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11:12am 02/06/2022
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Together we can go further
By:Kuik Cheng Kang / Sin Chew Daily

We continue to see promoting greater national unity as our inherent responsibility in fostering a more harmonious, inclusive and prosperous Malaysia whose citizens can live together happily and in unity.

A person, no matter how high his status is, will never be able to go far if he is arrogant and unwilling to be kind to people.

Throughout my working life spanning so many decades, from my own attitude towards work and the many people and things I have handled at different job positions, I have come to comprehend the true significance of inclusiveness and selflessness.

The stress that is continuously building up in the media ecosystem easily makes one restless and apprehensive, and it is extremely hard for one to tread insistently down the right path under such circumstances.

We are bound to come across a medley of hindrances and temptations, even conflicts of interests, throughout our career lives. Because of that, we will need to stay constantly calm and composed, and not to let our negative emotions deflect our judgments and decisions so that we can remain as committed to our professions as when we first started.

Press freedom has always been a thorn in the side of our politicians, and that’s why a journey in the journalistic profession has never been a smooth-sailing one, as we constantly and dutifully defend the treasured freedom of expression.

Looking back, we used to be “invited for coffee” in the past over big and small pieces of news that did not “live up to the expectations” of those in power, and be subjected to the politicians’ open threats of lawsuits. All these very much stand in the way of press freedom.

Once the impartial operation of the media as a mouthpiece for the people is derailed, the public’s right to information and truth will be sidetracked by irresponsible politicians who will then gain unimpeded access in exploiting the press as a tool to control public discourse.

The international community is becoming increasingly complicated, as nations have their own internal as well as regional problems to grapple with. This, along with the intensifying rivalry between the two major powers of the US and China, has rendered the global situation growingly fluid. A consequence of side-taking is endless fights, polarization and mutual marginalization that collectively will shrink further any residual room for dialogues. Our world will only get more chaotic, as clashes of interests invisible to people like us are being implicated.

All these, plus the destructive forces of bad internet, have entrenched the uneasiness in people, as well as their allegiance to willful acts of extremism and sectionalism that has robbed them of their compassion and empathy.

The formation of such uncontrollable changes and undesirable sentiments has denied humans of the intrinsic attribute of mutual respect, wielding far-fetching negative influences on unity and cooperation among the people.

This is when the media practitioners are needed more than ever to perform their societal obligations and help construct a society of peaceful coexistence and co-prosperity teeming with positive energy.

Taking over the position as Media Chinese International Limited (Malaysia) group editor-in-chief is to me more of new responsibilities than personal prestige.

Today, conventional media is facing unprecedented challenges, and to take Sin Chew Daily, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau and Guang Ming Daily out of the quandary is to me a responsibility which is both tough and complex, but I firmly believe my unwavering commitment to my journalistic calling and conscience will take us out of the current bottleneck.

Additionally, as faithful partners who would go through the thick and thin with the local Chinese associations, Chinese businesses and the country’s Chinese language education, we are duty-bound to work with all quarters to fight for the rights of Malaysia’s Chinese community and education.

And as a practitioner who has the responsibilities of the media industry on his shoulders, I took the initiative to approach Astro Awani‘s editor-in-chief Ashwad Ismail, The Star‘s chief content officer Esther Ng Sek Yee and Sinar Harian‘s group editor-in-chief Rozaid Rahman, in my capacity as Sin Chew Daily‘s editor-in-chief in February this year, and proposed the establishment of a media alliance to collaborate through resource sharing, more collaborative media planning and reporting with the objective of delivering more exhaustive contents for our respective readers.

The chiefs of these four media organizations have hoped to bank on one another’s clout to do something meaningful for the nation and society we’ve come to love so much. We are consistent in this respect and have vowed to forge ahead together towards this common aspiration.

As for the newspapers under the Media Chinese banner, i.e. Sin Chew Daily, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau and Guang Ming Daily, we will make our utmost attempt to pool and share our resources as we make our way forward together.

That said, I remain faithful to the belief that even as we are intrinsically different, we can still work together in unity.

In the Media Chinese editorial meeting on April 28, I underscored the importance of editorial independence to ensure that these four sister publications continue to pit against one another, and through more distinctive editorial directions vie for broader reader support with our individually unique content offerings.

Along the way, we are grateful to have received the undivided support of the Malaysian Chinese community. We pledge to continue working with the local Chinese associations, Chinese businesses and educational workers in defense of the community’s rights.

At the same time, we continue to see promoting greater national unity as our inherent responsibility in fostering a more harmonious, inclusive and prosperous Malaysia whose citizens can live together happily and in unity.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the congratulatory messages on Sin Chew Daily, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau and Guang Ming Daily for my appointment as Media Chinese International Limited (Malaysia) group editor-in-chief.

Your encouragement is the most powerful motivational force that will inspire me to persevere in my ongoing service to the community.

The days ahead are full of challenges. Let’s work together diligently against all odds as we strive to build a better Malaysia for all.

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KUIK CHENG KANG

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