Zaid sticks it to Zam (and Anwar)

Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim tweaked Zainuddin Maidin today for announcing he was giving up political blogging, and not sticking by his mentor Mahathir Mohamad. At the same time, he took a sharp dig at Anwar Ibrahim (whose rivalry with Mahathir stretches back two decades), whom Zam had blamed for his being removed as Utusan Malaysia chief editor in 1998.

In a tweet on Twitter, Zaid said: “Come on Zam, be a man, don’t submit if you believe in the cause?” Zaid pointed out that “country was going down” (possibly a reference to current economic problems, a ballooning deficit, and political malaise).

But he also reminded Zam that “to be bold you have to be clean” — a point he was to repeat, about anti-Najib Umno rebels, but possibly also a dig at Anwar of whom it has been said that he had “too much baggage” to be a credible alternative. Continue reading

Zam decides to shut up as Anwar-Daim fight

Zam says farewell to political blogging

Zainuddin Maidin, in a surprise announcement today, said he was giving up political blogging, hinting it might be because of accusations that he was part of a Daim-Mahathir conspiracy to topple Najib Razak.

“It is so easy to jump to conclusions,” Zam said. “If I have tea with Daim, at his invitation, and meet Mahathir with one or two friends, it is immediately seen to be that I am part of the conspiracy to topple Najib.”

Then Zam asked:

“In that case, can I also conclude that TV3 airing Anwar’s threat to expose Daim is a conspiracy between Anwar and Najib to help Najib stay in power?”

Umno-controlled TV3’s coverage of events relating to Daim also figured in a rare public statement from Daim last week, in which he said:

“TV3 which would not give two minutes of air time to Pakatan, has aired the PKR press conference no less than three times. The NST and Utusan have also carried these news.”

Najib has been facing mounting attacks from Mahathir and allies questioning his handling of the economy, and particularly focusing on 1MDB, the government-owned investment agency.

Pro-Najib forces recently launched a counter-attack, throwing the spotlight on Daim, who was once finance minister in Mahathir’s government, and who is accused of having amassed billions which he parked overseas.

Last week, Kadir Jasin, former chief editor of New Straits Times Press, warned off Pakatan Rakyat supporters, saying that the campaign against Daim might backfire on Anwar Ibrahim.


Zaid Ibrahim sticks it to Zam (and Anwar)

» Daim and Anwar both ousted me as editor: Zam

» Zam, Johan, Kadir and power struggles


I’m done – Papagomo quits blogging

Papagomo says he’s done. He announced on Twitter on Monday that he’s decided to concentrate on his apparel business and stop blogging, after several years of controversial postings which included sex videos implicating opposition politicians.

The infamous pro-Umno blogger gained national notoriety for publishing videos of a man resembling a politician and a woman said to be a China prostitute, and later being granted access by Mindef (the defence ministry) to the submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman at the Langkawi arms trade event.

Hot news at Malay blogs
Anwar sues for RM100mil damages

Or how police and politicians get away with murder

Or how police and politicians get away with murder

KL POS man denies being Papagomo
A man claiming to be Wan Muhamammad Azri told Sinar Harian that he was not PapaGomo as alleged by Rafizi.

“I would like to state here that my name is Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, identification card number 8301210350** and I am the chief executive of KL POS Media & Production Sdn Bhd. I stress here that I am not the blogger Papa Gomo as alleged by the opposition,” Sinar Harian reported.

Rafizi was unfazed by the denial and showed reporters photos that he said proved that Papagomo was Wan Azri including one of Papagomo on board the submarine. Rafizi said “Papagomo will be pinned down by members of his family and his ex-wife who have agreed to testify against him.”
Malaysia Chronicle

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim sued Papagomo for RM100mil in libel damages in March this year, and identified him as a dismissed police constable Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris, 30.

In retaliation Papa Gomo released a teaser 80-second video on his blog allegedly showing Anwar with a university student who Papa Gomo said Anwar had sodomised. “Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy Mahasiswa Seasons 7 Episode 1” shows a person resembling Anwar seemingly engaging in small talk with another person who cannot be seen in the video and who was said to be the student.

A week later Federal police headquarters said Wan Muhammad Azri, a police constable, had been dismissed from the force on Sept 6 last year by the disciplinary board after he was found guilty by the Malaysian courts on a criminal charge brought on Oct 31, 2005.

