Archive for category Media

Call for Commission of Inquiry by Malaysian Elders on whether there was an attempted “coup” to topple Najib as Prime Minister, the sacking of Gani Patail as AG and Muhyiddin as DPM, the arrest and harassment of top government officials and whether they are related to the twin scandals of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal accounts

The best response to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s denial that he had confirmed in his Star Online interview that there was a draft of a corruption charge sheet against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is Abdul Rahman’s own words: “Excuse me. I was not born yesterday.”

Abdul Rahman has asked me to re-read his Star Online interview, and I have done so, and I reiterate that anyone reading it will come away with the ineluctable conclusion that there was an attempted coup against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by criminalising him and toppling him from office; and “given that scenario”, a “flurry of action” was taken by the Prime Minister, including drastic action to “take these people out first, so that things will get back to normalcy and see what happened next”.

Those who were “not born yesterday” would realise that Abdul Rahman was giving a very graphic account of the atmosphere of great distrust, suspicion and division in the corridors of power and the “cloak-and-dagger” power play in Putrajaya in the last days of July 2015, where he was undoubtedly one of the main backroom players.
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Police arrests and investigations under Section 124B in the current crackdown against the Ministerial assurances when the law was passed in Parliament that this section will only be used against those who used “violent and unconstitutional means”

Until a month ago, nobody has heard of Section 124B but in the past few weeks, Section 124B of the Penal Code has forced itself into public consciousness as the new monstrous weapon which the Najib administration is using to launch a major crackdown and usher a new Dark Age in Malaysia.

How many people have been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code.

I do not know, but it is safe to say that never have so many people been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code on “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a person to jail for a maximum of 20 years – and all these police arrests and investigations are against the ministerial assurances given to Parliament in 2012 when the new law was enacted that it would only be used against those who carry out “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”.

When pressed in Parliament on why Section 124B had not spelt out clearly that Section 124B only referred to “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”, the then de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz claimed that this is understood and even referred to Oxford Dictionary that “activities detrimental to Parliamentary Democracy” means “by violent and unconstitutional means”.

When Nazri presented the Penal Code amendment of the new Section 124B, Parliament was in fact given to understand that it was meant to tackle terrorism previously covered by the already repealed Internal Security Act. Read the rest of this entry »

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Penolong pengarang Utusan cabar menteri, pengarah Jasa debat isu derma RM2.6 bilion Najib

The Malaysian Insider
11 August 2015

Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak dan Pengarah Jasa Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi perlu bersedia berdebat dalam isu RM2.6 dimasukkan ke dalam akaun peribadi Datuk Seri Najib Razak bagi membuktikan mereka pembela perdana menteri, kata Ku Seman Ku Hussain.

Penolong pengarang akhbar milik Umno edisi Ahad, Mingguan Malaysia itu berkata Salleh dan Puad memutar belit kenyataannya yang sama sekali tidak mempersoalkan dana RM2.6 bilion itu datang daripada sumber rasuah.

“Kedua-dua panglima ini sama sekali tidak menyentuh isu yang saya bangkitkan iaitu derma RM2.6 bilion itu bukan milik Umno. Hujah saya seluruh kepimpinan tertinggi termasuk bekas timbalan perdana menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tidak tahu tentang kewujudan derma itu. Read the rest of this entry »

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The never-ending fight for the facts

Boo Su-Lyn
Malay Mail Online
Friday July 31, 2015

JULY 31 ― When I applied for a job as a journalist, my boss told me that journalism was about reporting the “facts”, not the “truth.”

I didn’t really understand him then. Wasn’t it the same?

But I’ve come to realise that “truth” has its own shade of meaning, a play on passion and emotions, while “facts” are unemotional, leaning neither right nor left. You, the reader, are free to make your own judgment. But with the “truth”, it sometimes comes with the writer’s own judgments.

When we journalists uncover facts ― whether it’s about how the boom in tudung brands shows the trend of conservative Islam in Malaysia, or how public funds are diverted into the pockets of powerful people ― it’s so that people can decide what to do now that they’re better informed.

If Malaysians aren’t comfortable with how religion is encroaching into governance and public policies in a secular country, they can speak up. If they’re perfectly fine with even a seven-month-old baby wearing a headscarf, that’s up to the people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andai Watergate di Malaysia: satu imaginasi ringkas

Mohsin Abdullah
The Malaysian Insider
27 July 2015

Sebut Watergate umum terus kaitkan dengan skandal politik besar di Amerika Syarikat (AS) pada 1972. Ramai tahu kisahnya. Maka tidak perlu saya mengulangi apa yang orang sudah tahu. Bagi yang “lupa” atau mereka yang mahu imbas kembali sila google.

