Former newsreader Constantine Palawan lends voice to politics

PETALING JAYA: After two decades in broadcast journalism, Radio/TV personality Constantine Anthony has found a new voice - in the political arena.

Constantine, better known as Constantine Palawan, turned heads among Sabah's political pundits when he joined Barisan Nasional through Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) last Sunday (Jan 21) as a member.

The former newscaster with Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) admitted that he never had any interest in politics during his stint in broadcast journalism.

However, the 40-year-old decided to enter politics when he got fed up with "keyboard warriors" who were constantly venting out their frustrations and anger on social media.

"I want to prove that if Malaysians are sincere in making a change, you have to get out there and find the right platform to contribute ideas and opinions. Rather than making noise, we should always discuss and negotiate.

"I see politics as a platform to make our voices heard, especially for the younger generation. It's important for us to get involved in politics so we can contribute new ideas," he said Friday (Jan 26).

Constantine said he would be assisting the Tuaran Barisan Nasional division headed by Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor and the Sulaman PBS division which is currently led by Steven Sayah.

He said that he will use his experience in mass communications to assist Barisan in the areas of communications and social media outreach.

"With 20 years of experience, I don't think there will be any problems for me to disseminate information to the people. I would love to bring back my expertise to my hometown," he added.

He started off his career in mass communications at Radio Malaysia Sabah as an English DJ and news reader before being sent to Kuala Lumpur to read the English news on TV2.

Constantine is currently taking a break from national TV, as he prefers to be closer to his family members and his birthplace in Tuaran.

"I've been spending the past five years travelling back and forth from KL to Tuaran to nurse my 92-year-old grandmother. So, I think it's important for me to get back to my family," he said, adding that he is currently restoring his old "kampung" house in Tuaran.

When asked why he did not join Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), a new Opposition party headed by former cabinet minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, he said that he did not agree with the party's struggles.

"Their campaign in social media sounds very angry and politicking is too outdated. It just doesn't appeal to me.

"Anger and frustration are not the right way. If you are there to make noise instead of forwarding solutions, then I don't think you can make a difference or a change," he said.

Constantine Anthony , PBS , RTM