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Malaysia Concept Was Introduced Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2849 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The mainstream media in Malaysia has always been perceived as an important agent of change for most of the government’s policies. Mainstream media refers to the dominant sources for majority of the people in getting their news. These include the print media which are the presses, television and radio.

As we are living in an era of media convergence, these media is dominating people’s life in shaping their beliefs and perceptions. Nevertheless, mainstream media are widely used as a propaganda tool in encouraging the society to accept and generate desired outcome of governments’ policy or concept.

According to Kok (2010), he highlighted that the beauty of the mainstream media in Malaysia is capable to transform biased reporting into an art form. The mainstream media in Malaysia basically include The Star newspaper, Utusan Malaysia, The New Straits Times, Radio-Television Malaysia (RTM) and others. Since citizens are living in a media driven culture, political parties can easily utilise both traditional and digital media in disseminating messages that are favourable to them.

In short, mainstream media in Malaysia nowadays play a vital role for both citizens and government either in disseminating information and messages or in encouraging citizens’ in accepting new government policies.

Chapter 2: Discussion

2.1 1Malaysia concept

1Malaysia concept was introduced by the Malaysia 6th Prime Minister, YAB Dato Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak for the improvement on developing the country, Malaysia.

In this globalization era, improvements through concepts, ideas and visions have always been proposed to ensure that the country is not isolated from the advancement of the development and is compatible with others communities in the globe. 1Malaysia has been launched in the year of 2009 during the administration of YAB Dato Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak for the sake of the country development to encourage the citizens in Malaysia to think and act as a group regardless of race and religion (Ir. Dr Hasnul Mohamad Salleh, 2009). Besides, this concept is launched in order to equip Malaysians to be more resilience and progressive to overcome the upcoming challenges in the globalisation from the political, economic and social aspects.

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With the principle of “People First, Performance Now”, 1Malaysia concept is carried out to put the Malaysian at the first place in terms of equality, fair and just through the efficiently, sincerely and fairly execution of task and obligation by the government leaders (Ir. Dr Hasnul Mohamad Salleh, 2009). As Malaysia consists of multi-ethnic citizens, mutual respect and acceptance attitude on different races are important in which respect, sincerity and trustworthiness should be encouraged among the races to ensure the peacefulness of the country.

Furthermore, 1Malaysia concept also highlights the significance of the government leaders in running the country. It is important for them to possess characteristics of high integrity, honest, capable, truthful, transparent, sincere and trustworthy (1Malaysia, 2012). By possessing these characteristics, they will be able to accomplish their obligations and responsibilities. Dedication and commitment is the best weapon for the government leaders which ease them in planning strategies and carrying on their responsibility in servicing and fulfilling the citizens’ needs. Aside from that, 1Malaysia concept calls upon the government leaders to be friendly. They should be readily contributed their effort and time, in addition to prioritise stakeholders’ interest rather than their personal interest. By doing so, they will surely gain support from each layer of the community.

In the 1Malaysia concept, 3 tenets have been proposed to strengthen and embellish national unity. They are the principles of acceptance, national spirit and justice. YAB Dato Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak (2009) has once reinforced that Malaysians should think and perform critically and generously regardless of ethnicity and races whereas the leaders should satisfy the rights and needs of the citizens so that they will not be detached from the development of the country and they get commensurate protection from the leaders.

In short, 1Malaysia concept is an agenda in structuring Malaysia. It treasures each races as the assets of the country that we are proud of. 1Malaysia concept also states that the importance for both the Malaysia citizens and Malaysia government leaders to maintain mutual understanding in order to embrace the values such as excellence, endurance, humility, acceptance, loyalty, meritocracy, education and integrity (1Malaysia, 2012).

2.2 Mainstream Media

The 1Malaysia concept is now widely accepted by the Malaysians. Regarding to this, mainstream media has played an important role in shaping people’s perception towards the concept. Today, people had have a higher frequency in exposing to the media which results in a higher chance to be propaganised by the government through these mainstream media.

Mainstream media such as newspaper has become such a popular propaganda tools for government. Press companies such as The Star, New Straits Times and Utusan Melayu, Shin Chew Jit Poh and Utusan Malaysia are having strong ties with the political parties. For the television and radio station, Hot fm, One fm, Fly fm, 8Tv, TV9, TV3, RTM1, RTM2 and NTV7 are the mainstream broadcast media that are under the ownership of the Malaysia government (Media Prima Berhad, 2012). Through this mainstream media, the government can deliver their message effectively to everyone, where each media caters different target audiences. For example, Fly Fm serves English educated audiences whereas One Fm serves Chinese community.

