Sabtu, 3 Mei 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Honour journalists killed in line of duty, says editor

Posted: 03 May 2014 07:23 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM: Journalists who were killed in the line of duty should be honoured for their ultimate contributions and sacrifices made for their society and country, said a high-ranking media professional from a newspaper organisation based in Thailand.

Bangkok Post editor-in-chief Pichai Chuensuksawadi said it was evident that journalists risked or lost their lives while on duty to expose wrongdoings and injustices within the societies whom they served.

"To me personally, the most important point of World Press Freedom Day today is to honour those journalists who have lost their lives because they did their job of seeking the truth.

"The lives of these journalists were taken because they pursued a principle which we all cherish," he said in his keynote address at a forum entitled 'Fostering Freedom of Expression' (Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the Post-2015 Development Agenda) held in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day.

Bernama general manager Datuk Yong Soo Heong attended the event.

Chuensuksawadi said he himself risked his life ducking mortar attacks when he covered border clashes between Myanmar troops and Karen minority rebels along the Thai-Myanmar border.

"As an editor, I had been interrogated by Special Branch police and spent one day in jail while waiting for bail in fighting one of many criminal defamation cases filed against me.

"But my experiences are nothing compared to the journalists murdered because of their profession.

"How many journalists can say they are prepared to continue doing their jobs despite the threat of violence and death? How many are prepared to make ultimate sacrifice? To me, it is very important to honour journalists who had made the ultimate sacrifice," he said.

Chuensuksawadi said the World Press Freedom Day was being held for more than 20 years and yet despite repeated pleas, media operations in many countries were still being censored, fined, suspended and even closed down besides journalists, editors and publishers being harassed, attacked and detained.

He said based on statistics since 1992 till now, 1,052 journalists had been killed in the line of duty across the globe.

According to Chuensuksawadi, the rise and spread of the Internet and social media platforms had allowed people to disseminate information and express their views and opinions virtually instantaneously.

Yong, one of the panelist at the forum, said people especially from the country which had multi-ethnic and religious society should be matured enough to understand issues brought up by journalists to ensure greater press freedom in the country.

He said by being matured and getting the relevant information in hand, people could make informed decisions. 

He said media organisations should have more researchers to assist reporters to ask questions during press conferences.

 "There should be a paradigm shift in media operations by having more researchers who can help the reporters from the print and broadcast media," he added. - Bernama

PKR polls: Branch youth candidate fumes as name missing from list

Posted: 03 May 2014 06:27 AM PDT

SUNGAI PETANI: The Sungai Petani PKR branch Youth election was marred by a missing name in the list of its candidates.

Supporters of S. Arvind Kumar - a candidate for the post of youth chief - began protesting when his name was not in the list on the grounds that he was ineligible to contest.

The protest began when Arvind Kumar discovered his name was not in the list when he arrived at the polling station in the Orang Ramai Seri Wangi Hall here on Saturday.

"I was not officially notified on my ineligibility to contest. What hurt me most was my involvement in an intense campaigning over the past one week.

 "I was understandably shocked when informed that my name was not in the list of candidates," he said. - Bernama

MH370: No answers, only hope as father heads home

Posted: 03 May 2014 05:47 AM PDT

The hotel became a powder keg of conflict between highly emotional relatives seeking answers about their missing loved ones, and airline officials and Malaysian government representatives stymied by the way flight MH370 vanished.

Read: Families move out of Beijing's Lido Hotel

Yan's younger son Yan Ling, 30, was one of the 153 Chinese passengers on the flight - making up two-thirds of those on board.

The last time the pair had spent time together was when Yan Ling returned to the family home for Chinese New Year in late January.

The annual pilgrimage is replicated in tens of millions of homes across the country, where high-achieving offspring often find work in the booming cities after university, rather than in their backwater hometowns.

During regular family briefings at the hotel, the 60-year-old would sit near the back of the hall, sipping a cup of iced water provided by airline support staff and lifting his head only during the occasions when tempers frayed.

Sometimes he would find solitude away from the insults and allegations, sitting outside in the car park with his thoughts and a cigarette, while relatives burst out of the door behind him sobbing into their handkerchiefs.

In the early days after the plane's disappearance, the signs of sleepless nights were etched on his face, with bags under his eyes and his thin hair ruffled.

Now Yan is more outwardly composed, but inside he remains crippled.

He has "felt nothing but despair", he says, since his life was turned upside down by a phone call from his son's girlfriend on the morning of March 8, 56 days ago.

"She said two sentences. She told me 'The plane is missing. Yan is missing'. Then she said nothing more, as she burst out crying," said Yan, from Yancheng in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

His son's boss telephoned him to say that the aircraft was missing and he should travel to the capital.

"I dropped everything and made the journey here."

There were no flights available to Beijing from nearby airports, so he had no choice but to buy a standing ticket on a train which took "a day and night".

Even at normal times the crowded journey would be gruelling. In the circumstances it was mental torture.

"The plane has gone. The plane has gone. I knew it was something terrible," he said, recalling the thoughts that raced through his mind.

Yan described his missing son as "introverted", but his tone brightened as he proudly exclaimed: "His boss says he is an excellent worker. A really good engineer."

Yan Ling works for a medical equipment company in Beijing's Haidian district and had travelled to Malaysia on a work-sponsored "short-study trip" with a colleague, his father said.

The family are close, said Yan, who was joined in Beijing by his elder son while his wife, who has health problems, stayed in Yancheng.

A vast multi-national search has failed to find any sign of wreckage, and some Chinese relatives have embraced improbable conspiracy theories of hijackings and hostage-takings.

At times the reality of the most likely outcome hits Yan.

"The passengers have probably already died," he said. "I think so, but I don't dare to tell my family that."

Even so, as his voice broke with emotion, Yan refused to accept that he may have spent his last Chinese New Year with his son.

He still clings to the thought of Yan Ling one day walking through the door of the family home once again.

"That would be great. I would be so happy. I hope this day will come, and I will always keep that hope." - AFP

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