Pun begitu, bercakap mengenai Watergate dua nama timbul dengan serta merta. Bob Woodward dan Carl Berstein. Kedua-duanya wartawan akhbar The Washington Post yang membongkar skandal itu dengan “bantuan” pemberi maklumat misteri yang mereka gelar “Deep Throat”. Lantas menyaksikan pelbagai siasatan dijalankan sehingga membawa ke Kongres.

Memendekkan cerita yang panjang, kemuncaknya ialah Richard Nixon, presiden AS ketika itu terpaksa meletak jawatan pada 1974. Woodward and Berstein menjadi terkenal. Mendapat bermacam pengiktirafan termasuk memenangi Anugerah Putlizer. Dan buku buku yang mereka tulis menjadi best seller. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tak mengapa jadi ‘Mugabe’, asalkan terus berkuasa

Amin Iskandar
The Malaysian Insider
26 July 2015

Tiada berita lebih besar di Malaysia minggu ini selain penggantungan permit penerbitan akhbar mingguan The Edge dan harian The Edge Financial Daily.
Mana tidaknya, petanda sesebuah pemerintah atau kerajaan itu menuju kediktatoran adalah menekan media atau menutup surat khabar, sesuatu yang pernah dilakukan diktator-diktator “ulung” Asia Tenggara seperti bekas Presiden Indonesia, Suharto.

Ironinya, jika dahulu majalah Tempo “dikerjakan” Suharto kerana laporan tentang skandal pembelian kapal perang, akhbar The Edge kini digantung kerana menyiarkan laporan tentang syarikat sarat hutang 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Alasan digunakan Suharto pada ketika itu untuk menutup Tempo dan beberapa akhbar lain yang melaporkan skandal “anak emasnya” B. J. Habibie sama seperti digunakan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) iaitu memudaratkan ketenteraman awam!

Pada masa sama, “ikan-ikan bilis” berkait dengan 1MDB satu persatu didakwa di mahkamah.

Mungkin juga semua ini hanyalah kebetulan akan tetapi menghairankan “jerung besar” seperti Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang didakwa The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) menerima RM2.67 bilion wang 1MDB dalam akaun peribadinya tidak pula berdepan apa-apa siasatan atau tindakan. Read the rest of this entry »

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In times of crisis, truth is first casualty

Khoo Ying Hooi
The Malaysian Insider
27 July 2015

There is a saying that in war, truth is the first casualty.

No one expects journalists to risk their lives for a story. Yet, if the media constantly come under attack, we risk an information crisis.

Media, also popularly known as the fourth estate, can influence public opinion and shape policy direction.

It is a double-edged sword especially for politicians. It can help one to get unconditional publicity, at the same time it could also ruin a politician’s life.

Last week we were slammed with news of the three-month suspension on The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily beginning today (July 27), just few days after the authorities blocked access to Sarawak Report that has been extensively covering the 1MDB controversy. Read the rest of this entry »

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I was offered $2.7m for stolen data: Ex-PetroSaudi employee Xavier Andre Justo on the 1MDB saga

Nirmal Ghosh
Straits Times
Bangkok
July 24, 2015

Ex-PetroSaudi employee says he was never paid what prominent Malaysian businessman promised him

Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo – who is now in jail in Thailand in connection with trying to blackmail his former employer, PetroSaudi, which is entangled in a huge scandal involving the Malaysian government – has claimed that he was promised US$2 million (S$2.7 million) in exchange for data he stole from his former employer.

He also told The Straits Times in a prison interview that he was never paid what he was promised by a prominent Malaysian businessman. Justo claimed a deal was reached in Singapore in February on the sale of the documents, which was followed by lengthy discussions on how he would be paid.

The group of people he met in Singapore to negotiate the sale of the data were named in a 22-page confession Justo made to Thai police. He showed a copy of the confession to The Straits Times. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Edge Group Publications Suspended

By John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
July 24, 2015

Government action comes as owner, publisher, say they obtained documents through a ruse

The Edge Financial Daily, the country’s leading financial newspaper, and The Edge Weekly have been suspended from publishing for three months by Malaysian authorities for reporting on the scandal-tarred 1 Malaysia Development Bhd development fund that authorities said was “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion.” It also stated that the reporting on 1MDB was “likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest.”

The suspension is unprecedented. Last week, the government also blocked The Sarawak Report, written by Clare Rewcastle Brown from the UK, which has been equally critical of the government. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has been tied directly to the scandal by reports that US$680 million had been spirited from 1MDB-related companies into his personal accounts.

Tong Kooi Ong, the owner of The Edge Group, and Ho Kay Tat, the publisher, have both been threatened with arrest. Ho was forced to report to the police on July 22 and was questioned for two hours over the paper’s publication of a 3,800 word on July 21 report describing in deep detail, with flow charts, how money had flowed out of 1MDB into PetroSaudi International, a Middle East-based oil exploration company, and that US$1.83 billion allegedly was stolen by company officers and others. Read the rest of this entry »

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Based on reasons given by Home Ministry for 3-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, will 1MDB become a new “sensitive” issue which will attract the full weight of Najib’s law if discussed or mentioned?

