Pakatan leaders express shock, pray for those on board flight MH17

BY MD IZWAN and ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
The Malaysian Insider
18 July 2014

Pakatan Rakyat leaders expressed their shock over reports that a Malaysia Airlines flight had crashed late last night near the Ukraine-Russia border, with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim offering prayers for all on board.

The opposition leader said on Twitter that he was still awaiting confirmation about the tragedy and was praying for the passengers and crew of flight MH17.

“MH17, Ya Allah. Another tragedy. Awaiting details, pray for safety,” he tweeted.

Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was believed to have been shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard.

MAS has confirmed that Ukraine air traffic control lost contact with flight MH17 at 10.15pm local time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Six questions about: The MH17 crash in Ukraine

By Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
July 18, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 ― Malaysians woke up today to an eerily familiar feeling of tragedy: another one of the nation’s airplanes has gone down and, with it, hundreds of civilian lives.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was due to touch down in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10am today from Amsterdam, but it never made it home, crashing instead near the strife-torn border of Ukraine and Russia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak described it aptly when he addressed the media at the 4am, saying this was “a tragic day in an already tragic year”, following the disappearance of Beijing-bound MH370 five months ago.

Malaysia still could not verify independently the reason behind the plane’s crash, but here is what we know so far: Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Airlines flight crashes in Ukraine

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
July 17, 2014

(CNN) — A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has crashed in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reported Thursday.

Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it lost contact with Flight 17 and that the plane’s last known position was over Ukrainian airspace, the airline said on Twitter.

The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.

“We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said, according to his website. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Rakyat will become a Brazil in 2014 World Cup in 14GE if it fails to stay true to the PR Common Policy Programme and falls into the Umno/BN trap to destroy it with the hudud ploy

The independent pollster Merdeka Centre has found that nearly three in five Malaysians think the country is not prepared to implement the controversial hudud Islamic penal law.

Its survey on hudud in April found that a total of 59 per cent of the Malaysians polled shared this sentiment, with 58 per cent of Malays believing so while 59 per cent of Chinese and 61 per cent of Indians gave the same response.

Just 25 per cent of respondents — and 30 per cent of Malays — believed that Malaysia is ready to introduce hudud now.

Just over half of Malaysians also said they believed that hudud will not be implemented fairly with the judiciary and law enforcement currently in place. Only 32 per cent felt it would be implemented fairly.

Only 56 per cent of Malaysians polled said they understand the law, with only 14 per cent understanding it “a great deal”.

Those who did not understand it included 62 per cent of Chinese and 49 per cent of Indians polled.

I think a more rigorous poll is needed for the result to be more credible, but whatever the flaws of the survey, what is indisputable is that for the first time in the nation’s history, Malaysia will be divided down the middle if hudud laws are implemented – as reflected by the rather conservative findings of Merdeka Centre that 59 per cent of Malaysians polled think the country is not prepared to implement the hudud law, with just 25 per cent believed that Malaysia is ready to introduce hudud now; over half of Malaysians who believed that hudud will not be implemented fairly with the judiciary and law enforcement currently in place as compared to 32 per cent who felt it would be implemented fairly; and 56 cent of Malaysians who said they don’t understand hudud, with only 14 per cent understanding it “a great deal”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians committed to justice will not rest until the cover up of Teoh Beng Hock’s criminal and senseless killing five years ago are exposed and the killers brought to justice

Today is the fifth anniversary of the killing of DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam.

The gloom over the unresolved murder of Teoh Beng Hock five years ago has been aggravated by the MACC statement yesterday that the three MACC officers implicated in the death of Teoh Beng Hock by the TBH Royal Commission of Inquiry had been cleared of indiscipline by the MACC special investigation team comprising its disciplinary board and the complaints committee (one of the MACC independent oversight committees).

The MACC statement sparked a new national round of shockwaves of disbelief and disgust at the continued degradation of credibility, independence, professionalism and integrity of important national institutions whether the judiciary, the Elections Commission, the police, the MACC or even a Royal Commission of Inquiry – testimony that the grave injustice of the unresolved killing of Teoh Beng Hock continues to be one of the greatest injustices in the 57-year history of the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno’s caveman mentality

Dyana Sofya
The Malay Mail Online
July 15, 2014

July 15 — Apparently, some people feel that Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail may not be a suitable candidate for the Selangor menteri besar post because she suffers from “uzur syarie” (menses).