Government censorship and the amendment of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (1984) was introduced by the government to exert their control on the contents published to the publics (Lim, 2007). They censored the content which seems to be harmful to them and exert laws in order to prevent unintended comments that will threaten their power from arising.

Chapter 3

3.1 The Modern Propaganda Theory

Applying to the Modern Propaganda Theory, Malaysia government has wisely utilised the mainstream media in Malaysia in disseminating messages that serve their interests. In promoting the 1Malaysia concept, they claim that this concept was launched as guidance for the unity of the country. In additional, government has used the Modern Propaganda Theory through the five filters which are ownership, advertising, flak, sourcing and support the status quo (Dr. Janet McMullen, 2003). Malaysia government has increased their media concentration by owning several media companies in order to manipulate and control the content publish to serve their interests. Moreover, by owning a larger amount of media companies, government can easily exert their control on gate-keeping and information flow. Malaysia government has also used sourcing in limiting the access of the media. By doing so, citizens of Malaysia are banned to search for the information or news that may threaten the government power and hence, this ease the effort of government in ruling the country which are favourable to them (Dr. Janet McMullen, 2003).

Reporting in the New Straits Times, the 1Malaysia Students Discount Card was introduced to reduce the students’ cost of living (The Star, 2012). Another headline which can be seen in the New Straits Times and also The Star, the papers have reported on the opening of the 1Malaysia clinic. The papers highlighted that the RM1 medical fee in the 1Malaysia clinic is the initiative of the government in easing the burden of the people in this high cost living (The Star, 2012).

Looking into this white propaganda used by the Malaysia government through the mainstream media either in the newspapers or online newspaper, 1Malaysia concept was launched to promote the positive information and objectives that the elite groups considered good (Stanley & Dennis, 2010). In other words, Malaysia government propagate citizens’ mind through the mainstream media in which unity can be promoted if the citizens of Malaysia support the 1Malaysia concept and hence support the government which refers to the Barisan National in this context. By applying the white propaganda techniques, government of Malaysia has suppressed the potentially harmful information such as corruption and poverty happened by widely promoting the 1Malaysia concept to the people (Stanley & Dennis, 2010).

3.2 Mass Society Theory and Magic Bullet Theory

As media is dominating people’s life now, they tend to believe and receive what media provide to them as the source for their information.

Government knew that in this current era, media has become so powerful and dangerous in direct influencing people’s mind. Therefore, media has to be controlled to protect the people’s thought from being ruined and manipulated by the media which will cause bad long-term consequences and social problems (Stanley & Dennis, 2010).

Emphasising on these reasons, government has taken the initiative in owning most of the media companies in order to exert control of the publication in a positive way for the sake of the citizens of Malaysia. In Mass Society Theory and Magic Bullet Theory or also known as Hypodermic Needle Theory, they had stated that audiences are vulnerable. They can easily been influenced by the content of the media.

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By applying the Magic Bullet Theory, Malaysia government injects the 1Malaysia concept directly into the community through mainstream media. By looking at the news reported by BERNAMA on the 1Malaysia concept on 6 May, the prime minister said that it is not a problem to demonstrate if it does not violate the Malaysia law. However, the headline on the same day has highlighted on the Prime Minister’s plan in outlining the “4K” approach for the sake of the rural women for their improvement. Headline reporting on “People Can’t Live on Empty Promises-Najib” by the BERNAMA on 27 April, the government has “brainwashed” the voters to vote for them because if the voters vote for the opposition, who is claimed that they are just making empty promises in order to gain more supports in the next general elections, they will never live in a harmony life (1Malaysia, 2012; The Star, 2012).

Applying to the Mass Society Theory, the Malaysia government has always noticed that people much depends on the media to get their information. Thus, they tend to report only on the benefits and advantages of supporting and accepting the 1Malaysia concept in leading to a fair, just and unite country. The Malaysia government believes on the direct effect assumption which the media can produce direct effect to the people. As suggested in Magic Bullet Theory, the mass media are capable to trigger the desired outcome of a large group through the messages that are purposely designed. As a result, Malaysia government tends to glamourise the headline or allow the mainstream media to publish only the contents that serve the interest of them in encouraging the acceptance of the 1Malaysia concept by the citizens of Malaysia.

