Archive for category Media
By Mong Palatino
March 02, 2016
Internet freedom suffers as Najib’s embattled government tries to fight off the deepening 1MDB scandal.
Since last month, the Malaysian government has blocked three news websites and three socio-political blogs. Meanwhile, the police have threatened Internet users who will share satirical clown memes of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
These reports are troubling and somewhat ironic considering the fact that the government’s Multimedia Super Corridor program supposedly guarantees Internet freedom. Yet those who are familiar with the corruption scandal involving Najib and its massive political impact will immediately recognize these acts as a desperate attempt to silence critical voices that can mobilize public opinion against the ruling party.
Despite being cleared of committing any wrongdoing by the attorney general, Najib is still hounded by accusations that he received illegal fund transfers from 1MDB, a state-run investment firm. Najib admitted that he has $600 million in his personal bank accounts but he claimed the money was a political donation from a royal family in the Middle East. The scandal sparked intense protests across Malaysia and some of Najib’s allies even called for his resignation. Though Najib remains the head of the ruling coalition, his credibility has been tainted.
It would not be a stretch to suggest that the suspension of some newspapers last year and the recent censoring of news websites and blogs are part of the machinations of Najib’s faction to stop the further spread of information concerning the corruption scandal. Read the rest of this entry »
It was exactly 30 years ago that I moved from Kota Melaka parliamentary seat to Penang to contest in Tanjong constituency – the Battle of Tanjong of 1986 – against the incumbent Dr. Koh Tsu Koon who was to become the Penang Chief Minister for four terms spanning 18 years from 1990 to 2008.
DAP comrades in Penang had in fact suggested in early seventies that I move to Penang to lead the DAP charge to make Penang the “engine head” for political change in Malaysia, and although this suggestion was made at every subsequent general election, I had not agreed to the move from “south to north” until the 1986 general election.
Although the subsequent “Battles of Tanjong 2 and Tanjong 3” in 1990 and 1995 did not succeed in DAP capturing the Penang State Government, this objective was finally achieved in the 2008 and 2013 General Elections, and it is my hope that Penang will not only continue to be the seat of DAP-led Penang State Government, but the base for the achievement of federal change of government in Putrajaya in the next 14th General Election.
Although the DAP is now celebrating our 50th anniversary, I believe that the DAP’s most important and challenging tests are not in the past 50 years, but in the next 20 to 30 years.
We want the DAP message of justice, freedom, good governance and national unity not just to ring loud and clear in Penang but throughout Malaysia, in Peninsula Malaysia as well as in Sarawak and Sabah.
DAP is in the throes of an important transition, and we must be guided by two challenging objectives and principles. Read the rest of this entry »
Ooi Kok Hin
The Malaysian Insider
27 February 2016
A government that uses state agencies to silent its critics. A government that demands loyalty from mainstream media.
A government that abuses state resources for its political advantage and distributes propaganda books in the universities. A government that bans a newspaper and threatens its critics with sedition.
Is this Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand or North Korea?
On its eighth birthday, The Malaysian Insider is banned by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in the name of “national security”.
The country is becoming more and more unrecognisable. When I read the news these days, I feel a tinge of shame and anger because these are the kind of news that are reported from and about despotic regimes around the world. Is this really Malaysia and not North Korea, Egypt or Thailand? Read the rest of this entry »
Has Guan Eng rocketed from a jailbird to become Malaysia’s 22nd richest person worth RM2.87 billion – in the league of Robert Kuok and Ananda Krishnan?
What a coincidence!
The same day that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak lumped news portals with “keyboard warriors and cybertroopers” for “unhealthy practice of journalism” in an attempt to justify the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blockade of the news portal The Malaysian Insider, there was another blast of lies against the DAP.