The Home Ministry’s secretary-general, Alwi Ibrahim has given three reasons for suspending The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months, from July 27.

Firstly, the headings and reporting by the two publications has raised questions and created negative public perceptions towards 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and also implicated the government and national leaders.

Secondly, the published news reports were based on doubtful and unverified information, which might alarm public opinion and could/might be prejudicial to public order and national interest.

Thirdly, the 1MDB issue is being investigated by an investigation team that has been set up. Therefore, it is inappropriate for the reporting (on the issue) to create negative perceptions and done continuously, and it is unfair for 1MDB and consequently for the government and national leaders.

Based on the reasons given by Home Ministry for the three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, will 1MDB become a new “sensitive” issue which will attract the full weight of Najib’s law if discussed or mentioned? Read the rest of this entry »

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For truth’s sake, don’t hound the heroes

By Kee Thuan Chye
Malaysiakini
Jul 24, 2015

COMMENT Counter-measures to discredit the credibility of citizens and media organisations making allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak and 1MDB are sick and getting out of hand.

And the reported latest action of limiting the movements of a few concerned citizens who have been in the thick of exposing what might be terribly wrong with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) appears to be sinister.

It also prompts the public to make connections – rightly or wrongly – between this latest measure and related incidents that have occurred in the last couple of months.

These include the arrest of former PetroSaudi International director Xavier Andre Justo in Thailand; the hoax perpetrated by the fictitious NGO Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM) to entrap Malaysian online media and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ); and the allegation made by former Sarawak Tribune editor Lester Melanyi of opposition leaders having colluded with Sarawak Report to tamper with 1MDB documents.

The inference one could make from all this is that some forces are doing their darnedest – and, in the process, sinking to the lowest depths – to tamper with the truth regarding 1MDB.

It begs questioning, too, that Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar appears to favour Lester’s allegation that “there are those who are attempting to overthrow the government through undemocratic means”. Read the rest of this entry »

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With three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, Malaysia in free fall to become a failed state

Three days ago, I warned: “A darkness is descending on Malaysia.”

Two days ago, DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua was barred from leaving the country to fly to Yogyakarta, Indonesia and may be investigated under the new-fangled offence of “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which could send him to jail up to 20 years.

Today, the Home Ministry suspended the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27, for reporting on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal which were regarded by the Najib premiership as “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest”.

Darkness is swiftly descending in Malaysia.

Malaysia has become a topsy-turvy world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Travel ban on MPs, media owner politically motivated, says lawyers’ group

The Malaysian Insider
22 July 2015

Putrajaya’s move to prevent two lawmakers and a media owner from leaving the country is politically motivated, legal rights advocacy group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said today.

Its executive director, Eric Paulsen, said barring opposition MPs Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli, as well as The Edge Media Group owner Datuk Tong Kooi Ong, from leaving the country was likely due to their criticism and exposes on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Paulsen said the authorities should remember that freedom of movement was guaranteed under the federal constitution.

Freedom of movement was also subject to security, public order, public health and the punishment of offenders, but Paulsen said these reasons were not applicable to the trio who are barred from leaving Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tribute to Ho Kay Tat and shame to Liow Tiong Lai

The publisher and Group CEO of The Edge Media Group, Ho Kay Tat put it very bluntly that when faced with evidence that what was supposed to be a joint venture that will bring economic benefits to the country turned out to be nothing more than a scheme to scam billions of ringgit from Malaysia by a small group of Malaysians and their foreign partners, the Edge Media Group had two choices:

1) Drop the matter like a hot potato and walk away, or

2) Get hold of everything so that the truth can be uncovered.

To their eternal credit as well as the gratitude of all decent and honest Malaysians who want to be able to hold their heads high in a country where ethical, moral and religious values are not just meant for the pulpits but are the compass of everyday living, the Edge decided to pursue the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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We could not walk away on finding out about the scheme to cheat Malaysia of billions of ringgit

The Malaysian Insider
21 July 2015

The Edge had reported extensively on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in 2013 and 2014 as it emerged that the government-owned entity had run into financial difficulties.

Information was, however, scarce and limited because its annual audited financial reports were consistently late.

Our journalists have met various contacts and pored through whatever available information they could get hold of in search of the truth.

Early this year, we were told someone was willing to share information that will shed light on 1MDB’s joint-venture with PetroSaudi International. We were not told who he was before we met him.

