for this kind of scam even though we are highly educated. He mentioned that most of us profess unrealistic optimism about our own futures, our grades will be better next semester, a new job will be much better than an old one, and our next relationship will be the one that lasts forever and research shows that we consistently overestimate our knowledge, our skills, our intelligence and our moral fiber. In other words, we truly believe that we are savvy and that nice things are likely to happen to us. In my own experience working for a government agency that handle bankruptcy in Malaysia, fear of the unknown seems to be the reason why many people fall to the scam. For instance, in May 2018, we received 6 complaints. That were from those whom had the ability to question the scammer and check with us about the call they received from the high court employee or from a prominent lawyer firm. In which that they’re told they have a bankruptcy case and have less than 3 hours to bank-in a certain amount of money to this particular account if they don’t want to be declared bankrupt. These people whom does not know how bankruptcy presiding are all about and fear of being declared bankrupt, would just pay that demand. There was never a case to begin with. Those who came to ask for explanation on the matter are the lucky ones to escape such scam but we wonder how many people that had actually paid the demand? Normally these people as Dr. Frank say, is overconfident on their own knowledge and skill, would never report the crime because again, fear of being ridicule by others for not being able to distinguish between a real issue and a scam. An article in The Star newspaper on 24 September 2018 written by Chelsea L.Y Ng and Fatimah Zainal about the scam that was reported in Malaysia recently which is known as the Macau scam. The victim who is an account executive admitted to embezzlement and indirectly cause her bosses to be sacked because the embezzlements. What she did all because of love towards a British man that she only met once. Due to the future romance, she was fooled into giving millions to the man in 2013. This is a classic case of the Macau Scam which in a way, a variant of the Nigerian prince scam. In my view, this is not a direct scam but poor choices of the victim to actually do an act of crime by doing embezzlement to supposedly help out her lover. She knows it was wrong even before she noticed it was a scam so why did she did it? Was it in the name of love? It was the poor choices of an uninform individual that created this situation. According to the Star journalist Malaysia that is said to be prime hunting ground for the Macau scammers. There are a few survivors of this scam whom aim individual ability to handle panic situations. Intimidating their victims is also another technique, claiming to be a police officer coming to arrest them. Senior citizen is also their main target because senior citizen thought to be more prone to panic and are not able to think straight at the situations. Countless reports had been done by victims from various country around the world, but the authority sometimes would never able to get the culprit because the criminal would have withdrawn the money right after the money is bank in and by the time the authority launch an investigation the account would had already been closed. To get those whom open the account to be charged with scam they would need evidence and normally the victim would only have the phone number which can easily change and register under a different name, account number which could already be closed. No paper trail because it was on the phone information and it was time sensitive actions. The criminal would They always use the time factor to trigger the panic and hence get the victim to comply to their demands. Another characteristic that the victims would easily fall to is their flimsy attention to detail. For example, if the scammer used this particular bank as his reference, those whom are sure they do not have any business with that bank would not have fallen for such tactics but then again if their doubt occurred because once they did apply for something but cannot remember when or if it ever got approved, this is when the scammer would have a door opening to grip the victim to believe their scam. Always understand the procedure of what the scammer are trying to convince you. Time is always a factor in the scammer plan, if they do not allow you time to gather information on the matter and even time to gather fund for example, it most certainly be a scam. More information is your amour against such scammer. Hence it would be worthwhile to invest in some time to understand how things work.

The Curious Mind on Freedom of Information

by Ezzati Zaki

In no case do you get one answer which is universally accepted because it is true: in each case you get a number of totally incompatible answers, one of which is finally adopted as the result of a physical struggle. History is written by the winners. (Orwell, 1944, para. 4)

The quote above explain in the tradition of answering to the curious minds, there will always be multiple tales to a story. And most often than not, the tales told is the chosen answer, or fact carefully selected by the author. Seeing that history was written by winners, we, as citizen of a nation have much to query in our lifetimes.

