It is an insult to the memory of these great Malaysians who, in their lifetime, had contributed immensely in their known fields, to make this nation of ours what it is today.
I should have been quick enough to get Usman Awang's family to get the poet laureate off the list (here). Not because he is in bad company (far from it) but because he is being ranked that way.
Anyway, 10 have been shortlisted and Usman Awang is not one of them. Read here.
My friend, Halimah Mohd Said has an issue with Astro because her late father Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Said bin Mohamed was on the list and "was being ranked/not ranked by people who don't even know him or of him".
She said Astro didnt even bother to get his name right or his picture in.
She called to complain. Astro said they'd call her back but never did.
Her father, a medical doctor died in July 1996. He was the first elected Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan from 1959 to 1969.
"Can't bear the thought he is being ranked/not ranked by people who don't even know him or of him. Leave him alone, I say. Those who loved him and respected him remember," she told me in her sms.
Frankly, I can't understand why Astro or whoever else was prepaparing list, had left some faces blank.
If they were serious enough, they should have at least tried to obtain photographs of the late Khoo Eng Tong, Tan Sri Dr Syed Mohamed Alwy Alhady, Tan Sri Ir Raja Zainal Raja Sulaiman and A. V Bapat.
In Dr Mohamed Said's case, his daughter had contacted Astro so they could have asked her for his photograph and made sure that his name was spelt correctly.
Halimah was disturbed by the sms-ranking exercise and wrote a letter, dated July 13, to the NST.
It was not published. But let me reproduce her letter. I believe the issue has not quite ended. And it wouldn't hurt anyone if her letter was published.
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2007 17:42:43 +0800
The current competition on Astro Prima and some newspapers to rank the 50 nominees of Anak Gemilang Malaysia is unfair and done in very poor taste.
While the distinguished panel must have applied the most stringent criteria to compile a list of 50 (deceased) outstanding Malaysians in different fields such as politics, government, professions, literary, sports, music etc, the promoters of the competition have trivialised their contributions by lumping them together to be ranked via SMS or newspaper voting.
As of 11 July, Sudirman (a music nominee) is in 3rd position ahead of people who were outstanding in more serious fields. Datin Seri Endon Mahmood is in 1st position ahead of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein in 2nd position.
While the objective of recognising these "towering" Malaysians and honouring their memory on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Merdeka is commendable indeed, to subject them to a ranking procedure which is full of loopholes, takes away the dignity of not only these great men and women and their contributions, but also of the Anak Gemilang Malaysia concept itself.
I would like to suggest that to be as fair and equal as possible, the list of names should be organised alphabetically, with honorary titles in brackets and the related fields in capital letters as in the following:
Abdul Razak bin Hussein (Tun - POLITICS)
The list of 50 nominees should be final and not be subject to any form of artificial ranking by people who may be biased, who may not really know the contributions of these past leaders and who may therefore apply varying criteria.
To exploit the public by encouraging them to waste 50 sen each time they send an SMS vote is a travesty in itself.
Besides, how does one compare the contributions of Sudirman Arshad with that of Onn Jaafar?
Halimah Mohd Said
7 Jalan Damansara Permai
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Your words were exactly my sentiment when i 1st heard and saw the anugerah thingy. For the life of me i just cannot understand how they could come up with the list, and worst still after looking at the 10 short listed names. How i wish they just stop the nonsense....sigh
as Pn Halimah pointed out, at one point Tun Razak only came in 2nd after arwah DS Endon. no disrespect to her as i'm sure she had her part too but seriously, this is 'THE' tun Razak here maannn..our 2nd PM. Tunku abd Rahman aside, can anyone get any bigger than him? not too sure abt that. and just to add another insult, 'THE' real deal Tun Hussein Onn was somewhere down the 'chart'.
so lets all ignore this crazy idea of astro's. we have our own ways in celebrating our beloved country's 50th in style and not by looking down on each of these 50 great malaysians' contributions. and i'm sure there are more than just 50 of them.
What can I say, except that it's sad to see such personalities of national historical importance blatantly commercialized in such a way.
Each one of those 50 have, in their own way, played crucial roles in the development of Malaysia, and it's really stupid (if I may say so) to have to rank them thru an SMS contest.