This statement from UMNO legal adviser Dato’ Hafarizam is another testament to show how UMNO has failed to promote women in politics. This is unsurprising when even the UMNO Wanita Chief belittled my candidacy during the Teluk Intan By-election.

It is precisely this sort of negative attitude by those in power that has constantly robbed women of opportunities to lead in this nation. Only a person with a caveman mentality can deny women the opportunity and right to hold a leadership position in government simply because she may not be able to perform certain ceremonial acts during “that time of the month,” even though she is perfectly capable of performing her governing and administrative obligations.

Obviously Dato’ Hafarizam has never heard of three-term Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, who is one of the most powerful leaders in Europe. Perhaps if he had watched the World Cup Final yesterday, he may have noticed Merkel in the audience, sitting next to the President of Argentina, Christina Fernandez de Kirshner. In case it is not obvious enough for Dato’ Hafarizam, they are both successful women leaders.

In the Muslim world, we had Benazir Bhutto who was the first Muslim woman to head a democratic government as Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988. Her achievement was followed by Begum Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991-1996 and again from 2001-2006. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should place the subject “Malaysia – Another Germany or Brazil” on the Cabinet agenda tomorrow and issue a Cabinet paper on areas where Malaysia is another Germany and the fields Malaysia is becoming another Brazil

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina to become the 2014 World Cup champions was based on “individual brilliance and commitment to teamwork” – a lesson which he commended civil servants to learn from the German footballers.

In his speech at the Treasury’s staff excellence awards ceremony, Najib said that if the concept of “individual brilliance and commitment to teamwork” is extended to the government level – “if we do not work in own silos but function across boundaries” – then “our performance will also reach a higher level”.

Najib should place the subject “Malaysia – Another Germany or Brazil” on the Cabinet agenda tomorrow and issue a Cabinet paper after the meeting on areas where Malaysia is another Germany and the fields Malaysia is becoming another Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Election dispute emerges as serious test for Indonesia

By Ben Bland in Jakarta
Financial Times
July 14, 2014

After 16 years of peaceful democracy, the dispute over who won Indonesia’s presidential election is turning into a serious test for both the country and outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose legacy will depend on how he handles the clash.

Both Joko Widodo, the reformist Jakarta governor, and Prabowo Subianto, a self-styled military strongman, have claimed victory in the July 9 election, although most polling agencies and independent political analysts suggest Mr Widodo has won.

The official vote count will not be completed until July 22, but both sides have already accused each other of trying to rig the process. If neither side accepts the outcome of the official count, it will be left to the national election commission (KPU), the Constitutional Court and President Yudhoyono to find a solution.

“Without question, the vote-count will be the major test for Indonesia’s democracy and, in particular, President Yudhoyono’s presidency,” says Tom Lembong, managing partner of Quvat, an Indonesia-focused private equity fund manager. “People only remember the beginning and the end.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s response to Mabul attack resulting in death of one policeman and abduction of another, too little, too late and smacks of a cover-up

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s response yesterday to the Mabul attack by Sulu terrorists when he visited Sabah on Saturday night, resulting in the killing of a policeman and abduction of another, is not only too little, too late but also smacks of a cover-up.

Najib’s order to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) to review the security system along the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) to be more detailed so that it cannot be penetrated by enemies should have been his first directive when Esscom was established after the Lahad Datuk incursions in April last year and not after 15 months of its establishment chalking up a disastrous catalogue of murders, abductions and violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sabah and Malaysia by Filipino terrorists.

Sabahans can still remember Najib’s boast at Esscom’s launch that Esscom was “the fastest decision made in the history of Malaysia in terms of creating posts in any government agency” but it has proved to be the most costly and unproductive of all government decisions, in terms of human lives, bad international image for the country, economic costs and public expenditures, resulting in a rare show of unity by Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament denouncing the ineptitude of Esscom and even demanding its abolition and replacement by a more effective security high command structure in Sabah. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muhyiddin should present to October Parliament a Higher Education Masterplan to produce at least two world-class universities by 2020 instead of allowing Malaysian universities to become recruiting grounds for terrorists for Islamic State (IS) war in Syria and Iraq

The admission by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi that local tertiary institutions have become recruiting grounds for militants and that Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, senior lecturer with University of Malaya (UM)’s Department of Akidah and Islamic Thought, the Academy of Islamic Studies, was among five individuals wanted by the police for militant activities have catapulted Malaysian universities to unwanted national and international attention and publicity.

