SHAH ALAM: The New Straits Times Press’ Balai Berita building should be named after Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail to commemorate his contributions to journalism, says a scholar.
Social and intellectual history professor Datuk Dr Ahmad Murad Merican said the renowned journalist, intellectual and statesman’s contributions were significant and should be acknowledged.
“I have a few proposals (to recognise Samad’s contributions). The first is for the Balai Berita building in Jalan Riong to be named after A. Samad Ismail.
“His role and functions were significant and great (to be commemorated),” he said in his keynote speech at the Simposium Memperingati Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail, here, today.
The symposium, organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara’s (UiTM) Communications and Media Studies Faculty, in collaboration with the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation, International Islamic University Malaysia (ISTAC-IIUM), aims to discuss the thoughts and contributions of the national journalism figure in the socio-political context of Malaysia.
Murad also outlined four other proposals to recognise Samad’s role in journalism and the country.
He said there should be roads in Kuala Lumpur and big cities named after Samad.
“There should be roads named ‘Jalan A. Samad Ismail’ in Kuala Lumpur and major cities, akin to the ‘Jalan Sudirman’,” he said.
He also proposed for a memorial gallery or a gallery to be named after Samad in certain places or organisations for the next generation or the public to learn his way of journalism.
Other proposals include that the UiTM Communication and Media Studies Faculty be named Faculty A. Samad Ismail and to establish a journalism chair in his name.
Murad said journalists and editors should also be acknowledged as national fighters as journalists had also helped the country achieve independence, and cited Samad as an example.
On another matter, Murad said Journalism History and Malay Journalism should be taught in journalism schools for students to understand the role the field plays in revolutionising the nation.
“The interweaving of journalism, ideology with history and politics could be seen through Samad’s journey.
“Studying the history of journalism and Malay journalism is essential, and Samad serves as a valuable source.
“Sadly, the subject of Malay Journalism is not taught in any journalism school (in the country). I hope this is taken more seriously,” he said.
In 1972, Samad when he was the editor of Berita Harian, with the help of the then prime minister’s political secretary, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Abdullah Ahmad and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah forced the owner of The Straits Times Singapore to sell part of his shares in Kuala Lumpur to Malaysians.
The new company owned by Malaysians was called the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and it was one of Samad’s great legacies. – NST Online