Someone who goes by the nick, OFF, sent a comment in my previous posting on Usman Awang, criticising Astro and some newspapers for having "taken over ownership of what is supposed to be a list of 50 Malaysians, highly regarded in their own fields because of their contributions, and turned it into a ranking exercise of unequals. All for profit!"
Here is what she had to say on what would have, otherwise, been an apt exercise to remember some of Malaysia's great sons and daughters who are no longer with us in celebration of our nation's 50th anniversary.
"Do you know that Usman Awang is among the 50 nominees of Anak Gemilang Malaysia (all deceased). Well-deserved nominations indeed by a distinguished panel!
What you should look into and invite your blogger colleagues to comment on is the way Astro Prima and some newspapers have taken over ownership of what is supposed to be a list of 50 Malaysians, highly regarded in their own fields because of their contributions, and turned it into a ranking exercise of unequals. All for profit!
In simple language Astro Prima charges 50 sen for every SMS vote and the final ranking depends on who gets the most public votes.
You and I know Nuraina that SMS voting is the activity of the young, most of whom have no idea who Usman Awang or Zain Azrai are. Yes they know Sudirman who came out 3rd yesterday after Tun Razak (2nd) and Datin Seri Endon (1st).
My point is and I hope you agree Nuraina - do we need to rank these outstanding Malaysians whose contributions in their various fields are unique and special.
The organisers should reorganise the list. Enter the nominees' names alphabetically with honorary titles within brackets (Tun, Tan Sri...) - field (politics, profession...)
STOP THE SMS EXPLOITATION OF THE PUBLIC BY ASTRO!
BRING BACK THE DIGNITY THAT THESE OUTSTANDING MALAYSIANS BROUGHT TO THE NATION!"
To know more about Astro's Anak Gemilang Malaysia, read this and this.