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Malaysian newsmen "invade" Kuwait
Who was caught in the lift?
Talking point - By Govind
The editorial I'd like to see on April 1,1981
Berita dari Kedah
"Katil? •• siapa yang mati, Tuan? ~ II
This one's for you ••••. wherever you are - CeciUa Tan
Mohd. Jamil Abdullah
Penolong kepada j>engarang: Richard Thean
Sobrey Jaafar
.Pemberita Bulan ini : Govind.
Penyelaras: Norijah Mohd. Noor
Malaysian newsmen including myself will never forget th~ 'trouble' we caused
to the telex office in Kuwait during the recent world cup soccer qualifying
tournament. Everyday for two weeks we from Bernama, Berita Harian, STAR
and New Straits Times, would beseige the office with )ong copies of our stories
to be filed to Kuala Lumpur. Initially this proved too;fl1uch for the telex
operators to handle that, in the true tradition of Arab hospitality (no' malice
intended), they made all kinds of fuss about it. Fo~tunafely or otherwise,
the l'elex operators kept changil;lg t.hus sparing us from the antics of the really
fussy few.
One of them would tell us: 11 why so long, short good". Another complained:
"you _must type big letters. Don't use this bad paper, my eyes want come out
typing your copy. II
After a while we iust took this in our stride, their antics and all. But there
is one operator who mus.t rate as the kindest Kuwaiti we've met during our
stay there. Always accommodating~ understanding even:'under great pressure
as the telex office had to handle many other clients especially from the business
community. Some of them would also make comments about our stories and
they naturally felt delighted because the Kuwaiti tea~ almost always got all
the delectable adjectives from us. The telex operators and clerks were however
surprised that our enthusiasm (at filing stories) were nof d';minished by the
disappointing performance of the Malaysian team for obvious~y the Kuwaitis
we met were disappointed at our national team. They told us that they wanted
Me laysia to meet Kuwait in the final.
Despite our feam's poor show, the
tournament had made Malaysia more known among th~,Kuwaitis for everytime
I boarded a taxi, the driver would ask where I was from and after telling him,
he would say: "Oh, Malaysia, football ??" . '
There was also an occasion when a taxi driver.coula not find the stadium I
had wanted to go to cover a match even though I showed him the venue in
Arabic as printed in the programme. He had to consult a policeman before
we fipally got to the place rather late.
The worst experience for me was covering the final betw~en Kuwait and
South Korea where P'ng Hong Kwang of New Straits Tim,s and I were
caught in a near~tompede while trying to enter the stadi~m. The policemen
at the g,ate hod to pull us out from among the fanatical crowd before we
could be squeezed in. Many fons who hod bought their ,tickets hod to be
. locked out that day as the stadium was pocked. Coveriqg the final, we hod
to moke do by stretching our necks over the headgears of;;the Kuwaitis who
in their euphoria couldn't be bothered to provide us some space.
Azmon Ujong.
,. -.
You need not get uptight when someone fpulad up your story. To err
is human .and some people are more than othe~.
One evening lost month Sdra Rohman Sulaiman, who was going home after
work, happened to hear someone shouting for help in a jOmmed lift on the
ground floo('~ He called out to the person to remain calm and that he was
getting help.' Rohman come running to the Subs wing on the first floor, wonting
to know the telephone number of the lift foreman. At that ti~, he was
told somecme hsJd already contacted the foreman. I'accompon'ed Rahman to
the ground Jh:JOr. A number of people hod gathered there to pacify the
"jammed II person ~ No one knew who it was, except that it wosa man.
The lift indicdtor lights on the ground floor flashed "G II and "l I I . Apparently,
the man inside was pressing the button 111 11 hoping the lift would me·ve up,
Rahman, seeing this, shouted to him to press button 112". The person did so,
and we saw' the "2 11 flash on the indicator. Rohman and I raced up the stairs.
Ha If way up-'~e saw one of the MCOBA security guards coming down. We
enquired: "Tpdi orang sangkut daJam lif sudah keluar ke ?
"Suda h,
co rT)e;the reply.
We hesitated 9nd then continued up the stairs, eager to know who the person
was. Somethipg made us stop. We dashed down, caught up wi th the security
guard on the first floor and a~ked him who 'the person was.
The guard s(mply said: "Soya lah l. "
Kepada Sdri. Mafuzah Ahmad yang telah kehilangan ayahnya pada 17
Mei lalu. Mafuzah dan ahl; keJuarganya mengucapkan terima kaslh
kepada semua petugas BERNAN\A yang memberikan 5umbangan kepadanya.
