KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — National news agency Bernama said today an internal investigation showed a photograph of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak it released to newspapers last Saturday was doctored.
"Initial checks revealed that the flawed picture was discovered at the source from where it was sent," Bernama Editor-in-Chief Datuk Yong Soo Heong said in a report carried by the national news agency this evening.
He said further investigations were ongoing to determine the motive of the person concerned and whether there were elements of sabotage, Yong said.
"We are viewing this matter seriously and will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those responsible for the irregularities.
"Bernama always strives to maintain high standards of professionalism and takes a serious view of workplace integrity," he stressed.
Bernama's admission is not only embarrassing to the news agency but could also hurt the prime minister's image as well.
The publication of the photograph in various newspapers had been criticised online with a number of blogs and websites suggesting the background image of the crowd in the photograph was the same as that of another picture.
In the photograph, the prime minister is seen greeting well-wishers at a public gathering in his Pekan constituency.
Bernama had also denied a separate allegation that it had doctored another photograph of function hosted by the PM earlier this month.