This person, whom we shall not name, showed us thousands and thousands of emails and document attachments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Citizen Nades – Come clean on issues

R. Nadeswaran
Sun
19 July 2015

IN the course of a career spanning over four decades, this writer had the opportunity to meet gang leaders, thieves, drug addicts, rapists and even a murderer. The man who painted the now-demolished Pudu Prison wall – a man convicted for a drug offence – was a regular visitor to the office after his release.

There were also encounters with another “elitist” group including con-sultans, spin-doctors, lobbyists and even bag carriers and cowherds with bags of money masquerading as middlemen.

Like the undertaker who sees everyone as a potential client, the journalist views most people as a source of information. Thus, there is this need to associate with people from varying backgrounds. Information from these sources, which has to be verified, can sometimes lead to a big story.

From a legal standpoint, it is not an offence to meet anyone. Having a coffee or a beer with any of them is no less than having a tete-a-tete with a minister or a senior government official. The principle that “I have a right to choose whom I want to associate with” comes into play.

Therefore, there seems to be a witch-hunt of sorts for those who met former Petro-Saudi official Xavier Justo, now in custody in Thailand. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarawak Report refutes allegations that it forged information

Bernard Cheah
Sun
16 July 2015

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Report (SR) has refuted claims that a Lester Melanyi had written for the whistleblower site or had forged information for it.

“Let us confirm. Lester Melanyi has never ever written a word for Sarawak Report – sorry Lester, but we are out of your league,” Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown said in a short comment piece on the website.

She was referring to the report that Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had urged the authorities, including Interpol, to act against SR for falsifying information concerning 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Abdul Rahman was reported saying that he had been approached by an individual with a video that SR staff doctored the papers in an effort to criminalise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and 1MDB with malicious intent.

The person in the video is believed to be Melanyi. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sudah sampai masanya orang kampung diberitahu perkara sebenar

Amin Iskandar
The Malaysian Insider
12 July 2015

Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor mengatakan semalam “orang kampung” jangan menyangka kehidupan di kota besar Kuala Lumpur lebih baik berbanding di luar bandar.

Menurut menteri Wilayah Persekutuan itu, ini kerana kos kehidupan di kota besar jauh lebih tinggi dan menyebabkan sesetengah penduduk luar bandar yang mempunyai cita-cita untuk hidup mewah akhirnya menjadi gelandangan.

Benar apa yang dikatakan setiausaha agung Umno itu. Di luar bandar jika kita diwariskan tanah keluarga, sekurang-kurangnya kita ada tempat tinggal.

Barangkali sudah sampai masanya Tengku Adnan yang dikenali sebagai Ku Nan dan Umno memberitahu penduduk luar bandar perkara sebenar tentang Malaysia.

Selama ini, penduduk luar bandar hanya diberitahu “cerita-cerita yang indah” saja tentang Malaysia sehingga ramai tertipu dan berhijrah ke kota besar di Kuala Lumpur dan akhirnya merempat.

Oleh kerana kebanyakan penduduk luar bandar selama ini hanya mendapat berita daripada Utusan Malaysia, RTM dan TV3, mereka mungkin tidak berapa tahu tentang Malaysia yang sebenar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yes, Prime Minister, you must sue!

— P Ramakrishnan
The Malay Mail Online
July 7, 2015

JULY 7 — Mere denials do not establish one’s innocence. Evidence must be established to dispel and nail false accusations and unfair allegations.

Unfortunately, denials are the only form of defence resorted to by people who are put on the spot whenever they are accused of corruption. They fail to understand that mere denials do not clear their name or safeguard their reputation.

This is something the Prime Minister must be mindful of. So must his coterie of supporters who mindlessly come to his rescue by denying and condemning others without any solid evidence to convince Malaysians that there is no shred of truth in what was claimed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Citizen Nades – We don’t assume anything

R. Nadeswaran
Sun
5 July 2015

ON the outset, a qualification has to be made. I have worked with the owner of The Edge, Tong Kooi Ong, when he was briefly the executive vice-chairman of the Sun Media Group. Ho Kay Tat, the publisher of The Edge, and I honed our skills as journalists in Balai Berita in the eighties.

Both these men were involved in the transition of this publication from a subscription-based one to a free newspaper in 2004. Both men had news sense and the business acumen to go with it. They were professional and took a hands-on approach but never micro-managed. They gave journalists the freedom to write with one caveat – get your facts before even attempting to write the story.

Over the years, the many big stories that theSun broke including the PKFZ fiasco, Zakaria’s Palace and Paya Indah Wetlands went through several layers of scrutiny before they were published.

But today’s column is not on them or personalities. It is on an issue close to the hearts of all who identify themselves as media people – reporters, journalists, columnists, editors and above all – owners and publishers.

To one who has been following the 1MDB saga over the past few months and occasionally commenting on it in passing, so many facts and figures have emerged. Read the rest of this entry »

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