Congratulations, Bernama '. You have done it again. For those of you
who are wondering what this is all about, I would rather quote what the
reuter correspondent, .Encik Reg Gratton, wrote In his letter of congratulations
to Bernama 's Acting Genera I tv\anager, Encik Yusof Bodor.
Quote. Just a short note of thanks to your editQri91 team for the work
they put in on covering the formidable Fourth ~Iaysian Plan.
It was a great help to our news operation 'to be able to refer to the Bernama
summary of the various major topics covered in the 400-page tome. It was
also a credit to YO\K agency that it managed. to transmit the rrx.Jterial so
You must have started your own planning on how best to report it five years
ago'.. Unquote.
Another pat on the back came from PTM Communications. Encik Ken
Fernandez of the P.R. firm wrote to News Editor Encik S.N. Rajan, thanking
him for a service message he had put out over the wire and saying how shocked
he was at the impact it had on the press.
The message informed the mass media of a press conference by Tourist
Development Corporation's Director-General Datuk Baharuddin Musa on
April 2.
To quote a sentence or two from the letter: "l could hard 11 believe my eyes
when I saw more than 20 members of the press and cameramen. Even TV and
RTM were there.
"This could not have been possible.if you did not accede to my request to put
the event on your morning news schedule or if you did not dish out the flash
reminder. II
And, TP Senior Supervisor Encik Nusi Buyong has this to say: II A senior RTM
officer who called on me recently congratulated Bernama for dishing out speedily
the results of the Sabeh elections last March. II
Keep it up Bernama '.
Hurray for Malaysia '. We have no assassinations here. Why? Simply because
we have a gun law called Isa who goes around in Adidas Training Shoes tripping
up Misguided Students carrying Scolt Magnum in plastic bags before they can
sight their gllns on the heads of CPO's, OCPD"s and SEC-GEN's.
Why doesn't America learn from'f.kIleiysia? No need for all this chest-beating
andunited-in-sorrow business everytime a Lennon or Reagan gets shot. Just
collect all thOse guns lying around and put Iso on the heels of those who refuse
to hand the IR guns in.
I mean there are quite a few chaps around who grlipe the Successful and Famous
(who among us does not entertain a flash of anger at Ik . Big and Mr. Not-So-Big
and if we had a gun, no telling that it won't go off). If there are no guns
handy, our gripe will gradually fade away and we will just mellow into Good
Citizens, joining MCA or BERJA YA and become, rriaybe, successful and famours
There is really nothing wrong with America except for their gun lows and
superfast neWs media. We hove gruesome tales to tell too, but our reporters
do not hove the talent of a Frederick Forsythe or Time Mogazi~e's far-flung
reporting team.
The single oct of killing can never have anything to do with a whole society
as newspaper editorials are fond of implicating. Even if there is a series of
killings, it is still a long shot to implicate society as a whole. But what does
implicate society is the subsequent publicity whipped up by the media. tiThe
nation is shocked", "Society is sick". All this is glib generalizations
mechanically token out from the mental drawer by the reporter who has no
talent at writing whatsoever.
The truth is, any society, any country, has their quota of individuals or groups
who hove reached a point in their rationalizations where killings are okay.
And don't forget either that the same process is also used by the government-inpower to institutional ize ki Ilings •
I foiled to ~e lJny ~I dHf«enu between ChOIrles Monson's Acts and
the routine tortures used by secret and not-so-secret police ev«yWhere on
their r::"'isoners.
We in Malaysia are spared the frequent pangs of Americans precisely because
we have Isa, our reporters are untalented, and our parangs, freely available
for slashing belukars, do not have the technological clout of a Magnum.
Baru-baru ini satu perlawanari bolasepak antara para wartawan Alar Setar
dengan Polis Oaerah Alar Setar telah diadakan di Stadium Darulaman bagi
. merebut piala pusingan Oatuk Seri Syed Naher Shahabuddin. Bernoma
tidak ketinggalan mewakili p6ra wartawan Alar Setar dalam perlawanan
merebutpiala berharga $1,000 itu. Empat orang pemain dari Bernama
telah dipilih untuk mewakili Wartawan Alar Setar. Saudara Syed Imran
selain dad bertindak sebagai striker juga dilantik sebagai ketua pasukan,
Saudara Tan Hock Guan bermain dibahagian midfield, Saudara Aminuddin
Ibrahim peniaga gol dan Saudara Hamidi Rashid (PO Padang Terap) striker.
