From Outsider to Insider: Jahabar Sadiq

 

KL boy Jahabar Sadiq gave up life as a globetrotting TV producer for a news agency to come home and cover a subject close to his heart – Malaysia.

It’s been a crazy ride trying to do objective journalism in a country where so much “news” is either pro-government or anti-government. By contrast, says the CEO and editor of themalaysianinsider.com: “We whack everybody.”

It must be working. Insider is now the country’s third most popular news site, after The Star and Malaysiakini, with about one million pageviews and over 30,000 unique visitors each day reading its English and Bahasa news sections.

Name: Jahabar Sadiq

Age: 44

Hometown: Kuala Lumpur

Current city: Kuala Lumpur

Where did you move back from? Jakarta

Number of years abroad: 2 years

When did you return? 2010

Why did you return? Parents were getting old, had 12 great years as a tv producer being here, there and everywhere but never fully settled down. It’s a great life, passport in the pocket, full of visa stickers and flight tickets and adventures. But home is home, no?

What do you do for a living?

Am a journalist.

What did you like about living in Jakarta?

People, culture, freedom, colour and of course, great food.

What did you not like?

traffic congestion, pricey city.

What have you liked about coming home?

Its, home, warts and all. friends and family and that i can just move about and within hours be in Penang, Cherating or even Singapore, or take a flight to Sabah and Sarawak. Not quite possible in Jakarta except well, Bali is great and there are some 17,000 islands left unseen.

What have you not?

Malaysians are conservative, frightened and hang out in little clusters. They need to be a lot more open-minded, expand their horizons by travelling and meeting more people. Malaysians need to take a chance and let go, not fear whether their opinions or ideas will get them into trouble or infamy.

Anything else you want to add?

We need to get back in touch with our various cultures, and at the same time look far ahead, widely even. If that sounds contradictory, well, only when you discover the rich tapestry of the cultures that is Malaysia’s base, you will understand how far and wide it came from.

We are not an insular nation. We are cosmopolitan. We are Malaysians, ever smiling, ever wondering, ever seeking the rainbow over the horizon.

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