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Sunday, June 22, 2008

MSM Blackout on RPK's Bombshell?

It's already been at least 36 hours, when RPK first dropped the "bombshell" with his latest Statutory Declaration (SD).

Malaysiakini first published it on Friday, June 20, 10.33 PM. ttp://www.malaysiakini.com/news/84831

And as I'm writing this at noon, this would make the bomb-shell at least 36 hours, if not longer.

Our regular chatter "newbie" was very quick with this story. He alerted this chatbox just a short 45 minutes later (Friday, June 20, 11:18 PM). Now, if only MSM is as quick as "newbie" (smile).

From the usual places, Netizens have already carried the articles with some blogs registering hundreds of comments! Some of the links are provided at the end of this article.

Surprisingly, some of the places on the Internet that I expect to see haven't yet carried them. Perhaps Net fatigue?

And I am dissappointed that none of the MSM that I visit on the Net carried that article.

I am basing this observation at the time I write this article which is around Noon, Sunday, June 22.

After all, at least 36 hours if not more has elapsed already.

Here's a list of MSM which I've checked at noon, and still haven't carried the article.

- http://www.nst.com.my/

- http://thestar.com.my/news/nation/

- http://www.bharian.com.my/

- http://www.utusan.com.my/

- http://www.sun2surf.com/

Interestingly, my "favorite" business newspaper which carried that wonderfully narrow AirAsia reporting also think that RPK's "bombshell" is not newsworthy enough. (http://fusioninvestor.blogspot.com/2008/05/edge-on-airasia.html)

Why? Because I still haven't seen them publishing it.

But I note The Edge believed it is critical to print articles on SAPP VONC on AAB, so that its business and market readers are kept constantly up-to-date and take a timely market action. http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/index.jsp.

So, since The Edge didn't carry the article on RPK's SD, I guess the conclusion one must draw is that The Edge thinks RPK's bombshell will NOT impact business and KLSE market tomorrow! So, no need to worry, since if it's not in the MSM news, it's not real! (not)

And remember the University Teknologi Mara article that I blogged previously? http://fusioninvestor.blogspot.com/2008/06/malaysian-blogs-didnt-lead-to.html; Remember it's so called survey and wonderful conclusion that Malaysian blogs do not lead to more Opposition votes? In that article, there were references to the so-called popular sites. Let me reproduce the sites here and see whether they carry / not carry RPK's SD article:

"Among the popular blogs and websites were Malaysiakini, Suara Keadilan, SPR, Harakah Online, Berita Harian Online, Utusan Malaysia Online, Malaysia Today, The Star Online and those of news agencies."

Let's see ... Malaysiakini carries it. Suara Keadilan carries it on its front webpage via link to DSAI's blog. SPR is irrelevant since this is an election website. Harakah Online surprisingly didn't have it on its front page at the time of writing (http://www.harakahdaily.net/). And as for the MSM and other news agencies, all the 3 sites mentioned there (Berita Harian, Utusan, Star) still did not carry them.

So, what could be the possible reasons for MSM not carrying this article?

Perhaps, one might try to argue that it is not the role of MSM to spread "lies" (and this is pre-judging that RPK's SD is a lie, which is yet to be determined). The MSM defenders might say that there is no truth to RPK's SD, or that cannot be determined yet, or that might be subjudiced to the present trial happening, or a thousand other possible reasons. (But never the reason that it would make all "big" people implicated look bad)

Even if any of these were the case, surely MSM could still interview at least the "big" people implicated by RPK's SD namely - Rosmah, Najib, Abdullah, Khairy - for their statements at the very least isn't it? After all, writing and signing a Statutory Declaration in Court is not exactly risk-free to RPK. It opens RPK to indefinite time-period liability, where anyone could bring RPK to courts with harsh penalties if it turns out that RPK has lied. I am sure - that if RPK lied - it should be very easy for them to vehemently deny and to proceed with court action to sue RPK for lying. Then, MSM can further publish that on their front pages, and everything is open and transparent.

But my question is - has MSM done this yet? Has any one of the newspapers sent their "investigative" reporters to interview the 4 people involved? Or more importantly, has any one of the newspapers sent their "investigative" reporters to interview RPK?

Why the deafening silence?

Isn't RPK's Statutory Declaration not the slightest bit "newsworthy"?

Won't our new law minister Zaid Ibrahim continue to blame "investigative" journalists for lacking guts if they don't print this?

What about the 150+ reporters who staged a walk-out recently to protest for freer media (the so called "walk for press freedom")? Where are these reporters now on this explosive story? Do all of them only know how to walk, but not know how to investigate and write?

A. Asohan recently did a piece criticizing the journalists and thinks that Zaid Ibrahim has a point when he pointed the fingers at the journalists. http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?file=/2008/6/15/columnists/straythoughts/21505152&sec=Stray%20Thoughts


So, where is A. Asohan now? How come no piece from A. Asohan? Now a betrayer to his own kind is it? Or will he write another piece scolding his own kind again? Maybe he'll just shut up.

Do you really think NONE of the journalists cares?

