Archive for category Media

Can Najib start by being fair to Malaysians and answer all the questions about the RM42billion 1MDB scandal?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is depressed, complaining that the media had not been fair to him, giving as an example the news reports about Tabung Haji’s purchase of Tun Razak Exchange land from 1MDB on the last day of campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election which affected votes.

Either Najib has a short memory or he has again allowed his highly-paid “P.R. consultants” to mislead him, for the news story of Tabung Haji’s purchase of Tun Razak Exchange land broke too late on the social media on the last day of the Permatang Pauh by-election to have significant impact.

This is why all the post-Permatang Pauh by-election result analysis unanimously omitted reference to the impact of the story of the Tabung Haji purchase of TRX land, or Umno/Barisan Nasional would have lost by a shattering margin, with the PKR candidate Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Ismail winning with a majority ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 votes and not just 8,841 votes in the by-election.

I agree that Najib is entitled to fair treatment by the media but what is he doing to ensure that the Barisan Nasional-owned and controlled media, both print and online, are fair to Opposition leaders? Read the rest of this entry »

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Emails are not the cause of 1MDB’s financial troubles, but we will defer to the home minister

The Malaysian Insider
27 June 2015

There are now allegations that emails published by The Edge in recent months about certain dealings between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International were doctored and forged.

This follows the arrest of a former top PetroSaudi executive in Thailand on accusations that he extorted his ex-employer.

Certain media have also quoted unnamed security experts as saying the emails were tampered with or forged.

As a consequence, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has issued a warning that The Edge could be suspended. Read the rest of this entry »

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by Nithin Coca
Equal Times
2 June 2015

First, it was the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Then, senior journalists and editors at the country’s top independent media website.

Bloggers followed, even a political cartoonist.

Over several months, Malaysia’s leaders have, piece-by-piece, used colonial-era laws to turn the country, long considered one of the shining lights of south-east Asia, firmly towards authoritarianism.

“Over the past year, the government has harassed, targeted and even imprisoned a wide range of individuals considered possible ‘threats’ – including opposition politicians, human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists,” said Josef Benedict, Asia-Pacific Campaigner for Amnesty International, based in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

Behind this unprecedented crackdown are signs of a ruling party losing grip on power, as its rule, built on an economy dependent on natural resource exports and a fragile racial and religious balance, threatens to unravel. Read the rest of this entry »

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I am not Charlie

By RK Anand | 8:42AM Jan 14, 2015

COMMENT In 72 hours, more than a dozen lives were taken and Paris was shrouded in fear.

The catalyst being a satirical weekly that prided itself in the flagellation of all that is considered sacred, not only to Muslims but others as well.

To be honest, I had been unaware of Charlie Hebdo’s existence until two masked gunmen stormed its office and killed its staff during an editorial meeting.

Curious, I browsed the Internet for the caricatures that had spurred the bloodbath. What I discovered left me mortified.

The cartoons were distasteful and disrespectful. I believe that even Voltaire, who is often dragged into the discussion on free speech, would disapprove of them too.

Freedom of expression cannot and should not be used as a premise to defend such publications.

While resorting to protect the sanctity of a faith with bullets instead of debates must be condemned, Charlie Hebdo cannot be placed on a pedestal either.

Liberties must be safeguarded but there must exist a sense of responsibility.
Read the rest of this entry »

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9 Points to Ponder on the Paris Shooting and Charlie Hebdo

On Being with Krista Tippett

As a person of faith, times like these try my soul. Times like these are precisely when we need to turn to our faith. We turn inward, not because the answers are easy, but because not turning inward is unthinkable in moments of crisis.

So let us begin, not with the cartoons at the center of the shootings at the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, but with the human beings. Let it always be about the human beings: Read the rest of this entry »

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After two court victories, Mkini still denied permit

Oct 2, 2014

The government has yet again rejected Malaysiakini’s application for a publication permit for a daily newspaper despite the courts twice ruling that the independent news portal has the right to publish.

In a letter received by Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran last week, the Home Ministry said the rejection was because the news portal “often causes controversy” by publishing news that could “distress” the people.

Home Ministry’s Publications Control and Al-Quran Text Division head Hashimah Nik Jaafar also stressed that the reports “could cause hatred towards national leaders”.

