Hahaha… hard facts MSM — Jahabar Sadiq
SEPT 3 — Last night, Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the public to trust the mainstream media and not the alternative media which are based on half truths.
This morning, I woke up to calls, text messages and direct message tweets about an Utusan Malaysia article quoting Bayan Baru MP Datuk Zahrain Hashim daring me to come clean on my “links” with Bendera to ensure there are no elements of betrayal or treason to my country, Malaysia.
As most people know, Bendera is the Indonesian group that threw faeces at the Jalur Gemilang in the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta last week. A year ago, it threatened to send a flotilla of sampans to “ganyang” or crush Malaysia.
Utusan Malaysia quoted Zahrain as saying:
“Saya mendapat tahu Jahabar ada hubungan dengan tiga pemimpin kanan Bendera iaitu Mustar Bona Ventura (Koordinator Bendera), Adian Napitulupu dan Serdi Semaun.
“Mungkin hubungan itu bersangkut-paut dengan siri provokasi dan penghinaan ke atas kepentingan Malaysia di Indonesia atau Jahabar sekurang-kurangnya boleh menasihatkan Bendera mengenai hal itu jika benar mereka ada kaitan,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.
Am I to believe this nonsense? Or anyone else?
After all, the prime minister said the mainstream media should be considered as an authoritative news source that can be trusted.
“In the development of the media today, the market is different from the market in previous years. Now we are faced with the alternative media which has been a direct competition to mainstream media like NST.
“However, the mainstream media has one strength which cannot be found in the alternative media and that is the mainstream media can be considered as fact based,” Najib said when breaking fast with the media at The New Straits Times Press headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Fact-based? Pray tell what are the facts in the Utusan Malaysia report.
Utusan Malaysia has yet to call me since publishing that report although reporters from The Star and Free Malaysia Today have done so.
Here are the facts. Please quote freely and accurately.
I served two years as the senior producer for Reuters Television in Jakarta from 2008 to 2009. In the course of my work, I have met hundreds of Indonesians including several people from Bendera. They probably have my name card.
If that is as far as “links” go, then I can be “linked” to Umno, MCA, MIC, DAP, PAS, PKR and other political parties. Heck, even Perkasa members have my card.
This is the problem with the so-called mainstream media in Malaysia. They want to vilify, not engage, anyone with an alternative view. And they freely collaborate with politicians who subscribe to the same world view.
I have never met Zahrain in my life and am surprised at his statement to Utusan Malaysia. It is now something I shall leave with my lawyers to handle.
But Utusan Malaysia’s article, which comes on the heels of the prime minister’s call last night, reflects the paucity of professional journalists who would at least check the facts or call me to respond to Zahrain’s statement.
Najib’s declaration that the mainstream media can be considered “fact-based” now rings hollow. Thanks to the likes of Utusan Malaysia.
* Jahabar Sadiq has been a journalist since 1988 and is now editor/chief executive officer of The Malaysian Insider.