This was in the form of an alleged list of the “richest” persons in Malaysia (below) circulated on the Internet, with the DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister listed as the No. 22 “richest” person in Malaysia, worth RM2.87 billion – preceded by 21 “richest” in Malaysia, ranging from Robert Kuok (RM42.2b), Ananda Krishnan (RM31.2b), Quek Leng Chan (22.3b) Teh Hong Piow (19.6b), Lee Shin Cheng (RM19.4), Lim Kok Thay (19.2b), Yeoh Tiong Lay (RM9.5b), Lao Cho Kun (RM6.5b), Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary (RM6.1b), Surin Upatkoon (RM4.8b), Kuan Kam Hon (RM4.6b), Tiong Hiew King (RM4.2b), Danny Tan Chee Sing (RM4.1b), G. Gnanalingam (RM4.06b), Lee Oi Hian & Lee Hau Hian (RM3.86b), Desmond Lim Siew Choon (RM3.82b), Vincent Tan (RM3.8b), Jeffrey Cheah (RM3.65b), Yaw Teck Seng & Yaw Chee Ming (RM3.16b), Goh Peng Ooi (RM3.06b), Tan Heng Chew, Eng Soon & Eng Hwa (RM2.9b) – and richer than others like Chen Lip Keong (RM2.61b), Ahmadyuddin Ahmad (RM2.42b),Lim Kuang Sia (RM2.4b), Lim Kang Hoo (RM2.32b), Shahril & Shahriman Shamsuddin (RM2.04b), Mokhzani Mahathir (RM2.02b), Ngau Boon Keat (RM2b), Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin RM1.98b),Azman Hashim (RM1.96b), Lim Teck Meng (RM1.48b), Chong Chook Yew (RM1.43b), Kong Hon Kong (RM1.37b), Leong Hoy Kum (RM1.24b), etc.
Has Guan Eng rocketed from a jailbird to become Malaysia’s 22nd richest person worth RM2.87 billion – in the league of Robert Kuok and Ananda Krishnan?
I did a quick search and found that it was Forbe’s 2016 Ranking of Malaysia’s 50 Richest, and the list was as correct except for Guan Eng’s listing as No. 22’s Richest, when it should be Lim Wee Chai. Read the rest of this entry »
Banning The Malaysian Insider is like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly – what is the Najib government trying to hide?
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, seems to be fulfilling his vow made during the recent commemoration of his 40 years of involvement of politics – with reams and reams of congratulatory advertorials finally paid for by the taxpayers – that he would strive to take Malaysia to “greater heights”.
Malaysia had never achieved “greater heights” in corruption than under the Najib premiership – being named third in the world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015” and dropping four places in Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2015.
Now, Najib has brought Malaysia to a new “greater height” of being the first Prime Minister in Malaysia to violate the 20-year Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees of “No Censorship of the Internet”, a guarantee made by Tun Dr. Mahathir when he was Prime Minister “as a gift to the world”, with the ban yesterday on the news portal, The Malaysian Insider.
Described world-wide as the latest in a series of clampdowns on media organisations that have published reports critical of the government and the Prime Minister, particularly over Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals, Malaysians and international opinion can only ask Najib what is he trying to hide and suppress when he has to use a sledgehammer to try to kill a fly and cannot rely anymore on the plain truth and nothing but the truth to win in the world of ideas? Read the rest of this entry »
Would a person like Najib have survived as China’s top leader with two mega scandals swirling around him causing the country to be named No. 3 in world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015” and the subject of investigation by seven different countries, including by US FBI, whether he is a kleptocrat?
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali allowed a rare but very insightful though frightening peep into his mind in his interview with Sin Chew Daily today.
Apandi’s interview deserve fuller dissection and analysis, but for the immediate moment, what warrants immediate response is the revelation that the Attorney-General is mulling laws to increase the punishment of those who leak state secrets and journalists who report, and that the Attorney-General’s Chambers is proposing to amend the Official Secrets Act 1972 to include life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan as punishments.
Apandi said: “In some countries, the leaking of official secrets is a serious offence, like in China where it carries the death sentence.”
Apandi insisted that should journalists protect or refuse to reveal the sources by invoking journalistic ethics, they will be considered collaborating with a potential saboteur.
“We may charge journalists who refuse to reveal their sources.
“I am not joking. If I have 90 percent of evidence, I will charge the journalist, editor, assistant editor and editor-in-chief. I am serious, no kidding. We have too many leakage of secrets in Malaysia.
“The right to know is not granted by the constitution.”
This must be the first time the Attorney-General of Malaysia expressed admiration and envy for the laws and system in China, as it had never been done by his predecdessors. Read the rest of this entry »
A virtually impossible feat – Najib’s twin mega scandals entering new year in 36 hours with even more questions than answers
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s twin mega scandals – the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB – have performed a virtually impossible feat, entering the new year in some 36 hours with even more questions than answers.
This, despite being the subject of multiple investigations inside the country – at one time, even by the highest-powered multi-agency Special Task Force under four “Tan Sris” led by the then Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail himself until Gani was summarily sacked in a government purge on July 28 whose victims included the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Special Task Force dissolved – and the target of separate investigations by at least seven foreign countries, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and United States.