“The ministry had decided not to approve the application for a publication permit on the basis that the news published by Malaysiakini’s online portal often causes controversy and is not neutral…

“Such news, if published in the print format, will cause shock and distress among the public. Sensitive issues are also published in the form of news, commentary, opinions and readers’ comments which could cause hatred towards national leaders,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mystery priest ‘exists’, Utusan reporter in Kit Siang’s defamation suit tells court

By Ida Lim
Malay Mail Online
September 26, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 ― An Utusan Malaysia reporter who wrote an allegedly defamatory article against DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang defended in court today the existence of a shadowy priest figure quoted in her report, despite never having met or spoken personally to the priestly person known only as “Father Augustus Chen”.

Under intense questioning from the DAP leader’s lawyer, Kasthuri K. Manimaran insisted that the mystery man known only as “Father Augustus Chen” that was mentioned in an equally mysterious booklet ― which formed the basis of her report ― was real, based on hearsay from a handful of ex-DAP members.

But the reporter admitted that she did not know the real identity of the mystery man.

“I don’t know him,” the sole witness for the Umno-controlled Malay daily’s publisher, Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad, told the court.

“I never seen him so I don’t know if he is fictitious or not,” said the 31-year-old who has been working with Utusan for two years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Testy times call for soul searching of the Fourth Estate

Terence Fernandez
The Malaysian Insider
10 September 2014

It has been a testy time for the media with the powers that be. In just two weeks, we have had a reporter from an online portal detained for sedition in Penang, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi demanding an English daily retract and apologise for a news report which depicted him as being a chauvinist (which the paper duly did and apologised) and attempts by a lawyer representing a well-connected firm to compel yours truly and a colleague to reveal sources who were quoted in a front page report last month.

On a separate note, there is also the ongoing repartee between the Malaysian Press Photographers Association (MPPA) and the family of a MH17 victim following a fracas at the Nirvana Memorial Park on September 2 when a grieving family member punched a photographer and broke his camera for allegedly invading their privacy.

Meanwhile, colleague Azril Annuar has been preoccupied entertaining the continuous requests from Kajang Police for statements on an article quoting Rafizi Ramli on the reason for the “Kajang Move” that saw PKR leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail contest a vacated Kajang state seat to enable her to throw her hat into the menteri besar ring.

As we now know, Rafizi was charged for sedition on August 28. Read the rest of this entry »

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Discomfiting glare falls on journalists after sedition rap

BY Joseph Sipalan | MMO
September 8, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Journalists in Malaysia have been thrust under the unaccustomed glare of the spotlight, grappling with the startling arrest of one of their number in a sedition blitz that has snagged politicians and an academic over the past couple of weeks.

The detention of Malaysiakini journalist Susan Loone drew silent indignation among many in the industry, who saw no call for punitive action against a reporter simply doing her job.

Malaysia, already low on a key gauge of press freedom, could sink further. The World Press Freedom Index 2014 , released by global media watchdog, Reporters Sans Frontières, ranked Malaysia at 147th out of a total of 180 nations., tumbling 23 places from 2013.

Loone was detained on September 4 and reportedly questioned for nine hours in connection to police reports lodged against her and Malaysiakini over an article she wrote related to the police’s recent crackdown on the Penang Volunteer Patrol Unit (PPS). Read the rest of this entry »

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On authorities’ alleged selective prosecution

– Lim Chee Wee
The Malaysian Insider
5 August 2014

Recent attempts to question the authorities’ purported inaction over cases involving non-Muslims’ alleged disrespect for Islam will only heighten racial tension. This is most irresponsible and unnecessary at a time when we can do with more goodwill among the different races.