Walaupun pasukan komi kalah 4-0 kerana diperdaya oleh OCPO (Polis
menurunkan pasukan muda dan tidak Pegawai Kanan seperti dijanjikan), komi
telah diberi ganiaran pada molam esoknyo apabila pihak Polis menganjurkan
majlis makan malam yang begitu baik sekali di Kelab Kedah Oiraja. Dalam
ma il is tersebut pihak polis dan Menteri Besar memberi penghargaan kepada
peranan para wartawan. Walaupun rarroi para wartawan dan pegawai polis
'pening lalat' dek minuman tertenh" komi tidak ketinggalan menyumbangkal
suara (nak kata merdu marah pula sang kodok). Sdr. Syed Imran dan Sdr.
Aminuddiil telah berpadusuara mendendangkan lagu 'curi-curi I diikuti oleh
para wartawan lain dan pegawai-pegawai kanan polis.
• c"
Semenjak bertugas di Alor Setor, Sdr. Aminuddin dan Sdr. Tan telch sa kin
berisi. Nampaknya kedua-dua orang Melaka ini tertorik sekali dengan rrosakon
orting utara. Mereka enjoy ~rtugas di Kedah yang luar dari sengkaan mereka.
Kami tidak sengka Alor Setar, lebihbesor dansibuk dari Melaka, kata mereka.
Tentu Sdr •.,Syed Jamiltersenyum dan. terkenangkankompung.
Sdr. Tan, pada rnu1anya di gelar Baba oleh rakan-rakan wartowan di Alor
Setar. Tetapi, sejak akhir~khir ini panggilan Babe telah diganti dengan
Awang pula kerana sifat-sifatnyq yang lebih Meloyu itu. Sdr. Am:nuddin
pula setiap heri tidak seber menunggu posmen. Beliau bukan menunggu sampul
besar yang berisi dengan stensil atau sampul keeil yang berisi eek wang runeit,
tetapisampul airmail dariMetaka yangberisi eurahan hati kekasih yang jauh
di mata. Dalam masa seminggu tidQkkurang doritiga sempul surat seperti itu
tiba dari Melaka dan Sdr. Aminuddin tersenyumriang. Maklumlah rindu dihati
yang terpendam sejak ditugaskan di Alor Seter teloh diubati menerusi kata-kato
manis yang diabadikan diatas kertas putih bersih. Kata-kata yang diibaratkan
penawar segala pen yak it • Selepas membeea isi surat duo tiga kali, Sdr. Aminuddin
segera membalasnya dengan meneurahkan perasoan kasihsoyangnya. Sdr.
Aminuddin membelanjako~ $45 sebulan untuk menulis surat kepada kekasihnya itu
termasuklan kiriman potret-potretnya yang terbaru den90n berba90i 90ya yang
tersendiri. Kepada Sdr. Aminuddin, lekas-Iekaslah kahwin, kan sencUig'.
SlAPA YANG /1M tl, TUAN?'."
Terjadinya di Bandung. Sebuah kota berhawo sejuk yang terkenal dengan
nama 'Kota Kembang'. Letaknya sekitar 185 km sebelah barat Jakarta.
Serombongan wisatawan dari 'Malaysia tiba-tiba muneul di sebuah hotel
peninggalan Belanda di awal tahun 1970-on. Hotel "Homan International",
yang telah dibeli pengusaha pribumi.
Tentu sq.ia karyawan hot~1 itu menjocli ged:>iro. Tidak hanya karena sangat
jarang hotel di sana menerima tamJ dari Malaysia di
itu, tapi juga
karyawannya "sanga t 5 .ka mendengar mereka berbicara. II Ya, mungkin
menimbulkan nostalgia ZQrron sebelum IIkonfrontasi ll , ketika filem-filem
P. Ramlee begitu akrab dengan rakyat Indonesia.
Sebagaimana lazimnya kebiasaan sebagian besar karyawan hotel di Indonesia,
karyawan Homan juga berusaha agar bisa "membetahkan II sekali gus menjadi
"sa habat sejati II tamu hotelnya (ma~f'., ini bukan iklan). Apalag'i bagi
"geu lis dan kasepll Bandung yang berpembawaan sangat ramah dan lembut,
tentu bisa cepat berkomunik~si dengan tetamunya, termasuk yang dori
t-Aala ysia •
. '
t •.
Mereka saling bertukar informasi mengenai Bandung dan Kuala Lumpur,
termasuk .•..(rohasio leloki). Komunikasi berjalan lancar dan do pat
saling memahami apa yang diutarakan kawan bicara. Kendati ada benturan
poda satu-dua istilah, yang'akhirnya dapatjuga dibereskan.
Namun, keakraban yang sudah terjalin itu nyaris terganggu oleh kesalahpahaman istilah. Soalnya begini:
"Soyo minte dikirim satu buah katil ke bilek X. II Terdengar suara melalui
telepon intern hotel.
