Friday, March 03, 2006


Khabarnya, timbulan yang diukir di dinding-dinding tempat suci ada wajah seks yang menarik.

Dan, imej seksual ini ditimbulkan bukan di sebarang tempat, tetapi tempat sembahan atau dalam bahasa Arab, masjid (tempat sujud).

Di sebuah kuil di Nepal, yang dibangunkan sekitar 1562 (Masihi, tentunya), terdapat 64 simbol seks di dindingnya.

Untuk apa? Kenapa harus tempat suci dihiasi timbulan-timbulan yang membawa maksud dan hasrat seks, ala kamasutra?

Seorang pakar memberitahu, zaman itu masyarakatnya hidup bertani -- kadar kelahiran meningkat, begitu juga kadar kematian. Untuk terus berkembang, dalam sistem komunikasi yang terbatas dan tidak secanggih zaman sekarang, penduduk didedahkan dengan pendidikan seks!

Oh, jadi timbulan ini rupa-rupanya untuk pendidikan ...

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Rencana berita (news feature) saya, asal di mStar Online, akhirnya diterbitkan di akhbar The Star (2 Mac 2006; hal. 10) dengan tajuk 'PAS' Harakah hits new lows'. Teks lengkap seperti di bawah:

PETALING JAYA: Sales of the PAS mouthpiece Harakah has plunged to 124,000 copies – its lowest in seven years. Some say that infighting within the party's management is part of the cause for the paper's low sales figure.

However, former Harakah editor-in-chief Zulkifli Sulong blamed the drop on the Government's media control efforts, citing conditions imposed by the Home Ministry, which made distribution and publication of the tabloid difficult.

“Sales are still dropping although the political issues raised are still interesting. Harakah reports seem to have lost their momentum (with current political developments),” he added.

Harakah was popular during the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim saga in 1999, selling almost 380,000 copies near the general election.

However, sales dropped to 270,000 copies in 2000 and 2001, and to 145,000 in 2003. It plunged to 124,000 early this year.

The drop in sales started gradually from February 2000 when the frequency of its publication was reduced from eight times a month to bi-monthly.

The tabloid cannot be sold in public and is available only at PAS operations centres.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia political science lecturer Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff said sales of the tabloid dropped mainly because it was now published twice a month, which made issues raised in the paper no longer current.

The second reason, he said, was that the hot reaction to the Anwar issue had died down from its height between 1998 and 2000.

Two weeks ago,, an online newspaper published by the Dungun PAS Youth in Terengganu, revealed alleged political games played by the party's main leaders, especially those involving board members of the tabloid.

The online paper published a story entitled Harakahku, Kabinetku claiming that problems within the tabloid's management eventually led to the termination of its then managing director Datuk Hishamuddin Yahya's services.

Efforts by mStar Online to verify some serious claims made in the article were unsuccessful.

Ahmad Lufti Othman, Harakah editor-in-chief since last month, told mStar Online that he acknowledged the weaknesses faced by the tabloid, and said the Home Ministry's actions were stunting the tabloid's development.

“Now, the ministry's conditions are punishing PAS members, as not all party members are willing to go to the operations centres just to get a copy of Harakah,” he said.

He said the March 1 issue would have several new features including eight additional pages, more state reports and interviews with PAS members who are not active in politics.

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