On Sunday, Mingguan Malaysia in a column by Awang Selamat and Federal Territory Umno Youth chief, Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii had suggested that the authorities practiced selective prosecution by not acting against those who had insulted Islam. The argument was that Islamic preacher Shahul Hamid was swiftly picked up for questioning after a video of him insulting Hindus went viral on social media. Meanwhile, two individuals who had made disparaging remarks about Islam are still on the loose. Read the rest of this entry »

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Height of irony Utusan Malaysia complaining about selective prosecution and investigation when it has been the major beneficiary enjoying immunity and impunity for series of seditious articles inciting racial and religious hatred and tensions in the country in recent years

It is the height of irony that Utusan Malaysia is complaining about selective prosecution and investigation when the UMNO-owned daily has been the biggest beneficiary of such criminal oversight and abuses of power by various enforcement agencies particularly the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers as Utusan continues to enjoy both “immunity and impunity” for a series of seditious articles inciting racial and religious hatred and tensions in the country in recent years.

Now Utusan alleges that non-Muslims are becoming blatant in demeaning Islam because authorities are not pursuing them with the same vigour applied to Malays.

Utusan Malaysia further alleges that “the eagerness of non-Muslims to insult Islam can no longer be ignored” because of the “hesitance or fear on the part of the authorities to punish non-Malays for such activity”.

This is utter bunkum. Read the rest of this entry »

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WikiLeaks gag order: open justice is threatened by super-injunctions

Richard Ackland
30 July 2014

Australian courts have increasingly been issuing suppression orders preventing the publication of legal proceedings – and an implicit dislike of the media is partly to blame

Last month, an Australian judge issued a super-duper injunction preventing the reporting of bribery allegations which involved south east Asian political figures, and in some cases their family members.

The allegations have arisen in a criminal case before the supreme court of Victoria. The super-injunction, which not only prevents publication of the allegations, but the detailed terms of the injunction itself, only came to light because WikiLeaks published the intimate details on July 29.

So while WikiLeaks, anonymous blogs and social media are buzzing with the details of these sweeping court orders, which apply Australia-wide, the mainstream media cannot trespass in this territory for fear of facing proceedings for contempt of court. This is the ludicrous nature of overreaching suppression orders, and this one is to last for five years unless earlier revoked.

The internet has made them so porous as to be useless. Only those who publish above the radar with sizeable assets and readily identifiable journalists and executives (at least ones that are not corralled in foreign embassies) are effectively injuncted from publishing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Memperkasa mahasiswa Melayu: Menjana minda kritis

– Dr Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
The Malaysian Insider
9 July 2014

Untuk memperkasakan lagi mahasiswa Melayu, mereka harus membangunkan minda yang kritis. Dalam era ledakan maklumat ini, terdapat banyak berita dan informasi yang boleh digunakan dan diinterpretasi namun kesahihan dan kepenggunaannya harus dipertimbangkan terlebih dahulu.

Tidak semua maklumat adalah benar, tidak semua maklumat bersifat neutral. Jika mahasiswa Melayu memperlengkapkan diri dengan kuasa minda yang kritis ia bukan saja dapat mententeramkan kehidupan keluarga, komuniti dan syarikat yang mnggajikannya ia juga akan dapat membangun dengan positif.

Terdapat enam tahap pengasahan minda kritis yang perlu dilalui dan dipraktik serta di praktis oleh mahasiswa Melayu.

Tahap pertama adalah untuk mendapatkan keseluruhan jalan cerita dan konteks seseuatu maklumat atau kejadian atau pernyataan. Tahap kedua mengidentifikasi sumber asal berita atau informasi tersebut sebelum mengambil apa-apa tindakan atau strategi. Dalam tahap ketiga mahasiswa perlu membuat pengujian kebolehyakinan terhadap sumber informasi dan berita tersebut.

Selepas itu, di tahap keempat perlu pula bertanyakan sama ada sumber informasi berita atau informasi tersebut boleh mendapat apa-apa keuntungan daripada penjelasan dan peyampaian berita dan infrormasi tersebut.

Tahap kelima pula adalah mengasingkan maklumat cerita dari interpretasi maklumat dan cerita yang disampaikan. Akhir sekali di tahap enam, apakah pertimbangan nilai kemanusiaan yang boleh diambil dalam membentuk proses tindakan dan kesimpulan daripada berita, maklumat atau data yang baru diperoleh itu? Read the rest of this entry »

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Bernama should own up to the charges of plagiarism by Jakarta Globe as the international disgrace for Malaysian journalism is easily established by a quick read of the four articles concerned

I was intrigued by the admission by the Bernama editor-in-chief Zulkefli Salleh that there was some basis in the accusation made by the Indonesian newspaper Jakarta Globe that two of its articles published online pertaining to the ongoing Indonesian presidential debates had been plagiarized by Bernama.