According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, n.d.), “Freedom of information is an integral part of the fundamental right of freedom of expression…which encompasses the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. As stated by UNESCO, it is human right to get information and use the information by which to express it to others. Alas, it is not the case in Malaysia as legal guarantee of the Right to Know is limited to only the state of Selangor and Penang, under the Freedom of Information Enactments (FOIE). The FOIEs in both states permit the citizen to attain most information owned by the respective state governments, “but the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 invalidates the FOIEs jurisdiction as soon as the requested information involves that which is marked ‘Top Secret’, ‘Secret’, ‘Confidential’ or ‘Restricted’ under the OSA” (Right2Know, n.d.).

With the limited democratization of information in Malaysia, it is the duty of media to act as watchdog. Unfortunately, according to Ravi (2016), Malaysian media is a muzzled one, on discussing the Sarawak Report on 1MDB in her article for Al Jazeera. Ravi also stated that it is not a surprise to Malaysian themselves that mainstream media are not transparent in their news reporting and strangulating of democracy. The lack of trust amongst rakyat of its own mainstream media can be justified by which Malaysia ranked 145 out of 180 in the Freedom Press Index (Reporters Without Borders, 2018).

Let’s take a socialist stand and look into Murdock and Golding’s (1974) proposition; implicitly doubting publics’ nonchalant absorption of media products rather than challenging them. There are indeed a high concentration of constructed content received by audiences which initiated the rise of alternative media to tackle the untruthful contents offered. Praxis is one of political economy in mass communication’s component incorporated in many scholarly setting to promote media and social change (Wasko, 2014). These efforts of uncovering the truth by alternative media are seen as acts of activism towards freedom of information and speech.

In Malaysia, some alternative media are politically inclined toward certain camp. However, there are significant new players in the alternative media, thanks to the aid of the Internet. In recent years, alternative media especially alternative print media revoked off of their publication licenses turned to the Internet to utilize the digital space. Supporting Murdock and Golding’s proposition, Malaysians are receptive of alternative media, specifically catered to the younger hipper crowd, such as cilisos.my, the online edition of The Malay Mail and the up and coming The Other.

Malaysians have been deprived of their rights to information since before the 1987’s Operasi Lalang. The public sphere perspective should be embraced to allow exchange of ideas and knowledge, in so doing cultivates dynamic citizenries. As responsible rakyat, Malaysians should put into practice the “principles of diversity, access to information for an informed citizenry necessary for democracy, free speech and freedom of press,” (Rice, 2008). After an astonishing feat by the rakyat in transforming Malaysia during the last 14th General Election, there is harapan (hope) for a transparent, credible and trustworthy media, in supporting citizen’s need for freedom of information.

References
• Murdock, G., & Golding, P. (1974). For a political economy of mass communications. Socialist Register, 205 – 234.
• Orwell, G. (1944, February 4). As I pleased. (A. Bevan, & J. Kimche, Eds.) Tribune.
• Ravi, M. (2016). Corruption and control: Malaysia’s muzzled media. Retrieved from Al Jazeera: Retrieved from AlJazeera: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2016/04/corruption-control-malaysia-muzzled-media-160418081111223.html
• Reporters Without Borders. (2018). 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Retrieved from Reporters Without Borders: https://rsf.org/en/malaysia
• Rice, R. E. (2008). Central concepts in media ownership research and regulation. In R. E. Rice, Media ownership: Research and regulation (pp. 3-28). Cressskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
• Right2Know. (n.d.). Freedom of Information. Retrieved from Right 2 Know Malaysia: https://right2know.my/foi/
• UNESCO. (n.d.). Communication and Information. Retrieved from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-of-expression/freedom-of-information/
• Wasko, J. (2014). The study of the political economy of the media in the twenty-first century. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 10(3), 259-271. doi:10.1386/macp.10.3.259_1

Co-Working Space: The Next Generation Office

Written by Laila Wahidah Iskandar

Millennial have been labelled as many as the Gen Y with creative entrepreneurial talent and skill. Some may have referred the youngsters as “The Start-up Generation”. The future of work is evolving. As the e-commerce industry allows businesses to operate from anywhere as long as there is Internet connection, many new business founders have challenges to work and organize meetings without a proper office. It would be nice to be able to work from home but it may not be very conducive to get some serious work done.