The police statement came after revelations by Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategist Rafizi Ramli that Wan Muahmmad Azri had a police IC as well as a civilian IC and was registered as a voter in two separate constituencies.

A day later police said Wan Muhammad Azri was no longer registered as a postal voter.

Rafizi also revealed that Wan Muhd Azri’s record had been expunged from the Election Commission online voter database, and showed earlier screenshots of Wan Muhd Azri’s registration as a voter in Ampang and Wangsa Maju constituencies in Kuala Lumpur.
Continue reading

A free press – or a two-party press system?

By Gobind Rudra

Everyone loves the idea of a free press, that’s practically a given. The point really is: what kind of a free press will the politicians allow us to have?

We know the Barisan Nasional’s idea of a free press: it’s the system already in place, a system mostly owned or controlled by the Barisan Nasional, free to report the thoughts of Barisan Nasional leaders; a free press kept in check by press control laws and licensing rules that allow the Barisan Nasional to decide who can be a publisher or broadcaster.

Who will buy my papers? [NST photo]

Who will buy my papers? [NST photo]

What is Pakatan Rakyat’s answer to that? Anwar Ibrahim made an emphatic declaration on this at the March 8 ceramah in Penang:

Ada orang kata Ban TV3! NO! Kita FREE media. . .YES! Kita bagi FULL FREEDOM – siapa nak bawa television, radio, surat khabar. . . FIRST DAY of the new Pakatan Rakyat government. . .(cheers, applause). Dan kita ada confidence. . .kita boleh compete dengan these racist media organs. . . Kerana. Orang. Nak. Media. Yang. Bebas. Dan bukan: media yang memperlembukan rakyat (cheers, applause). » What did Anwar really say? » Video: Anwar on free media

Stirring stuff, the kind people have been longing to hear.

But two questions remain: is he truly promising full freedom, or will Pakatan Rakyat, in practice, deliver something a little short?

Based on what he said, we can infer:

  1. No punitive action — that means no action to close down TV3 (and by extension, Media Prima and Utusan groups, and all the rest), and they stay in business.
  2. Full freedom to publish — possibly means no licences needed to publish a newspaper or open a broadcasting station.
  3. But he also asserted a freedom to compete — and that’s the crux of it. Kita boleh compete dengan these racist media organs he said. Kita boleh compete. . .meaning who, exactly?

The existing press houses are already a Barisan Nasional bloc. With freedom to publish, new people will rush in to open newspapers and broadcasting stations. Obviously, Anwar expects that these new people will be his kind of people — he did say Kita boleh compete.

So the upshot is that we can expect two kinds of privately-owned media: BN-owned private media and Pakatan-allied private media.

Anwar did not deal with the question of the public media: Radio and Television Malaysia; Suara Malaysia; Film Negara; Information Department. Will they now, under a Pakatan Rakyat government, switch sides and become Pakatan-controlled media, just as they have been Barisan-controlled media all these decades?

Going by what Anwar said, it appears possible that we will end up not just with a two-party system in politics, but also a two-party system in media.

That’s not what the country needs, not what the country deserves. Formalising today’s political fish-market in the form of two groups of media houses screaming at each other does not amount to even a half-step towards a free press.

Malaysians deserve a free press that is independent of political parties and independent of business proxies for political parties.

Malaysians deserve a free press that can give voice to their unspoken concerns, not a sponsored press that gives space and time to pander to the yammering and posturing of politicians, their flunkies, and their business patrons.

Give us a free press. And if you can’t — or won’t — then stop pretending that you care about the Fourth Estate’s role in a democracy.

Gobind Rudra is a former newspaper editor


Free media – what did Anwar really say?

Itu saya kata..bila kita take over the government – Insyallah, God willing – orang kata What do we do? On the whole, send them to jail…
TAK BOLEH! Kita bukan Umno! Kita bukan BN!

Kita guarantee constitutional guarantees…kita janji rule of law… Tak boleh retributive justice, bukan boleh kita dendam, tak boleh… Itu beza kita…

Ada orang kata Ban TV3!


Kita FREE media…YES!

Kita bagi FULL FREEDOM – siapa nak bawa television, radio, surat khabar… FIRST DAY of the new Pakatan Rakyat government… (cheers, applause).

