Posts Tagged 'Malaysian journalism'

Spot the difference

Branson calls for open competition in Malaysia

The Star – 27 Sept. 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – British billionaire Richard Branson said Monday that Malaysia should split up and privatize large government-owned companies to increase competition and woo foreign investors.

Branson, whose Virgin Group is a shareholder in a Malaysia-based long-haul budget airline, also said political issues such as the sodomy trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim have damaged Malaysia’s reputation among foreign investors.

“A lot of your companies are run by the government,” Branson told a business conference. “It will be better if you privatize, break up big companies into smaller companies for them to compete with each other.”

“It will be better if Malaysia can be more liberal and open. It will attract more people to invest,” he said, when asked how Malaysia can lure foreign investment under an economic plan unveiled last week that seeks $444 billion of investments over the next decade to lift the country to developed nation status.

The Malaysian government retains an ownership interest in most key industries, which gives it the final say in corporate direction despite opening highways, telecommunications, electricity, airlines and autos to private investment since the 1980s.

Large government-linked companies are significant providers of essential services and employment, and account for more than a third of stock market capitalization. Such corporations are also key beneficiaries of government contracts and privileges, drawing criticism of unfair playing field for others.

Budget airline AirAsia has long complained of unfair competition with national flag carrier Malaysia Airlines. Branson’s Virgin Group has a stake in AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X.

Turning to politics, Branson said Anwar’s second sodomy trial is negative for Malaysia’s image with investors.

“Not in a major way but it’s definitely a thorn in the side of Malaysia’s otherwise very good reputation,” he said.

“This has gone on for a long long time. It looks bad overseas. If you are a bold leader, you should get rid of things like that which damages your reputation,” he said, without elaborating.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, is on trial for sodomizing a former male aide.

He insists the government concocted the charge to sideline him after his opposition alliance made unprecedented gains in 2008 polls. The government denies conspiring against Anwar.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of sodomy, a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. It is the second time Anwar has been accused of sodomy. He was imprisoned for six years starting in 1998 for sodomy and corruption. The sodomy conviction was later overturned.

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Iklim pelaburan: Richard Branson selar sikap Anwar

Oleh WAN NAJIB WAN DAUD (Utusan Malaysia)

KUALA LUMPUR 27 Sept. – Bilionair dan usahawan terkenal dunia, Sir Richard Branson menyelar sikap bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebagai perosak kepada imej dan iklim pelaburan negara.

Beliau yang juga pengasas Kumpulan Virgin berkata, iklim pelaburan Malaysia di peringkat antarabangsa amat menggalakkan tetapi beberapa isu perlu ditangani agar tidak menjejaskan reputasi negara di kalangan pelabur asing. – Utusan

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Branson says Anwar trial ‘damages’ Malaysia

By Yow Hong Chieh (The Malaysian Insider)

September 27, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has called on the Malaysian prime minister to intervene in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial, calling the issue “a thorn” in Malaysia’s otherwise good reputation.

“If you’re a bold leader, you should get rid of things like this which are damaging your reputation,” he said today at the “Dawn of the New Decade: Alternative Investments in Asia” conference here.

“This has gone on for a long, long time. It looks bad overseas.”

While Branson did not think Anwar’s Sodomy II trial was causing foreign investors to shy away from Malaysia in any major way, the mercurial entrepreneur nonetheless said more people would want to invest in Malaysia if it were more open and liberal.

He added that it was incumbent on the prime minister to address the “damaging” trial as good leaders looked after their citizens well, much like how good employers take care of their employees.

Branson was speaking at the “Dawn of the New Decade – Alternative Investments in Asia” forum in the capital hosted by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). He went on after MIDA Director-general Datuk Jalilah Baba gave her address.

Anwar, the 62-year-old PKR de facto leader, is charged with sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara here between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The former deputy prime minister has denied the charge, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him. He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.

Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences.

He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.

He had earlier led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

Anwar’s Sodomy II trial will resume on October 14.

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Stop that racist reporting, says Nazri

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz (who’s also an UMNO Supreme Council member) reportedly castigated UMNO-owned Utusan Malaysia for the kind of questionable reporting that the daily practises especially of late.

Accusing the mainstream newspaper of promoting an ‘outdated racist agenda’, Nazri called on the daily to accept the social reality of a Malaysia that is multiethnic.

It would be interesting to see how people who are purportedly concerned with journalism ethics and ethnic harmony in the country react to this recent ministerial outburst.

