Archive for category Media

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

By Kee Thuan Chye
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
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
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
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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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.
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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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