How could this happen?
On Monday (Dec. 28), Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi urged the people not to fall for the latest report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which cited an unknown source in explaining how US$850 million was transferred from 1MDB to a phantom offshore entity. Read the rest of this entry »
Was Hasan Arifin speaking for PAC or only for himself about being “satisfied” with Arul Kanda’s testimony on 1MDB, and if the former, was a vote taken of the PAC members whether they are “satisfied” with Arul’s evidence?
On the way to the launch of the Perak State Pakatan Harapan in Ipoh from a DAP dinner at Chuichak new village, I read that after its meeting today, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin issued a statement saying that he is satisfied with 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s explanation after a three-hour grilling.
I find Hasan’s statement most shocking as it contradicted the earlier statement by Tony Pua, the PAC member who is most knowledgeable about 1MDB, who had said that Arul Kanda’s answers were “not perfect” and “incomplete” and that the 1MDB president had evaded certain questions.
When Hasan said he was “satisfied” with Arul Kanda’s explanations at the continued PAC investigations into the 1MDB, was this a reflection of his “cari makan” mode of operation or did he take a vote from the PAC after Arul Kanda’s testimony to determine whether the PAC was “satisfied” with the 1MDB CEO’s testimony?
If Hasan had not taken a vote of PAC after Arul Kanda’s testimony, and merely given his own views, he was guilty of misleading Members of Parliament and the Malaysian public who have been following the PAC proceedings with great interest and anticipation.
The Malaysian public does not want the views of a “cari makan” PAC Chairman but the views of the PAC as determined by a vote as to whether PAC is satisfied with Arul Kanda’s testimony. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib must learn quick and fast that there is no way to resolve his grave problem of trust deficit unless he gives full and satisfactory accountability on his twin mega scandals
Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trust deficit, already lowest for any Prime Minister among all racial groups in the nation’s 58 year history, continued to nose-dive after the UMNO General Assembly, with over a dozen adverse developments and stories keeping Najib’s twin mega scandals alive and kicking in the past three days.
There were six such adverse stories in the last 24 hours in Malaysiakini, viz:
1. PM’s flirtation with gaming world draws scorn
2. Australian court shuts down 1MDB-linked funds
3. Delay in handing over auditor-general’s 1MDB report to PAC
4. To uncover 1MDB truth, cross examine Najib in court – by Nurul Izzah and Tian Chua.
5. The colourful family and friends of 1MDB
6. Malaysian police record Justo’s statement in Bangkok
A day earlier there were two news reports about former MCA President Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik legal entanglements with Najib’s over the latter’s twin mega scandals, about Najib’s claim against Ling and Ling’s counter-claim against Najib, and the former MCA President’s accusation that Najib had not instituted the legal suit against Ling with the genuine intention to seek legal redress, or Najib should have sued all UMNO leaders, past and present, who have criticised him, such as Tun Mahathir as well as Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report. Read the rest of this entry »
Parliament must take a stand on Monday whether it wants to have a “cari makan” Chairman of PAC, especially as it is poised to continue its “derailed” investigations into Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals
The Malaysian Parliament must take a stand on Monday whether it wants to have a “cari makan” Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), especially as it is poised to continue its “derailed” investigations into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.
PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin has compounded his faux pax with a ban on all PAC press conferences on the ground that he is victim of a diabolic plot by the media to present him in the worst possible light.
Why should the media have such an animus towards him and not others, as no other UMNO/BN leader, whether Minister or other parliamentary personality, had ever lodged such a serious complaint of collective bias against the parliamentary media.
Does the fault lie in the media or in Hasan himself? Read the rest of this entry »
— Dan Ling
Malay Mail Online
November 17, 2015
NOVEMBER 17 — We live in a world of manufactured outrage. From one incident to the next, media does its best; knowingly and unknowingly, to polarise opinion and encourage consumers to adopt a certain stance. From incident to incident, we see this happening with alarming frequency.
It does so by inciting our more base emotions, poking and prodding them. It does so by being selective about what it decides to highlight, covering certain news with front page headlines, while relegating other news to the back pages with nary a few lines of detail. It sets up the perfect breeding ground for the more easily influenced among us to grow a black-and-white, us versus them mentality. And it is dangerous.