‘Unethical’ bloggers, take note

At the presentation of the 2009 ExxonMobil Journalism Awards, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein drew a line between some bloggers and local journalists.

The former, he emphasised, do not adhere to the rules and ethics of journalism while the latter do.

In other words, bloggers as a whole should hold local journalists up as a paragon of virtue.

But such ministerial exhortation somehow doesn’t seem to sit well with the kind of mischievous and unethical reporting and writing that certain mainstream newspapers and their journalists have of late been dishing out to the Malaysian readers.

This is particularly so when it comes to the issue of ‘race’ and religion to the extent that all forms of journalism ethics are thrown out the window.

Isn’t one of the principles of journalism ethics a journalist’s commitment to the pursuit of truth and justice?

See here and here for full story.

UMNO honours ‘outstanding Malaysian journalists’

UMNO, for the first time, awarded Malaysian journalists who, from its perspective, had produced the best news articles, best picture and best video.

At the ‘Umno Media Appreciation Night’, party president Najib Razak reminded journalists of the importance of them having ‘responsibility, empathy and concern towards every news item, issue and idea they produced’.

Such performance from ‘the best’ in the industry should be an inspiration to the rest of the members of the journalistic fraternity in Malaysia.

See here for full story and identities of the outstanding media practitioners.

Malaysiakini is now 10

Congratulations to Malaysiakini and its determined editorial team on their 10th anniversary today.

You’ve certainly come a long way.

Journalism of the (de)pressing type

Mainstream Berita Harian yesterday came up with an editorial that can only be interpreted as taking one step backwards in its social responsibility and journalistic standards.

It called for tough action by the authorities against whistleblowers, particularly the person(s) who leaked the Cabinet paper on the controversial Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue.

This call was made apparently in lieu of doing some investigative journalism into the alleged financial scandal that revolves around PKFZ for some time now.

The editorial obviously did not see the need to question the possible misuse of the Official Secrets Act in cases such as this one that involves huge amounts of taxpayers’ money.

Here’s an excerpt of that editorial:

PENYIARAN dan penyebaran Kertas Kabinet mengenai isu Zon Bebas Pelabuhan Klang (PKFZ) dalam satu laman web amat membimbangkan kerana dokumen 18 muka surat itu diklasifikasikan sebagai sulit mengikut Akta Rahsia Rasmi (OSA). Bagaimana dokumen bertarikh 22 Jun 2007 atas rujukan KK/BPKA/D5 (Y)540/1/1 dikatakan sebagai Memorandum Daripada Menteri Kewangan berhubung PKFZ boleh disebarkan tanpa rasa takut oleh pihak berkenaan termasuk pemilik web berkenaan. Justeru, siasatan polis pastinya menjurus kepada siapa yang mengeluarkan dokumen sulit kerajaan itu daripada failnya selain mereka yang menyiar dan menyebarkannya. Niat mereka yang terbabit membocor, menyiar dan menyebarkan dokumen ini juga mesti diperhalusi sedalam-dalamnya. Siapa dalang di belakang mereka? Apakah habuan yang mereka dapat? Semua pihak terbabit mesti dikenakan tindakan tegas dan keras. Ini sebagai membuktikan kerajaan serius menangani ketidakjujuran kakitangan atau pegawai perkhidmatan awam ataupun individu yang sanggup membocorkan maklumat rahsia kerajaan atas pelbagai dorongan serta kepentingan. Jentera perkhidmatan awam yang terikat dengan ikrar menyimpan rahsia sepatutnya bersikap ‘biar pecah di perut asalkan jangan pecah di mulut’. Pepatah ini turut membawa maksud, menyimpan rahsia kerajaan adalah keutamaan yang perlu dijunjung sepanjang masa oleh setiap anggota perkhidmatan awam termasuk apabila bersara. Jika dokumen sulit kerajaan seperti itu boleh tersebar mudah, dibimbangi pihak tidak bertanggungjawab ini juga sanggup menjual rahsia sulit kerajaan yang lain. Jadi, perkara ini tidak wajar dianggap remeh dan mudah. Tindakan paling tegas perlu diambil terhadap individu atau mereka yang membocorkan rahsia kerajaan itu termasuk pemilik laman web itu.

I don’t know much (but I am still a journalist)

A revelation in a Kuala Lumpur High Court today pertaining to a case in which lawyer-politician Karpal Singh was accused of committing sedition must have raised more than a few eyebrows.

It appears that the Utusan Malaysia journalist concerned was clueless about many things, including English language.

Check this out and here too.