Former Group Editor in Chief NST and now a blogger Dato’ A Kadir Jasin has been named by Malaysian Press Institute as Tokoh Wartawan Negara. It is a befitting award indeed for the forty odd years veteran journo. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin presented the award this afternoon.
Like so many people, I have a great admiration of the man.
He is a bold opinion maker. He never mince his words. And he is never shy to express his views no matter how painful it may sound at the receiving end, be it in the print media when he was still the NST Supremo, his column in the Malaysian Business or now via his infamous blog, The Scribe. In the mid to late 90s when I was still a twenty-plus-years-old regular manager in the commercial sector, his editorial column in the English daily or “Other Thots” twice monthly premier business magazine was something of an eye opening into a new perspective.
He held the fort when Anwar Ibrahim was sacked in September 1998, and the mob street politics of hatred ‘Reformasi’ was born. It was the time where part of Anwar’s propaganda to win the imagination of many is to attack the NST. For the next few years, Dato’ Kadir demonstrated examplary leadership when NST was under streams of test. Once the premier Malaysian referral point in English language, at that moment NST has then became “A tool of Government’s lies”.
Through my involvement in the political arena of cybersphere, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the man. Then, we were on the same side of a very unpopular group of dissenters, openly going against the poor and weak leadership and administration of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Even though I was never a journo, Dato’ Kadir easily accepted an oddball like yours truly to be someone he was willing to share his thoughts with.
By then, I was also actively involved in events that were blatantly critical of PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah and his notorious ‘Level Four Boys’. The small group of us was all over Semenanjung Malaysia, organizing or attending events. Kadir, was kind enough to be a panelist in some of these events.
Every now and then, he would round some of us up for teh tarik or his roti canai breakfast and persons like me would benefit immensely from his thought process, analysis and personal views on things, especially issues involving UMNO, the Malays and Bumiputra Agenda. His account of personal wealth of experience was like gold to us. He never failed to encourage us to carry on and stingy to part his deep-rooted Malay values.
In third quarter of 2008, Dato’ Kadir published Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘Blogging to Unblock’, a collection of the first few articles which appeared on then chedet.com. It was the time where the small group of us was so unpopular that many of our own friends ‘feared’ to be seen in our company, even for a quiet and harmless teh tarik.
I am very certain many of his friends and former subordinates are very proud of the award bestowed on the Pendang-born Kedahan. Please read his brief but amazing side of story as a jouno. Congratulations, Dato’ Kadir. A true Malay Warrior. An inspirational bi-lingual writer, indeed.