These SMS vote thingys are nothing more than a means to get $$, and it's the last thing I'd consider taking part in...
i cannot imagine astro doing this. Such insult! It is outrageous.
Malaysians -- like you, I and many others -- will not be a part of this.
i think malaysian should boycott the sms-ing.
you're so right. we have our own -- far BETTER way of celebrating our birthday.
my sentiments, exactly.
beats me how and why astro came up with such an idea.
oh, i forget...$ $ $ $
Exactly. I agree with you.
It is the $$$$$$$$$$ uppermost in the mind of the sponsors/promoters of this Anugerah Anak Gemilang Malaysia.
doesnt it suck? big time?
What I don't understand is why there are still people who'd actually participate in the SMS voting. They are not only insulting the deceased personalities, they even get charged 50 sen per SMS to do so! Membazir and tak mendatangkan faedah langsung... yet they still participate. Tak ke pelik?
some people are either stupid or have nothing better to do, or both.
for me -- the minute i have to pay something for no good reason... i just disregard the whole thing. and the 50 AGM was one of those things.
but it was a step worse -- the whole idea was not just stupid but very offensive.
Is it true that A.V.Bapat is in the list? If I'm not mistaken he is a Singaporean (naturalised probably). Surprised that he is Malaysian citizen....could be through Dato Krishnan or Jins...??
yes he is.
if you click on the link, you can see.
oh.. i dont know whether or not he was singaporean.
I would do the same if I was in Halimah Mohd Said's shoes, that is write to the press and hope that a sensitive media will be caring enough to point out a wrong assesment of public interest and prevent unfair exploitation of it.
As far as the AGM is concerned, while the objective of remembering and honouring these 48 men and 2 women is to be supported, the mode of ranking them by SMS voting is shabby indeed!
The distinguished panel have been hoodwinked by the clever and manipulative marketing/business strategies of a media giant. If I was a panel member I would quickly distance myself from these corporate profiteers or stop their unethical practices.
But then who am I to have such grandoise ideas or ideals!
I know Dr Said's family and friends are sad that the man they loved and respected has been shabbily treated again!
yes, we all agree that the objective is good.
but didnt anyone get suspicious when the sms-ing to rank these outstanding malaysians was introduced?
i don't have to be a rocket scientist (i know i know, a cliche) to smell a rat.
Getting viewers to rank these superb people through sms is more than ridiculous. Better to showcase all 50 contributors to the nation and highlight one every day for 50 days before merdeka. That would actually help everyone remember or learn of these great people. Astro's profit making campaigns are getting more and more outrageous.
yes...outrageous is the word to describe astro's profit-making attempt with the 50 AGM ranking.
i agree with you that these 50 outstanding malaysians should be given due prominence -- one at a time.
but that's not money-making.
Hi kak Nuraina,
I think Astro just think about their yearly profit rather than the truth meaning of merdeka.
I really appreciate if you could allow me to publish this article in an online magazine (indi). If it is ok with u, will you email me? thanks.
korang ni...tak tau ker selain dari sms, ada internet voting, guna form, pakai keratan akhbar, fax dan pos? ni asyik cakap sms jer...aku vote guna internet jer.... aku ada lihat diaorang sebarkan borang tuh kat one utama...tapi aku dah vote tak ler nak ambil borang tuh.... aku baca kat website anak gemilang tuh aku tangok keputusan yang ada hanya berdasarkan internet vote jer...cuba baca betul2.....
MASIH GEMILANG WALAUPUN TAK POST DALAM BAHASA INGGERIS...
"Bukan gelaran menjadi ukuran, tetapi bakti yang disumbangkan"
-Allahyarham Sudirman Hj Arshad-
In the letter Halimah wrote, what does she mean by serious fields? One can contribute to the country in many ways and in Sudirman's case, he did it with his singing. Well I have to say that I too disagree the way these great Malaysians are being voted in a way people would vote for the next pop star. To put these people in that state is insulting. There must be something that we can do to stop this?
anonymous: "MASIH GEMILANG WALAUPUN TAK POST DALAM BAHASA INGGERIS"
We can speak any language we want and still be gemilang. because we're malaysian!
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