Speaking for myself, I actually don't, since NONE is a very strong word. I believe there are still some journalists who cares. I'm sure they would leap at the smallest chance granted by their bosses to either interview RPK or the 4 people implicated by the SD. If only their bosses would give the go-ahead.

The deafening silence is why are the MSM bosses not even pushing their own people to investigate?

What are the MSM bosses so afraid of?

Isn't it their business to print news?

Why the censorship?

Afraid of the government?

The Law Minister Zaid previously implied to the press that there is nothing which the Press should be afraid of, when he puts the blame squarely on the journalist.

Or you think the Law Minister was behaving like a "lawyer buruk" when he addressed the Press?

Bottom line is - Mr Zaid - you cannot escape the fact that the government is PRIMARILY responsible for the present self-censorship dis-ease that the country is suffering over the last decades.

I can actually sympathize with the MSM.

Just imagine the Star say (or another MSM).

Let's say lar that the Star is bold and publishes it without fear nor favour to the government.

Can Zaid guarantees that the Star will not be penalized later by the government?

Can Zaid guarantees that he is going to be around perpetually in government to make sure later the Star doesn't get penalized?

Surely Zaid is not that naive?

And surely, Zaid does not expect the Star owners to be that naive too?

Of course, maybe the Star is not a good example, since the owners are also politically linked, and would want to see such news not reported.

If so, you can replace it with another MSM.

The point is this is only an illustration, and just my own thoughts and mumblings.

At first, I actually thought that it might have been an explicit Media Blackout instructed by the government.

But after writing this article, I'm beginning to think that perhaps that is irrelevant.

The self-censorship culture is now so strong, that maybe it doesn't even need an explicit instruction.

The bottom line is that there IS MSM blackout in the first 36 hours, and that is all we need to know.

And from a market perspective, we all know that News can MOVE Markets in a big way, depending on the news.

And So, censored (or delayed) News is not a generally good thing for Market players who rely on MSM only.


The original Statutory Declaration posted in Malaysiakini website - http://malaysiakini.com/doc/rpk_against_rosmah.php

Bloggers on RPK's SD:

- http://kamal-talksmalaysia.blogspot.com/2008/06/raja-petra-kamaruddins-statutory.html

- http://ktemoc.blogspot.com/ (see Saturday, June 21 entry)

- http://magickriver.blogspot.com/2008/06/rpk-for-igp-stonewall-begins-to-crumble.html

- http://malaysianunplug.blogspot.com/ (go to Friday, June 20, 22:05 entry)

- http://bigdogdotcom.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/is-this-statutory-declaration-true/

- http://sloone.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/raja-petras-statutory-declaration-worst-than-c4/

- http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/ticking-time-bomb-and-rakyat-reeling/, http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/rpk-drops-the-mother-of-all-bombshells/

Politician bloggers, only LKS and DSAI carry so far:

- http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2008/06/21/rpks-bombshell-allegation-on-altantuya-murder-abdullah-najib-rosmah-cannot-remain-silent/

- http://anwaribrahimblog.com/2008/06/21/perakuan-sumpah-raja-petra/

Note TDM's blog (http://www.chedet.com/) is silent. Other DAP and PKR bloggers are presumably silent since their leaders have already blogged on it.

In contrast, UMNO politicians are still silent. E.g. Khir Toyol (http://www.drkhir.blogspot.com/), Khairy J (http://www.rembau.net.my/index.asp)

MCA website & MCA politician is also silent, as expected. They see it worthy to comment on SAPP, but not RPK's SD.

- http://www.mca.org.my/English/Pages/default.aspx

- http://drchua9.blogspot.com/

Malaysian Insider (being linked to BN) also hasn't yet carry this story - http://themalaysianinsider.com/. The irony is Malaysian Insider carried many very detailed, in-depth stories regarding SAPP ... you have to wonder why isn't it?

Disclaimer: It is possible that my article might become out of date and factually inaccurate since I base my observation at around noon today, which is around 36 hours after Malaysiakini published RPK's bombshell. I do not intend to maintain an update, as this is a personal blog to record my own observations of what the MSM does or didn't do within the first 36 hours of RPK dropping the bomb-shell.


Anonymous said...

Dear Seng,

Its already printed out in the ChinePress site.


No matter how, its great and more interesting now to read from your blog on both investment and politics.

As usual..MSM are living to their expection as slave and master with the ruling party.

Live on...till BN crumpled, or the same will go on till infinity.

Its sort like a chess strategy by RPK to bring out the foul....but so far Najis has been on the silent mode...as if he already knows the plot well..as usual like in stock trading....no trade is also a smart move in TA.

I wonder if all these are keeping Najis at bay of not challenging AAB for presidency esp if the latter might already known what had actually happened and been done by his DPM.

Checkmate is just a matter of time but who is the winner out of this controversy......? Pray hard...friends.


johnny cheah said...

MSM it's a foregone conclusion. Where they got guts to bite their masters. SAPP, and other opposition parties are fair game to them

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

It's kind of strange when there's something that seems important
Receives most of the responses that seem outright rather impotent
But you can't give the excuse that they're all rather ignorant
When they all know too well what's there in the under-current

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 220608
Sun. 22nd June 2008.