The Klang Valley has had a recent influx in awesome co-working spaces, so there are endless options for any freelancer or entrepreneur looking for a change or scene, or networking opportunities. Multinational companies are beginning to discover the appeal of co-working spaces as a flexible office solution. Companies aspire to have smarter workplace design which can provide the flexibility to attract and retain talent and help increase productivity.

As predicted by global property consultant Knight Frank, in a report by the News Straits Times, co-working footprint in Malaysia will continue to grow in 2018 as businesses consider new ways to manage their real estate. Office market in Kuala Lumpur continued to struggle with oversupply of new buildings and subdued leasing activities during the last quarter of 2017. Knight Frank’s Asia Pacific Head of Research, Nicholas Holt said the lacklustre leasing activities was due to continued growth in demand for co-working and technology-related spaces.

This opens the door for co-working providers to attract multinational companies into flexible and creative spaces. Real estate is typically the second largest operating expense a company may incur, excluding salaries and wages. Co-working providers can offer a tailor-made office solution with no upfront capital expenditure costs which address a platform of work based challenges.

Owing to the initial investment needed to set up permanent office space, self-employed entrepreneurs and small start-ups were the initial users of co-working space in Malaysia. Recognising the unique offering of community, collaboration and higher transactional flexibility, a growing multinational client base has emerged. Co-working now boasts a range of users across different industries, a trend we expect to accelerate moving forward.

For many businesses it is critical to be in an environment that has access to start-ups and technology innovators, elements that can be found in the “community” within the co-working ecosystem. Likewise, traditional teams that are mobile on a daily basis and do not need a permanent desk can work in different locations. These businesses are attracted to a network that allows mobility throughout the city.

According to an article by The Edge Markets reported that the shifting trends of co-working spaces may benefit the reposition of the demand and supply of office spaces in Malaysia. Real estate firm Savills (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Chairman Datuk Christopher Boyd explained this is because traditional office buildings which meet tenants’ criteria for modern facilities, can easily be deployed as co-working space. They added that it has helped alleviate the oversupply situation of the office property market, which is true because most of the co working spaces are now renting at old renovated buildings, corporate buildings and even shopping malls.

“It is also not aimed at just the Golden Triangle, but [office spaces] out in the suburbs and other cities such as Penang, Kuantan, Johor Bahru,” Boyd said at a forum today.

“Today, you have medium-sized range of co-working space [tenants] that takes up starting from 20,000 sq ft to as high as 60,000 sq ft. And that’s very good, it helps with the filling up of the office buildings,” Deputy executive chairman Allan Soo said.

As flexible working is becoming more common, rentable working spaces are also on the rise here in Klang Valley. If you are looking for a change of scenery and somewhere new to draw inspiration from, here are some conducive, tech-savvy, state of the art co-working area that are rentable for businesses, start-ups and even students!

  1. WORQ

WORQ provides a co-working space that utilises natural light with its large windows, providing a gorgeous view while you work on one of their comfy beanbags!

It is definitely recommended for those who need a visually-stimulating and colourful environment to perk up your mood and get creative at work.

  1. The Co

The Co gives a futuristic, minimalist feel yet provide tenants with spacious area. The interior decoration looks very edgy and definitely suits those who are working on elegant tech-savvy projects.

One of its spaces is located at The Row, which is situated right above a ton of cafes so this is the perfect place for coffee addicts!

  1. Common Ground

This is one of the more popular co-working spaces on this list due to its presence across Southeast Asia. CommonGround has work spaces in Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

CommonGround in fact has their own mobile app, which can connect you to other members with whom you can gain feedback on ideas and plans in real-time. With its eye-catching interior decor, this is definitely a great space to work and get creative!

  1. CO3 Social Office

Looking for a space to get the creative juice flowing? Fret not! This awesome co-working space will give you a colourful vibe and a fun working environment.

It has an indoor slide and a built-in aeroplane for those looking to think out of the box!

  1. Colony Space

Colony Space is definitely one of the more luxurious-looking co-working spaces in this list. With a simple yet elegant black-and-white theme, this space looks professional yet laid-back thanks to its comfortable furniture.

On top of that, the space is also equipped with its very own gym and swimming pool! Perfect way to de-stress whenever a mental block comes on!