Instead of producing world-class universities in keeping with the Vision 2020 objective to achieve developed nation status, Malaysian universities have for the past decade been a national embarrassment, annually confirming the absence of world-class universities in Malaysia.

Malaysia was completely absent from the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2013-2014 for the world’s top 400 University.

For the second year running, Malaysia failed to get on the list of the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) Top 100 Universities under 50 years old – although four Asian universities are ranked among the top 10 of the world’s young universities, two from South Korea, one from Hong Kong and one from Singapore. In Malaysia, all the public universities except for University of Malaya, are under 50 years old.

Malaysia was also excluded from the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2014 for the Top 100 Universities, although 14 universities from Asia were included – five from Japan, two from Singapore, three from South Korea, one from China, two from Hong Kong and one from Taiwan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the migration business is booming

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
11 July 2014

One of the better media outlets in this country is the Business Radio Station or popularly known as BFM radio. According to its mission statement, BFM is

*Malaysia’s only independent radio station, focused on business news and current affairs.
*BFM’s purpose is to build a better Malaysia by championing rational, evidence-based discourse as a key element of good policy decisions.
*BFM applies its discourse-based approach to other programming areas such as entrepreneurship, health, fashion, the arts, sports and music, as well as to its executive education initiative.

A short while ago, I was alerted about a BFM programme in which the director of a migration service which has been in business for over ten years appeared to talk about the business of migration. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should be a voice of moderation to fulfil the aspiration of our 1957 Merdeka Proclamation to make Malaysia “a beacon of light in disturbed and distracted world”

The call by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in Shah Alam yesterday for unity between followers of Islam’s two biggest schools, Sunni and Shia, is probably the first good news not only for Muslims but also for Malaysians in this year’s Ramadan as the past 12 days of the holy month in the Muslim calender have been dominated by negative voices of unreason – raucous, divisive and extremist – threatening the very fabric of Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious nationhood.

Najib’s message to the Muslim world to learn to set aside whatever differences among the different denominations and coexist peacefully if it intends to guarantee its own future applies equally true and pertinent to the diverse races, religions and cultures in Malaysia if the Malaysian nation is to fulfil its Merdeka promise in 1957 to be “a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world” and not to become a basket case instead in the international arena.

Najib ‘s call for the unity of Sunni and Shia is particularly welcome as Middle and Moderate Malaysia, both Muslim and non-Muslim, had been most upset by a campaign of persecution and vilification of Shia Muslims, with calls at the UMNO General Assembly last December to spell out the definition of Islam as “Sunna waL Jamaah” in the Federal Constitution as well as recent developments in Syria and Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

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Muhyiddin’s clarification most welcome although taken with a big pinch of salt – calls for BN-PR National Reconciliation Roundtable to check racial and religious polarisation and reach national consensus to end May 13 threats

I welcome the clarification by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claiming that his May 13 remark at a Ramadan event in Pagoh last Friday was “manipulated”, denying that he was making any May 13 threat to non-Malays and non-Muslims as he had merely expressed fear that such clashes could happen if Malaysians do not preserve harmony.

Speaking in Kedah last night, Muhyiddin said it is not wrong to issue such reminders, which applies to both Malays and non-Malays.

I have said publicly that I would be the first to applaud Muhyiddin if he had spoken as Deputy Prime Minister of all Malaysians to all Malaysians on the imperative need to prevent a recurrence of May 13 racial riots and safeguard national unity in a multi-racial and multi-religious society so as to be a model of harmony and solidarity of a plural nation for the world, but this was not what he did.

If Muhyiddin’s Pagoh speech had been “”manipulated,” then the culprit is none other than Utusan Malaysia, the mouthpiece of Umno. Read the rest of this entry »

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What leadership is Najib showing when he refuses to make public the report of RCIII in Sabah although it has been presented to Putrajaya for close to two months after decades of foot-dragging on the issue?

Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak cited Brazil’s ignominous 1-7 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals as the pitfalls awaiting Malaysia if there is an absence of leadership.

Unfortunately, Najib is one of the heads of government in the world who has a lot to learn from Brazil’s massacre by Germany, for in the past year, Najib has shown a singular lack of leadership as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
For instance, what leadership is Najib showing when he refuses to make public the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants (RCIII) in Sabah although it has been presented to Putrajaya for close to two months after decades of foot-dragging on the issue?

