Govt twists Raja Petra’s article into propaganda
Official document distorts RPK story about Anwar turncoats
Ministry passes off unverified information as truth
A trashy but official federal government publication has twisted an old article by Raja Petra Kamaruddin, about events in 2003-04, into yet another smear about Anwar Ibrahim’s links to George Soros, Jews and Zionists.
It is an indication of the desperation of the Umno-Barisan Nasional coalition in the face of a general election. Some RM300,000 in taypayer funds are to be spend on producing 50,000 copies of a so-called guidebook on current affairs — just in time for use as election propaganda for Umno.
One section is about Anwar’s alleged links to Zionists, and an article that Raja Petra wrote in 2010 is cited as evidence.
Extracts were deliberately chosen to highlight links to George Soros as funding the opposition — but it does not give the full picture, that Raja Petra was writing about how he (and presumably also Anwar, who was then in prison) had been made use of by turncoats who later joined Umno, and that tens of millions in funds were unaccounted for.
Raja Petra talks about his disgust and anger at how he felt betrayed. But the government of Malaysia ignores those remarks and focused only on George Soros.
RPK hailed as truth-bearer
The information ministry does not show that it made any attempt to verify any of RPK’s assertions — and thus an unverified, uncorroborated account by a blogger is to become part of the official documents of the Government of Malaysia.
Information Minister Rais Yatim, however, has said the guidebook is based on facts. He forgot to say it uses selected misleading facts.
- RPK described events that happened eight to nine years ago when Anwar Ibrahim was in prison.
- Four aides went to raise funds in the US using the name of Raja Petra’s “Free Anwar Campaign” without his knowledge. (He ran the website on his own at his own expense).
- Money was supposedly sent, for use in the 2004 election — it came after the election was over and “we never heard of the money again”
- Soon after, “Ezam and his gang” left the opposition”, RPK said. Anuar Sharif and Ezam Mohd Nor joined Umno
Instead the federal government tries to give the impression that George Soros is funding Anwar and the opposition in the coming 13th general elections. What Raja Petra had said was:
He found out later that the money came from George Soros, and that the four (Anuar Sharif, Ezam Mohd Noor and two others) had met personally with George Soros. The government uses this part, but ignores what RPK also said — the money disappeared, it was never used for the elections, and he himself did not receive a cent for his website.
RM300,000 to be spent on trashy propaganda
The federal government publication is a 330-page guidebook on current affairs produced by JASA, the “special affairs unit” of the Information Ministry.
On close examination, it is little more than a thinly-disguised work of Umno propaganda to counter criticism mounted by Pakatan Rakyat politicians and the general public against policies and activities of Umno-Barisan Nasional.
The Information Ministry said it plans to produce 50,000 copies, at RM5-RM6 each. “The cost is not important,” the information minister said last week. That’s RM300,000 of taypayer funds being used.
Information minister says
it’s about the truth
The ministry’s job is to explain issues and if the government is wrongfully accused … we have to explain why. Is this an abuse of power? … the contents will enable the readers to discern the truth from false”
RAIS YATIM, minister of information
The government of Malaysia used unverified assertions from two years ago, about events that took place eight to nine years ago, based on an anonymous source. The government of Malaysia used parts of an article by a blogger whom the government itself has taken to court for criminal defamation, briefly detained under the Internal Security Act, and who now lives in the UK because he does not believe he will be treated fairly in Malaysia.
That’s also the truth.
RPK, Musa Hassan and Musa’s brother
Raja Petra has often accused the retired Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan, in cahoots with the Attorney-General, of cooking up criminal cases..
Last week Musa Hassan withdrew a libel suit he filed against Anwar, who had accused Musa of fabricating evidence against him.
RPK has also accused Musa Hassan of links to the underworld, and of controlling or supporting Chinese triad gangs.
Coincidentally, the “guidebook” is produced by the information ministry special affairs department (JASA), which is headed by Fuad Hassan, a Selangor government executive councillor in the Khir Toyo government, and two-term Umno assemblyman for Hulu Kelang. He lost to Azmin Ali of PKR in 1999.
Fuad Hassan is the brother of Musa Hassan.
He also heads a semi-official think-tank, the Malaysian Institute for Economic Research, which receives a government grant, and has fee-paying corporate members.
There’s more than one axe grinding in this story.
Taxpayer’s funds and facilities are being used to produce political propaganda for a political party and its allies.
See for yourself if that’s a fact.