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Media Company Media Prima Bhd had pulled out Ramadan advertisement that aired on 8TV channel after being criticized for being racist. This is regarding a Chinese girl who was noisy, wearing revealing and eating publicly which shows disrespect towards Malay people during the particular festive season. (Chieh, 2011) Advertising codes are used to control practices that local industry wish to avoid portraying including anti-social content, foul language, unacceptable images and anti-government. Malaysia is a multi-racial country therefore cultural sensitivity has been an issue. Anything contains suggestions that may offend religious, racial, political or sentimental of any community is against Codes of Advertising in Malaysia. (asiamarketresearch, 2002)
According to the media prima advertisement, the viewers of Malaysia have criticized it as racist that is because it has touched on culture and racial issue negatively. Based on the Malaysia code of advertising practice, Malaysia advertisement need to promote identity and culture, support the Rukun Negara and reflect the multi-racial characters. Besides that, law mentioned advertisements were also required to promote social responsibility which will induce desirable behavioral attitudes in life and civic mindedness. However, the Ramadan advertisement demonstrates otherwise when the Chinese girl acting immorally during Ramadan season in front of Malay community. It will simply demonstrate a stereotypical impression. (singh)
Living in a multi-racial country, we need to live united in order to have a better community. This video displayed does not only go against the advertising code of ethics but it also deliver a negative message that might influence the minds of the youngsters as adults automatically filters to advertisements but children are lacking of cognitive filters.
Culture Issue of Media Prima
Religious motivator Ustazah Dato’ Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood had reported on TV9’s Halaqah programme which has 100,000 Youtube’s users viewings that “Valentine’s Day is celebrated to commemorate the fall of the Islamic administration in Spain” and “discoing, immoral activities, couples in private, are traditions of the Christian community” that such remarks are not only derogatory and offensive against all Christians, it also smacks of an individual wielding an air of religious superiority and use the opportunity of being on air to broadcast Christian-bashing. It’s alarming that a person of such standing holds such bias against Christians and prejudice. It also shows her total lack of understanding about Christianity and its followers,” said party information chief S Murugesan.
Ustazah Dato Siti Nor Bahyah Mahmood had warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine’s Day and she had made the remarks during an Islamic educational program aired on TV9 which owned by the Umno-linked media conglomerate, Media Prima. (Chieh, 2011) As a preacher, she should have respected other religions besides instilling true knowledge of her own religion to bring a more peaceful country. According to The Malaysian Insider’s update, ‘Valentine’s Day is not Christian’, says church group. Christian groups in Malaysia had firmly refuted about Valentine’s Day is a Christian event which was accused by the Muslim authorities. Council of Churches Malaysia general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri in a statement had clarified that Valentine’s Day is a secular observance and it is not celebrated religiously by churches in Malaysia or in other parts of the world. (Su-Lyn, 2011)
An increasing source of conflict in the world today is centered by religious believers’ demands for respect. Muslims demand “respect” that would forbid satire, mocking or criticism of their religion. Christians demand “respect” that would amount to something that is very similar. For those non-believers are caught in a bind when it’s not clear what “respect” is supposed to entail and how it is supposed to be achieved. If respect is so important to believers, so they need to be clear about what they want. (Trabbic, 2014)