Penerirna tetomu yang menyambut telepon itu tampak terkejut. Paras wajahnya,
berubah, agak memuc;at. Dengan noda suaro seten~h-eemas setengahketokutan, d ia bertanya:
11K a,
t'l?..•..•• S·l apo yang mo t
? I.-II
" '
"Haa •. ? ape •. ? mati?II, si-penelepon balik bertonya. "1ak ade yang mati.
Saye hanye minte dikirim sabuah kotil. Untok rokon soye. II
"Kalau tidak ado
mati~' mengapa horus kotil?
orang ma~i, tuan II, kato sang-receptionist, lugu.
IKon kotil honya buot
IIApe pulak katil untok orang moti. Katil laah, untok tidur. Paham tok."
Nada suara kowan dari Semenanjung itu keros. Rupanya dia dongkol dan
tersinggung. ty\asa I kati I dikatakan buat orang mati.
"0000, ranjang maksud tuan. Kalau itu sih beropa iuga bisa kami sediakan. II
"Iye, ghanjang. 1I Dia ikut membetulkankesalah-pahaman dalam istilah itu.
Tapi r-nya masih seperti ucapan orong bule.
".v.aaf tuan ••• raniang, bukan ghanjang,
ulang si-penerima tarnu.
Illyalah, rrronjang, II kato sang-tamu dengan rnemberlkan tekanan pada'r'
Terclengar suaro tertawa memecah ruang udara kamar X itu.
lI~kali lagi maaf tuan kalau ada perkataan saya yang menying9un 9,
si -karyawan. Dia memohan, mungkin khawatir telah memberikan kesan baik
bagi tamu hotelnya. -- eha •.
Don't be indispensable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
Kepada Ismarani Adnan yang telah mendapat seorang cahaya malo perempuan
peda 4 Mei, ~981. Berat badan 5 Ih 15 OZ, dilahirkan di Pantoi Medical Centre.
Dari Sdro Kamaruddin Awang kepoda semua petugas BERNAfv4A yang telah
membeiikan sumbangan derma dan sokongan moral ketika beliau naik pelamin
baru-baru ini. juga ucapon terimo kasih kepoda mereka yang telah bersusah
poyah mengiring beliau ke kampong dimana perkahwinan dijalankan.
This letter is addressed to the invisible man, whoever he is and wherever he
Of late, you have been removing newspapers from the library. Most of the
newspapers seem to have a very short Iife on the shelves, thanks to you '.
Now, I am sure you and I would agree that this is tantamount to stealing,
to put in bluntly, as I don't believe in polite insinuations. Let facts be
facts. You are I am sure aware that newspapers in the Library are for all
Bernama Staffers and by removing fhem, you are depriving others of their
legitimate right to read them in the library. You are I am sure olso aware
that it is 35 sen per copy, one of the cheapest publications on- the scene,
inspite of spiralling inflation. Now come on, I am sure you can afford that
meagre sum. Don't tell me you are so impoverished a pauper that you have
to stoop so low as to steal 35 sen. And besides, a crime is a crime, no
matter how big or small the amount involved •.
Your next delight is magazines. Among your favourites are Time, Newsweek,
Asiaweek and Far Eastern Economic Review. Oops - I forget Life. I think
you love it best, perhaps because you can't resist the pictures or perhaps
because itls the most expensive item or perhaps, you just must hove all those
stolen magazines, sprawled on the carpet in your sitting room, so that it would
seem, to your visitors that you keep abreast with the latest. You want to show
your invisible visitors no doubt that you're knowledg~ble well-informed and
intellectual. Bah '.
The books hove not escaped either and you seem to be particularly interested
in dictionaries. I wonder why, being anonymous as you are ,you surely don't
need to build up such a powerful vocabulary. Or perhaps your vocabulary is
to impoverished and malnourished that you are now feverishly swallowing a few
hundred words a day - f hope you don't suffer too seriously from indigestion~
Now Invisible Man, I have always thought kindly of most fellow humans. I
hove great faith in human beings believing them generally to be worthy of the
,highest trust. You seem to have proved my faith wrong and unfounded.
1hQv!. 1u1't\e4
holnte$ ....
well _ihereVeheetJ re.,.or+-S
-H1afls in -nae office., .
recently... tlewspopers, ,*,gQ~,it~---...:\."!I'
Qf')4 fue like See... 'It>
e"b\ta~6~ hOI'\Qhl.e O~e
.... 1sCAj"~ you c.Of'Ifrl~t-
*teo '<4cat\s pM+.L, seller...
he may hetVe
CI"" dqe.: ,.J,
-" .~'" sea.,...• ...•.,
"Dicetak don diterbitkon oleh B"ERNAMA.. Bongunon MCOBA,42, Jolon Syed Putro,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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