Malaysiakini is listed as part of a "Confederation Partnership" of media contacts and sources established by the global security analysts Stratfor. Details of the programme — described internally by Stratfor as the "Confed Fuck House" — were contained in a leaked email and spreadsheet published by the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks on Monday.
It lists the attempts made by Stratfor analysts to establish contacts with media houses, their responses and the "contracts" that were signed with the media houses.
The document does not contain details of these "contracts". Malaysiakini editor Steven Gan said today that his news site had an arrangement in which Malaysiakini could use some of Stratfor’s strategic analyses and commentaries. In return Stratfor would telephone Steven to obtain his views on Malaysian current affairs.
"No money exchanged hands," Steven said. The only Stratfor analysis that Malaysiakini used recently was one on the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, damaged by a devastating tsunami in the middle of last year.
The leaked spreadsheet contains a record of attemps by Stratfor between 2009 and 2011 to establish contacts with media houses. Some contacts were made, some failed, and "contracts" were signed with some, and the spreadsheet appears to be a report of work in progress and not a definitive list of sources and contacts.
In Asia, Stratfor contacted or tried to make contact with:
- Bangkok Post (Thailand);
- Antara news agency (Indonesia);
- Caijing, Global Times (China);
- South China Morning Post (Hong Kong);
- Chosen Daily (South Korea);
- Business World magazine, Philippine Star and the Manila Times (Philippines);
- Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia);
- Saigon Times, Vietnam News, Vietnam Investment Review, Thanh Nien Daily (Vietnam);
WikiLeaks describes the document as containing details of "secret deals with dozens of media organisations and journalists – from Reuters to the Kiev Post".
It also commented: "While it is acceptable for journalists to swap information or be paid by other media organisations, because Stratfor is a private intelligence organisation that services governments and private clients these relationships are corrupt or corrupting.
WikiLeaks also said it had obtained Stratfor’s list of informants and, in many cases, records of its payoffs, including $1,200 a month paid to the informant "Geronimo" , handled by Stratfor’s Former State Department agent Fred Burton.