Editorial 1

Dato’ KP, We Have A Job To Do Too!

by Fathol Zaman Bukhari

They say good or bad publicity is publicity nonetheless. Most prefer to stay on the right side and will give an arm and a leg to remain in the good books. If something bad is written or said about them they will go ballistic, threatening legal action as an immediate recourse. Being in the media business we are never short of these flare-ups. Putting up with these inconsistencies is a way of life for most of us in the media world. What is good for the goose is good for the gander too, goes another saying. How true can it be?

What happens if we are on the receiving end? Should we resort to the courts as well? Or should we settle it the old fashion way by drawing a line on the ground and challenging the opposite side to cross first before striking. That was how we old geezers settled scores those days when catching fish and birds was a pastime far better than surfing the Internet like kids do these days.

Since achieving Independence on August 31, 1957, the country celebrates the auspicious occasion by holding a parade. Each state will hold its own with one mammoth parade in Kuala Lumpur known as the National Parade or Perbarisan Kebangsaan. Today the grand occasion is being alternated with Putrajaya or is held at one of the capital cities in the country. Its significance is, however, not diminished by way of locality, as the host state will go out of its way to be on top.

The 55th National Day Parade was held in Kuala Lumpur. Perak marked the occasion by holding a similar parade in Ipoh. The site has always been along Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang with the iconic Town Hall as a backdrop. The grand stand where VIPs sit is right in front of the Town Hall. It could not have been more suitably located. Once the participating contingents marched down the road press photographers would jockey for spots to take the best shots. This scene is repeated each year. Having been a member of the armed forces, parades are nothing strange to me. I was a detachment commander of the King’s honour guards in 1972 and the parade adjutant the following year.

The last time I was involved, as an active player, was the state-level National Day parade in Seremban in 1997. I was a member of the organising committee and was responsible for security. I was privy to what took place on that fateful day. Fortunately, nothing untoward happened. The Yang DiPertuan Besar, the late Tuanku Ja’afar ibini Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman and his consort were seen leaving the grand stand waving and smiling at the crowd. Chasing away ‘unwelcomed’ press photographers was not part of my job.

What took place on the morning of Saturday, August 31 at around 8am was truly uncalled for. Press photographers from the mainstream media and Ipoh Echo were shooed away by Police personnel. The reason – they were too close to the VIP stand and were in the way of the marching contingents. Press photographers in the way of the marching contingents? What utter bull!

Ipoh Echo’s photographer, Muhd Shahir (Ed) tried to reason with the sergeant major who was leading him out of the area. He showed his press pass and asked why another casually clad photographer, who had no identification whatsoever, was not similarly treated? The terse answer he got was, “Jangan pertikaikan kerja polis!” (Don’t question police’s job!). How ironic could it be? Weren’t the pressmen there to do a job too? Does it mean that when the Police are on the job no one else, media included, are allowed to do their job?

Dato’ KP (Ketua Polis), we have our job too! Our job is to cover the National Day parade. Police keep the peace while the media keep the rakyat informed. There is a defined line between the two. Dato’, it is not about who is going to cross the line first.

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4 thoughts on “Dato’ KP, We Have A Job To Do Too!

  1. tax-payers monies ! tax-payers monies !
    is tat d only ‘key word’ tat u all can use arr?

    tats y we hv authorities…to control d situation. if u dont want yr monies to pay to d authorities, then u handle evrythg by yrself loh !
    n dont blame others.

    how many years independnce day hd been celebrated. did every yr d police chased u out? only once in d blu moon ths kind of situation happen, u all jump up !
    how many of u say ‘thnk u’ to d authority when d event runs smoothly.

    dont just coz u r reporters, u can write everythg tat u dont satisfied. if u r fair enough, then ask both parties to comment on ths matter.

    come on…be fair to others also.

  2. I do not know how I felt after reading this media. Of course as a reporter. It’s between sad or pissed. Although the media card is hung on their neck…and after the media card has been showed to the Sargent Major (Whom I believed must have a good knowledge of the media card and who wear them; unless he is really a magnificent moron)…the photographers still been chase away…if this is the case…it is better to put up a sign (and I mean really big so everybody n the ground could see) saying that: Press/Media are not allowed to cover the National Day Parade…just one question comes to mind…why they need the media to cover their cases, achievements and their success in an operations for???

  3. Thought the OCPD had iterated in the Echo before the he was leading his force of upstanding men to be more approachable. Guess that was a different OCPD from a different time.

    Then again, one cannot be too careful these days, you know what I mean. Too many dissatisfied people out there wanting to cause untold troubles for the boys in blue. The they have to spend thousands of MYR on chemicals, ripped uniforms, lost caps, soiled pants, etc etc.. all on public money. They are saving the taxpayers money, for crying out loud.

  4. To deny any to perform their duties is uncalled. In view of the above story, I believe some sort of an abuse of power have taken place. It is because of some unjust character of the law and the way they implement it on public have created the bad image of the Police for the masses. Thus, to be fair, I call upon the OCPD of Ipoh to provide an explanation of the above incident. Verses like ” Jangan mempertikaikan kerja polis” is totally unaccepted, the public has a right to question the police when they are confronted with certain situation. And its the duty of the Police to explain to the public in a professional way. Police must not forget that they paid by the tax-payers monies to perform their duties accordingly.

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