A buddy of mine from the Middle East IM-ed me with this question – “what was he doing there?”
(Not exactly a place for a fun, safe trip – it is a war zone with too many warlords juggling for power & position and there is a sense of the usual “tidak apa” when someone decided to organize a trip there without any proper protection & training. Image source: BBC)
That was indeed a good question!
No disrespect to the deceased journalist and his grieving family but seriously what these people were doing in Somalia without proper training and protection? It is a war zone and it has been labeled as “Africa’s deadliest country for media personnel with 23 killed since 2007” and well known for civil war and piracy. Didn’t they watched “Black Hawk Down“?
No doubt, it is too late now and calling the deceased journalist as a “hero” and saying that the family is going to get the insurance money does nothing to replace a life lost and to cover the gross stupidity and recklessness of the organizers. It does not help anyone who is trying to qualify the “humanitarian” trip when reading these statements as well:-
17 of 52 members of the team were journalists…… what kind of humanitarian team is this? Do they need so many journalists? The mission was clearly a publicity stint by UMNO to gain mileage since the country’s election is coming up soon.
And why they had to go to Somalia when they could have more right here for fellow Malaysians:-
In the first place what the hell is this Putra trying to do giving a few bundles of biscuits, towels and USD2000 to the mosque and bring a whole bunch of crews and TV people to Somalia when in Kelantan some 40,000 people are poor – then did it on the first day of Hari Raya? Should sue the president of the stupid organization. stupid people- don’t try to get cheap publicity for the cost of a life.
One would wonder why we are spending so much money and resources (more so by using precious military assets) on this country where lawless is the rule of the day and when we are not doing that well ourselves? It seems to be another classic case of abuse of tax-payers money and national assets for a selected and well connected few.
Hopefully they have learned their lessons…especially when now their publicity stunt had backfired rather viciously.
- AU probes killing of Malaysian journo in Somalia (sfgate.com)
- Malaysia mourns TV journalist killed in Somalia (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- The Death of a Bernama Cameraman (dinmerican.wordpress.com)