As a result, I read in detail the allegations by Indonesian Globe.

The most recent incident occurred on Sunday when Bernama plagiarised “word for word” an article published on the Jakarta Globe website entitled “In Closing Debate, Joko Promises Bureaucratic ‘Breakthrough,’ While Prabowo Strives for ‘A Dignified Nation.’”

The article was part of Jakarta Glob’s live coverage of the fifth and final Indonesian presidential debate which was published on July 5.

Bernama published a similar article the next day under the heading, “Joko Promises Bureaucratic ‘Breakthrough,’ While Prabowo Strives for ‘A Dignified Nation.’”

Jakarta Globe alleged that Bernama had copied the Globe’s piece verbatim, attributing one of the many quotes in the article to the newspaper.

Bernama also removed the names of Globe reporters Josua Gantan and Andrea Wijaya, the original authors of the story, replacing the byline with a Bernama journalist, Elmi Rizal Alias.

The Jakarta Globe also accused Bernama of plagiarising an earlier story by its reporter Basten Gokkon on the fourth debate “Hatta Says Indonesia Should Take Advantage of Its ‘Demographic Bonus.’”, which was published by Bernama under the headline “Indonesia Should Take Advantage of Its ‘Demographic Bonus’ – Hatta”. Bernama claimed it was written by its reporter Elmi. Read the rest of this entry »

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Propagandist I am not!

Stephen Ng
Jun 6, 2014

COMMENT Some call me a propagandist. Others call me an apologist.

I won’t be surprised that I am also one of those in Utusan Malaysia’s wildest dream – a member of the elite Red Bean Army, except that I do not know how many millions of ringgit I am paid by the DAP for my work. Not even a plate of char koay teow for all you know!

When I wrote my two sen worth of an article about the Teluk Intan by-election, another fallen angel currently living in the comfort of the West, and an armchair critic, even called me a ‘party spin doctor’ by merely assuming that I am with the DAP. Ask the DAP if I am even on their membership roll!

I do not need to envy Anwar Ibrahim now, because even for all the efforts that I put in as an individual to fight against the ‘fitnah’ crafters in this country, I have even earned myself the label of being a ‘racist’.

For someone who always says, “Race is only skin deep”, I wonder why some people can even call me a racist. Read the rest of this entry »

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What would be the response of the authorities if there is a non-Malay Isma which openly attacked Najib as anti-Chinese or anti-Indian, out to wipe out the Chinese or Indians in Malaysia?

In response to online news reports that Isma had concocted downright lies and falsehoods in its latest accusations of a plethora of crimes and horrors against me like being “anti-Malay”, “gunning for Malays since 1960s” and “wanting to wipe out the Malay race”, I had tweeted yesterday, among others, the following:

1. How should I react? Such blabber. My hair should stand but sorry, No! Isma: Kit Siang wants 2wipe out Malay race (Mkini)

2. Should I lose sleep? Will u if some crazy hurl abuse at u? Isma labels Kit Siang “anti-Malay” – Looi Sue-Chern (TMI)

3. Thankful for live examples of jesters and liars. In reprisal, Isma claims Kit Siang gunning for Malays since 1960s (MMO)

There have been hundreds of responses on the facebook, twitter, blog and online news portals to the wild allegations by Isma and advising me how to react – basically that I should just ignore Isma and that I should sue it until kingdom come! Read the rest of this entry »

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Social media driving Teluk Intan polls

— Bob Teoh
The Malay Mail Online
MAY 29, 2014

MAY 29 — In many ways the Teluk Intan by-election is a dry run for the next general elections due as early as three years from now or even sooner. The tipping point probably depends on how well social media is used to engage the electorate. This will re-define politics where the electoral demographics is shifting to a more youthful and social media savvy profile.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of the non-fiction best seller “Tipping point – How little things can make a big difference (2000),” points out that one dramatic moment when everything can change all at once is called the Tipping Point. His says there are three characteristics for this to happen, one, contagiousness; two, the fact that little causes can have big effects; and three, that change happens not gradually but at one dramatic moment.