In fact, Najib will lose all credibility as leader and Prime Minister, particularly in Sabah, if he continues to lock up the Report of the RCIII in the vaults in Putrajaya, even though he is the first Prime Minister to accede to the demands of the Sabahans for a royal commission of inquiry on the issue. 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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Ironic and tragic if Najib is forecasting the disastrous future of his government and country under his premiership when he referred to Brazil’s 1-7 massacre by Germany in World Cup

It is both ironic and tragic that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak could point to Brazil’s 1-7 massacre by Germany in the World Cup as the fate of absence of leadership when he himself has set Malaysia on auto-pilot without any leadership from him in the past year.

Where is Najib’s leadership in his 1Malaysia signature policy to create a Malaysia where every Malaysian would regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion or region second – in contrast to the “Malay first, Malaysia second” policy enunciated by his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin?

Where is Najib’s leadership in his Global Movement of Moderates for “the voices of moderation to drown the voices of extremism” when in the past year, there has been an incessant stoking and incitement of racial and religious hatred, tension and conflict in the country resulting in the worst racial and religious polarisation in the nation’s history?

Where is Najib’s leadership in the war against corruption, with Malaysia placed in the worst ranking of Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) during his premiership 2009 – 2013 when compared to the premiership of the two previous Prime Ministers, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah – and what is even more mortifying to Malaysians, being overtaken by countries which had worse TI CPI rankings in the past like Taiwan, Spain, South Korea and Hungary and in danger of being left behind by other countries regarded in the past as even more corrupt like Turkey, Thailand, China or even Indonesia in the not too distant future? Read the rest of this entry »

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DPM’s ‘May 13’ remark, threat or reminder?

Ravinder Singh
The Malaysian Insider
8 July 2014

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has stirred up a hornet’s nest with his recent statement “it is not impossible for another race riot to occur again in the country”.

His colleagues are in open support of what he said, i.e. the statement is “a reminder to behave”.

Opposition politicians and many members of the public think otherwise, i.e. that it is a veiled threat to do a “May 13” unless the BN wins big in the next election.

So how should that “May 13” statement be read?

There are always two main parties to any communication – the message creators and the message receivers.

Messages can be straight to the point or have hidden meanings. The receivers of the messages can take them at face value or interpret them according to the orientation of their minds.

One person can make the message, but millions may be hearing or reading and interpreting it. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP and PR will not condone or tolerate any May 13 threat but we are prepared to fully co-operate with UMNO and BN to ensure there will not be another May 13 in Malaysia

Who is the UMNO Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin trying to “rescue” in his naïve but self-serving statement accusing me of manipulating the May 13 remark by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and sensationalising it into a threat – to save Muhyiddin or the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong?

I do not want to waste time on Khairy’s fling with sophistry, claiming that the Deputy Prime Minister’s May 13 remark was not a threat but a reminder to Malaysians to safeguard national unity.

I would be the first to applaud Muhyiddin if he had spoken as Deputy Prime Minister of all Malaysians to all Malaysians on the imperative need to safeguard national unity in a multi-racial and multi-religious society so as to be a model of harmony and solidarity of a plural nation for the world, but this was not what he did.

Instead, Muhyiddin was warning of another May 13 riots if ethnic relations continue to worsen because Malays and Islam were under siege (which was not only biased but baseless), saying: Read the rest of this entry »

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No one would expect the three new MCA/Gerakan Ministers will fail their make-or-break test in their first week in Cabinet

No one would expect the three new MCA/Gerakan Ministers will fail their make-or-break test in their first week in Cabinet.

Firstly, no one expected the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to put them in a bind by making his May 13 threat at a Ramadan event in Pagoh on Friday night.

Secondly, instead of reprimanding or at least dissociating themselves from the May 13 threat, both the MCA President Datuk Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong sought to sanitise Muhyiddin’s May 13 threat by describing it as a “reminder” to Malaysians to stand united.

Muhyiddin was of course not making any such reminder as his reference of another May 13 was solely in the context worsening ethnic relations arising from the Malays and Islam in Malaysia under increasing attack, painting a false picture of Malays and Islam under growing attack by non-Malays and non-Muslims, which is not only untrue but utterly irresponsible coming from a Deputy Prime Minister as there is no basis for such political scenario. 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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