Dan kita ada confidence…kita boleh compete dengan these racist media organs…

Kerana. Orang. Nak. Media. Yang. Bebas. Dan bukan: media yang memperlembukan rakyat (cheers, applause).

Paid to blog: Josh Trevino’s MR26,300 a month

Josh Trevino who has admitted being a paid propagandist for the Malaysian government and Umno, was a darling of Umno bloggers such as Rockybru and Barking Magpie, none of whom revealed the Malaysian connection when republishing his anti-Anwar Ibrahim articles with great acclaim.

Do they also, like Trevino, get paid to blog? Many people have raised this question.

In a filing with the US government in January, Trevino has admitted receiving RM1.2mil for writing articles and leading a propaganda campaign against Anwar Ibrahim. He reported receiving a total of US$161,100 (almost MR500,000) for 19 months’ blogging at the little-known websites and — that works out to an average of US$8,500 a month (MR26,300).

He also received US228,000 for eight months of blogging — and placing articles in mainstream US publications such as the online newspaper Huffington Post and the rightwing Washington Times and others.

Josh Trevino, the darling of Umno bloggers, was paid an average of US$8,500 a month

Josh Trevino, the darling of Umno bloggers, was paid an average of US$8,500 a month

The two blogs that he supposedly wrote for, and, have since disappeared.

In May 2008, he also was paid for a trip to Kuala Lumpur to attend the third International Conference on the Muslim World and the West.

John Trevino names PM’s Office as paymaster

Paid propagandist Josh Trevino has named the Malaysian government and the Prime Minister’s Office as his principals in an official filing with the US Government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The document was filed in late January.

PM's Office named as Josh Trevino's principal

PM’s Office named as Josh Trevino’s principal

Huffington Post removes Josh Trevino articles

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post has removed Josh Trevino’s articles after he admitted in an official US filing that he received RM1.2mil for writing articles and leading a campaign against Anwar Ibrahim. The Huffington Post was one of many mainstream US publications that carried articles by Trevino and other conservative writers whom he paid tens of thousands of dollars for articles.

A link to a Trevino article now leads to an Editor’s Note:

Editor’s Note
This post was removed from The Huffington Post after it was revealed that the author violated HuffPost’s blogger guidelines by not disclosing a financial conflict of interest.

A repost of the deleted article –

HuffPost removes Josh Trevino article

HuffPost removes Josh Trevino article

The day of the dictator – Oct 27, 1987

The Day of the Dictator

by uppercaise

Twenty-five years ago today, the first Umno Malay Civil War caused the arrests of at least 106 civilians in the infamous Operation Lallang (Operasi Lalang, in Malay) when the beleaguered Mahathir Mohamad government used the political turmoil that had been festering through the year to detain opposition politicians (and a few from Umno), Chinese educationists, academicians and activists, priests and a Malay Christian convert.

It was clear then, as it is now, that the detentions and the subsequent climate of fear were aimed at ensuring Mahathir’s survival. The events of 1987 would subsequently lead to the judiciary’s loss of independence, tighter restriction on the media, and a free hand for Mahathir and his political and business cronies. The Constitution was ripped apart, with one of the three Estates left in limbo.

The country has still to recover from that grievous wound.

The challengerThings had come to a head earlier in the year, when Mahathir Mohamad was challenged for the leadership of Umno, for the first time since he took power 12 years before. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had teamed up with Musa Hitam (“Team B”) to take on Mahathir and his gang.

At the Umno general assembly on April 24, Mahathir narrowly survived, by 43 votes, against Tengku Razaleigh, whose Team B managed only to win a third of the seats on the Umno supreme council.

Tensions had been growing in Umno in the three years after Tengku Razaleigh had been replaced as finance minister by Mahathir’s partner Daim Zainuddin. Malaysia had just come through two years of a global economic recession in 1984-85, but there was growing discontent about Mahathir’s privatisation policies to selected cronies, as well as his authoritarian style.

After the party election, a suit was filed on June 25 by “the Umno 11” — a group of Umno members (one had dropped out) who sought a court declaration to have the Umno elections overturned, on the ground that 78 illegal members were among the delegates at the Umno general assembly, and that documents had been tampered with. Continue reading