Social media featured prominently in the 2008 general elections (GE12). There was no tipping point to bring about a regime change. But the ruling coalition lost its crucial two-third majority in parliament that has allowed it to amend the constitution at will since independence. Barisan Nasional (BN) also lost five states out of 13 -Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan. It eventually recovered Perak under questionable circumstances. Nonetheless, BN’s loss was unprecedented and the cutting edge was undoubtedly the social media campaign engaged by both the opposition coalition and civil society groups that were seeking a regime change.

Its popular vote was reduced to such a level that the then incumbent Prime Minister Pak Lah was forced put of office rather ungracefully by factional infighting within Umno, the dominant party in the coalition. In came the new Prime Minister Najib Razak only with a party mandate.

Najib had declared that GE13 would be the country’s first “social media elections.” Barisan Nasional lost the popular vote but managed to win 133 or 60 percent of the parliamentary seats under a highly skewed electoral system. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP slams Utusan for saying ‘Lims’ masterminded attacks against Dyana Sofya

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2014

The DAP has slammed Umno-mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia over an article which said that the recent attacks against the Teluk Intan by-election candidate Intan Dyana Sofya Mohd Duad were planned by the “Lim Dynasty”.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the Malay newspaper’s Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, had slandered the party by implying that he and his father, Lim Kit Siang, had planned the attacks against Dyana.

“We strongly condemn this. It is very malicious. You slander us once, fine. But you do it again and again.

“Do not try to demean a woman and her dignity like that… Mingguan Malaysia does not know Dyana yet.

“She will not bow to such attacks and she will continue to fight for justice and democracy,” Lim said in a press conference after the opening of the state legislative assembly today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Obama assist democracy in Malaysia?

By Anwar Ibrahim

Washington Post
April 25

For 15 years, the people of Malaysia have been immersed in our own Arab Spring. After enduring a corrupt and authoritarian regime for more than five decades, an era has emerged in which we are standing up for our rights.

For the first time in our history, the voices of reform and democracy represent the majority. In last year’s general election, the popular vote in favor of the opposition would have swept from power the authoritarian regime of Najib Razak and the party that has ruled Malaysia since its independence in 1957. In its place would have been the Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance), poised to push the nation on the path to greater freedom and democracy. Alas, widespread fraud and devious gerrymandering perpetrated by the ruling party, a situation the White House noted, affected the outcome. A study conducted by Harvard ranked Malaysia as having one of the worst records on electoral integrity in the world.

Despite this setback, the Malaysian people have remained steadfast. Despite anger and frustration over our government’s continued corruption and abuse of power, we have pursued a peaceful approach to educating and engaging with the masses. Thousands have come to hear our message and embrace our cause.

President Obama’s visit to Malaysia this weekend comes at a pivotal time. It would be an opportune moment to live up to the ideals Obama espoused in his campaign and the early days of his administration. Then, there was hope that U.S. engagement with Muslim countries would be based on mutual respect and mutual interest. Yet as the Arab Spring came and went, hope was eclipsed by disappointment. It is baffling that the United States can talk about a democratic transition in Egypt today as hundreds of innocent people are sentenced to death while thousands languish in prison.

In Malaysia, there is an opportunity to take a different path. Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370: Ex-NST boss backs foreign press coverage, skewers conspiracy claims

The Malay Mail Online
April 22, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The foreign media should not be attacked for sullying Malaysia’s image in its coverage of the MH370 crisis, veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said, telling local authorities to first look at the circumstances surrounding the missing jetliner before pointing fingers at others.

The former group editor-in-chief for English daily New Straits Times said criticising the press when they were just doing their jobs was akin to “shooting the messenger”.

“It won’t solve the problem, especially if what they’ve reported is the truth,” he said in a blog posting here.

“When one messenger is shot, tens more will arise. The information and communication technology of today allows any person with a computer or a smartphone to become instant journalists should they want to,” he pointed out.

Kadir added that given the lack of answers to the ongoing crisis, and the string of unfortunate incidents that followed the jetliner’s mysterious disappearance last month, it was to be expected that Malaysia would take a beating in the international media. Read the rest of this entry »

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