You’d have to have been living under a significantly large rock to not have heard about the recent attacks in Paris that claimed over a hundred and thirty lives. But have you been hearing about all the drone attacks over a large portion of Middle Eastern territory? According to official reports, 41 men were specifically targeted due to their involvement in terror cells, yet 1,147 innocent lives were taken as a result of these “precise” drone strikes that were apparently aided by “reliable intelligence.” Did you hear about the Beirut attack that occurred the day before the Paris attacks? Probably not until afterwards, when people started to draw the stark comparisons between how the two were treated by world media. Read the rest of this entry »
Police and MCMC raid of Malaysiakini and Star Online must be condemned in strongest possible terms as part of a repressive plan to create culture of fear to stifle freedom of expression and dissent in country
The police and Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) raid of Malaysiakini and Star Online yesterday must be condemned in the strongest possible terms as part of a repressive plan to create a culture of fear to stifle freedom of expression and dissent in the country.
Pakatan Harapan leaders had been on the receiving end of lies and criminal defamation for years but I do not see the police and MCMC taking any action against the UMNO/BN and pro UMNO/BN media or cybertroopers for these flagrant lies and falsehoods.
A classic case is the Utusan Malaysia front-page report that the DAP wanted to create a Christian Malaysia, which was not on a most mischievous, malicious and diabolical lie – but no action had been taken by the authorities against Utusan Malaysia not only in this instance but also many similar such cases by the same guilty parties. Read the rest of this entry »
— Lee Yew Meng
Malay Mail Online
November 4, 2015
NOV 4 — On Oct 27, 1987, The Star managing director Datuk Steven Tan told his top management that the newspaper’s publishing permit had been withdrawn with immediate effect. The letter was hand-delivered earlier during a downpour.
The front page on that day read: “DETAINED — 19 picked up in swoop”. The masthead was in black, dramatising the events of the previous day.
I have no recollection of what was discussed during that meeting. Stuck in my head was: “Hey, this is ridiculous. Our chairman is Tunku Abdul Rahman (our first prime minister) and we are owned by MCA, a senior coalition partner in the government.”
All employees were on a quarter-month’s pay henceforth. It was a double whammy for couples on The Star’s payroll. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib is sounding the death knell for Global Movement of Moderates if he is not prepared to uphold moderation as represented by Bersih 4 and marginalize extremism as represented by Sept. 16 Red Shirts Rally
The cat is out of the bag – the mission of irresponsible, dishonest and insidious propagandists in the UMNO/BN camp out to twist facts, distort the truth and even tell outright lies and falsehoods to influence public perceptions and events.
This comes from the admission by the UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan yesterday blaming the UMNO-owned Utusan Malaysia for exacerbating the diplomatic flap involving the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang who, to quote Adnan, went to Petaling Street with good intentions but Utusan Malaysia took Ronnie Liu and Teresa Kok’s blog and “twisted” them into the headlines, and it became a problem!
There would be no kid-glove treatment of Utusan Malaysia if it is not a UMNO-owned publication or the authorities would have descended on it like a ton of bricks, even suspending or cancelling its publication licence for activities prejudicial to racial harmony and national interests.
This highlights the UMNO/BN administration’s hypocrisy and double-standards especially as this is not the first time that Utusan had been guilty of journalistic excesses, abuses and anti-national activities prejudicial to social peace, racial harmony and national unity. Read the rest of this entry »
Challenge to Najib to institute legal proceedings against five international media for defaming him or his administration – Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Economist and Channel News Asia
It is understandable that the new Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak is so upset that he has shot off another protest against international media reporting on Malaysia – this time complaining that Channel News Asia (CAN)’s documentary, A Fractured Nation, for being biased because the sources quoted were only from the Opposition.
Salleh had been Minister for Communications and Multimedia for only two short months, but the number of bad press for Malaysia in the international media during Salleh’s tenure as Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Communications czar is already many times the bad press under his predecessor, Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek, even putting together Shabery’s two spells as Information Minister for 13 months under Tun Abdullah and Communications Minister for 26 months under Najib.
Who must bear responsibility for the current spate of bad international press by Malaysia, whether printed or electronic – Salleh, Najib or the international media?
Salleh complained that the CNA documentary A Fractured Nation portrayed a bad image of Malaysia.
The pertinent question is whether CNA had irresponsibly given a bad image of a good condition in Malaysia, or had truthfully reflected what is undoubtedly a bad situation in Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »