MARCH 23 — We have withdrawn a report headlined "Five issues holding up likely June polls, say sources" as Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis has denied he is the BN Manifesto Committee chairman or had briefed journalists from the NSTP group this past week.
The Malaysian Insider and I stand corrected in his involvement in this matter.
Herewith enclosed is his letter to me on the matter.
The Malaysian Insider
I refer to the article titled Five issues holding up likely June polls, say sources, written by your good self and published on the Malaysian Insider portal on 23 March, 2012.
In that article, you reported that, “Barisan Nasional (BN) strategists have listed five issues that need to be solved to garner greater support for the ruling coalition in a general election that several government officials say could be held as early as June.”
You further wrote:
“It is learnt that Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis, who is the BN manifesto committee chairman, briefed editors and correspondents in the New Straits Times Press group of papers on Tuesday over the issues.”
You then proceeded to quote an unnamed source as saying, “JJ gave a briefing and listed the issues but he was coy about the date”.
This “briefing” was then confirmed by yet another unnamed source who also “said Jamaluddin had also mentioned June as the earliest date for a general election.”
I wish to state categorically here that I had never conducted such a briefing for NST editors. As a matter of fact, I was never present at any such briefing.
I wish to also state categorically that I was never “coy” about a possible election date and that I have also never stated that June would be the earliest date for a general election. This is absolute fabrication on your part.
A further fabrication was your addressing me as Chairman of the BN Manifesto Committee – a position that I do not hold and have never been appointed to.
Based on the absolute absence of any truth in your report as far as my so-called briefing to NST editors is concerned, I can only conclude that your unnamed sources have lied to you or are absolutely unreliable or simply do not exist or have simply attempted to deflect from their identity.
In either case, it is also obvious that you have failed in your journalistic duty of trying to verify the truth of your information, choosing instead to run your story despite the absence of any sort of concrete evidence to prove your allegations.
In the process, you have dragged my name into your web of lies and have caused me undue inconvenience in having to defend the truth.
I am therefore demanding that you remove the posting with immediate effect and also run an apology for your article of untruths. I also reserve the right to institute further action against you and your newspaper.
Lastly, I find it most unfortunate that a newspaper which claims to offer “an unvarnished take on events and personalities in Malaysia” and one that claims to have among their readers “Malaysians who crave for balanced and serious reporting on issues”, can take such a lax attitude towards the authenticity of its information and the credibility of its sources.
* Jahabar Sadiq runs The Malaysian Insider.