Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Investigative reporting


Here a rule of thumb: when you put sand into people's rice bowl, be prepared for the reprecussions. I received a phone call today from an angry lady. She was prompted to ask some questions by a man. I
could hear him instigating the woman who was already swelling with emotions.The issue was a house in Rawang being converted into a hotel. One of my colleagues told me this two
weeks ago and said he was working on it.Now, obviously, if you factor in the local by-laws, you cannot convert your home into a commercial premise.
The folks who owned this bungalow had taken things one step beyond by offering their rooms for rent. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to note that whatever that transpired from this move to convert a home into
a hotel is illegal.The owners had even advertised their services on the internet. Obviously, they have no clearance from the
local authority to run the home as a hotel.Everything that was pointed out in the article rang the alarm bell. Well, the owner was not happy. They rang
up and vented their frustration over the phone. Nothing I can do here but listen and when it became unbearable, I just put down the phone. No point raising
my blood pressure over some useless fuckers who profit by making up their own rules.I forsee an impending law suite on this article. Many lawyers out there are lean and hungry. It could have
been a perfect opportunity to slash a media company with RM328 million in cash reserve.Investigative reporting comes with risk. People want reporters to do their dirty work - exposing wrong
doers. When the can or worms are opened, those who made it rich by ill gotten gains goes broke overnight. And
that's just the beginning of their downward spiral.I have done many exposes in my career as a journalist and so far, none had implicated me legally. I
received death threats, bullets sent in a parcel and some really stupid things. But nothing happened. I intend for it to stay that way.Right now as I am saying, I am exposing dirty makan places. Nobody likes to eat in a place full or roaches
and rats. And my job, is to ensure check and balance.So, all good things said and done, those who are wronged and knowingly so get hurt. Its a thankless job
because nobody appreciates you after you have done their dirty work.
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