Monday, October 11, 2010


My friend Tengku Asri sent me an intriguing e-mail that set me thinking all the time. I am in two minds, to accept it as authored and at the same time debate over it with issue close to heart.

It was a short story on the subject of “excellence”. Here is the quote of the last 2 paragraphs that bother me:

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. "Excellence" is a drive from inside, not outside.

Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and excellence.

Whenever fellow veterans of RTM met they will somehow ended up discussing the issue of the standard of broadcasting in the country mainly focussing on RTM, their alma matter.

It is besetting to the present day staff as everyone seems to pour their dissatisfaction at the indifference of attitude and lack of quality of what is seen or heard over the air.

I am not alone in ceasing my viewing of the local TV broadcasts especially RTM that I used to oversee as its Director.

In my days as a practicing broadcaster we were meticulous in making sure our work is of the highest standard and free of misrepresentation. In short we took pride in our work. We were quick to take notice of criticism that came through various channels of the day, and made amend to rectify, making sure it will not happen again.

I had my own philosophy on criticisms from the audience: “They care and want us to improve” to their satisfaction. There were instances we overlooked certain fact or situation which the audience noticed. The feeling and attitude should be reciprocal to the benefit of both side.

Both sentences are correct in its motive but in broadcasting and similar field the audience, the intended target, has different perception. Even the obvious could be misinterpreted and eventually manipulated.

I cannot understand at all with the attitude of the present staff of the stations that just couldn’t careless to the quality of what is on the air. Mistakes keep on repeating everyday in almost all the news and local productions. The abundant criticisms seem to fall on deaf ears to the annoyance of the audience, especially the veterans. So much so they decided to retire from viewing local productions.

It is a great loss to the betterment of the stations.

I have stopped watching RTM for the same reasons. I do watch the news at times just to keep abreast with the latest, ignoring the weak standard of productions and presentations that I was so particular about when I was in service as the “supremo" of TV 1 and TV 2.

I heard lately RTM has a new leader, a career journalist (newsman) as its Director-General. I have not met the gentleman and don’t know much of his background. I assume a newsman as a leader would revolutionise RTM’s news for the better. I regret to say the news has been regressive under the new leadership. One wonder at what level of news production the new leadership has in his previous career in different places and medium. I suppose this is a time to “pause and ponder”, a time of adjustment and a time to “get use to”. I am sure after all these times are over, we shall see the “revolution” and improvement.

I have been told in the local TV production sector there seem to be improvement in quality except the presenters who seem to lack the punch and vigour of modern day broadcasting. I was told they seem to be stereotype moulded in the “old way”. RTM must be in difficulty looking for the right talents in that field. Could it be the real talented people just bypass and ignore RTM for some reason or other that RTM staff are grumbling in the Face Book. I don’t think low payment is the result. Previously there are talented people who make used of RTM as a stepping stone to “stardom”. I may be sued if I mention names.

So kindly have a second look at the two paragraphs mentioned and be reminded that there are many out there watching (viewing) looking for “excellence” in their personal perspective, or lose them according to your whims and fancies.


  1. Excellence is from within and should be the culture of the organization. When the organization accepts or even tolerate mediocre work, excellence cannot be achieved.

  2. Excellence in Broadcasting should be measured internally and externally. A set standard should have been in place since RTM is the pioneer in Broadcasting. If nobody cares for standards, then it is disorganisation not an organisation.