3.3 Harold Lasswell’s Propaganda Theory

Lasswell’s Propaganda Theory argued that the existing environment make people susceptible and vulnerable to propaganda. Examples can be seen through the introduction of the 1Malaysia concept in the year of 2009. As this theory claims that people need to be slowly equipped to accept radically different ideas and actions, 1Malaysia concept was introduced in the year of 2009 in order to let the government has sufficient time to propagate the people’s mind in voting the Barisan National in the next general election that will be held in the year of 2013.

Throughout these years, Malaysia government has wisely utilised the mainstream media in spreading and publishing the good news and beneficial advantages of the introduction of 1Malaysia. Besides claiming that the application of 1Malaysia concept can result in unity, the 1Malaysia concept also leads to a fair and just society regardless of race and religion.

In knowing that people need to be slowly prepared to accept new ideas or concept, the government has used around 4 years’ time in encouraging the Malaysia citizens in accepting the 1Malaysia concept. In promoting the 1Malaysia concept plan, the mainstream media has widely reported on the goodies provided by the 1Malaysia plan from the government. Throughout the launching of 1Malaysia concept, the government has introduced 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) which refers to the distribution of RM500 to those who earn less than RM3000 a month, 1Malaysia People’s Welfare (Kar1sma), 1Malaysia Student Discount Card (KADS1M), 1MAlaysai Privileged Card, 1Malaysia Book Voucher (BB1M) which cost RM200 for all the secondary and tertiary students, 1Malaysia People’s Store (KR1M), distribution of RM100 for school assistance, RM540 vouchers for taxi-drivers, the pay hike and bonuses for civil servants and other advantages that deem to be beneficial to the citizens of Malaysia (The Star,2012; Malaysian Indian 2012; The New Straits Times, 2012).

In promoting these benefits given by the government, mainstream media is a vital tool in propagating the citizens’ mind in accepting the 1Malaysia concept in which this concept has indeed benefited them in all aspects as a Malaysian. Newspapers has always reported on the positive side of the government regarding on the 1Malaysia concept on how this concept fits the citizens’ need and how thoughtful of the government for the sake of the citizens. Mainstream media like television, increase their frequency in broadcasting the unity and harmony scenes of Malaysia which consists of multi-ethnic races with the application of 1Malaysia concept. By long-term reinforcing on the unity value that can be built through the application of 1Malaysia concept through the variety of mainstream media, this can ease the effort of Malaysia government in encouraging the citizens to accept the 1Malaysia concept sooner.

Moreover, government of Malaysia is smart enough to portray their master or collective symbols as they always know that the master symbols are associated with strong emotions and possess the power to stimulate beneficial larger-scale mass action (Stanley & Dennis, 2010). This means that Malaysia government uses the master symbols of unity, fair, just and transparence in promoting the 1Malaysia concept. As people today are emotional attached with their environment, Malaysia government symbolises 1Malaysia concept as the sign of unity and thus, by voting the Barisan National, the government assures to the Malaysian that the strong and constant economic growth in harmony can be enjoyed by both the government and citizens.

Chapter 4: Conclusion

Mahatma Gandhi has once said, “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers” (MalaysianIndian1, 2012). Therefore, the mainstream media should be controlled by the elites groups which refer to the government to prevent the misuse of the media by the media company The usage of the mainstream media such as the print media and the broadcast media will surely generate the desired outcome of the 1Malaysia concept. This is because the Malaysia government has frequently injected the idea of unity regardless of races and religions through the introduction of 1Malaysia concept that has been widely shown in the mainstream media. Doubtless, the Malaysia government is calling upon the Malaysia citizens to vote for them, the Barisan National to achieve a fair, just and resilience country in facing the challenges in this era of globalization like stated in the 1Malaysia concept.

The frequent reinforcement on the positive sides of the 1Malaysia concept and the Malaysia government through the mainstream media will slowly penetrate into the community’s mind in accepting them. People are vulnerable as they receive information directly from the media in believing that the 1Malaysia concept will surely bring benefits to them and the country. Thus, the usage of mainstream media in instilling the government’s concept of unity and others positive values into the people’s mind will surely generate the desired outcome of the 1Malaysia concept which is to vote for the Barisan National for a better country.

The lack of unity in the society is still significant although Malaysia has achieved 55years of independence. Therefore, it is believed that 1Malaysia concept was introduced to improve the condition of people and the country, Malaysia.


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