Monday, February 18, 2008

RTM's proselytisation in bad taste

The original letter that was sent and later published (after plenty of grammatical correction....) by Malaysiakini -

Dear Editor,

I write in support to the letter (RTM doesn't know what typical Chinese are) by Angry Chinaman. RTM has been very insensitive to other races in this regard, considering the fact that the main aim of any government backed radio and TV station is to foster peace, unity and goodwill in a multi-racial society as ours. Instead, RTM has been made to become tool by the government to spread lies and election propaganda of the ruling parties.

If Angry Chinaman or anyone for that matter watches RTM2 frequent enough, one will always notice that the prime time serials are almost always about newly converted Chinese. Usually it begins by showing how the person feels so much emptiness in his/her life prior to accepting the religion. After much emotional and spiritual struggles, he/she became a Muslim. It will then show further struggles and challenges faced by this newly converted chinese in making his/her belief known to her family members and friends. The conclusion to this plot will be that everyone accepted and understand her new belief and she finds life so much more meaningful with his/her newfound faith.

There is nothing wrong showing a person finding meaning to his/her life through a newfound faith. My question is, why only limit it to only one religion (Islam)? Why is the government using so much tax payers money to push a religion that are professed by less than 1 percent of the Chinese?

Not limited to RTM2, Radio5 (Ai FM) has also become a tool for the proselytisation by the government. The 5 times call for prayer in Chinese are broadcast daily without fail. For the benefit of those non-listeners of AiFM, there are also weekly khutbah in Mandarin (which last more than 5 to 10 mins) by the station too. I would not be surprised that in future, there will be testimony and talk shows by newly converted Chinese. While I believe it's the right for muslims to proselytise, we do demand some form of respect to our rights too! Recently the mosque near my house started broadcasting it's sermon every Thursday night for the whole neighbourhood to listen.

I have absolute no issue if all these proselytisation is done (in any language) by a private station since they are privately funded and religious freedom (for the non-muslim) is guaranteed by our Constitution. But propaganda through these state sanctioned radio and tv stations makes me feel as if I am living in a Communist state! Personally, I find these state sponsored proselytisation are in extreme bad taste and a complete abuse by the government.I have always believed that whatever that is own by the government, it is also owned by the rakyat. As such, does the Information Ministry seriously think that it is doing us a favour by promoting one single religion to us? Does the Information Ministry thinks that we welcome these kind of bombardment in proselytisation of Islam in movies and radios? I seriously wonders, if Dato Seri Ong Ka Tings pays for the 40 seconds speech which are now being aired many times a day.


2 anak ayam bother to comments:

myop101 said...

Agree with you on this one. I believe they should give equal time to everyone to share on their faiths.

I remember back in the old days, they used to show Christmas stories involving the Nativity scene. Of course, nowadays, only Santa Claus is shown. Perhaps soon, it will be no show. They may even clips about christians converted to muslims during Christmas... hmmm...

Puteri said...

Of course RTM/Information Ministry thinks they are doing us a favor by showing such programs. After all they think it is the perfect religion and want everyone to embrace that religion.

As to equal time given to other religions, don't count on it. In Sarawak, yes, but only on the non-Malay radio stations. Better than nothing, eh.

Next time someone is going to broadcast from offshore, in international waters, and there's nothing the government can do about it!