We were told that a Police report was made this morning, pertaining to the “2.6GHz Spectrum: Transparency is the way to go”. That posting created so many controversies in the Minister of Communications, Information and Culture side, with the man himself reacting.
The Malay Mail broke the story yesterday:
It’s character assassination, says Rais
Minister refutes claims son in telco deal, plans police report against bloggers
Monday, October 11th, 2010 11:18:00
RAIS: Claims no family members are associated with any dealings
PETALING JAYA: Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Seri Rais Yatim yesterday denied claims his son’s telecommunication company was one of the beneficiaries of the ministry’s RM1 billion grant to improve broadband access within the nation.
When contacted by The Malay Mail, Rais replied via SMS text: “I have no nexus whatsoever in response to the alleged claims made by Taikors and Taikuns (TnT), a business blog and bigdogdotcom.
“I categorically deny it and regard the blog story as a means of character assassination.”
The bloggers posted claims of Rais’ son was beneficiary of this government grant to nine telecommunication corporations to develop the access of connectivity in Malaysia.
The grant, made via the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), is intended to achieve a 50 per cent broadband household penetration rate.
The 2.6GHz spectrum would be made for allocation in January 2013.
Rais said: “I state that in my 40 years of public service, I have never availed nor allowed myself to indulge in acts associated with those false and wild allegations.
“No members of my family are even remotely associated with those slanted and ill-intended allegations, and will forthwith assert my rights under the law and report the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) so that an investigation could be under way.
“It is sad and unfortunate to find the blog also adversely speculated and alleged wrongdoing of the ministry’s secretary-general and other public servants.
“I will make a police report in reference to the false news raised by the bloggers.”
Datuk Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan would be called in by MCMC 1030am tomorrow for investigations in Cyberjaya. It is believed to his Rocky’s Bru posting “Who gets Santa Rais’ RM 1 billion handout?”.
The development of this posting which meant to ask for transparency for a purpoted grant to develop the 2.6GHz connectivity as part of the National Broadband Initiative has now turned into something interesting, but probably ugly. ‘Transparency’ is an important component for the ‘Combating Corruption’, which is one of the six NKRA under Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s leadership.
What is more interesting that the Dewan Rakyat is in session now, beginning yesterday. Since public spending is the most important item for the 2011 Budget, which will be presented by PM Najib on Friday and debated for the next few weeks, ‘transparency’ must be on each 222 MPs’ radar scope. Especially from the perspective of ‘huge leakages and wastages’ in Government expenditure.
This blog would be updating the development of this case. Taking an adversorial hardline approach on a transparency call based on a rumour would not reflect well on the Minister who is expected to engage new media and the practitioners.
Minister Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim personally lodged the Police report in the morning, at IPD Dang Wangi. On Monday, he told The Malay Mail that the postings were “Character assassination”.
This is the ‘Paper that cares’ latest on the story:
Rais Yatim lodges report over allegations against son
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 16:52:00
PETALING JAYA: Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim has lodged a police report today against the bloggers behind two blog sites which had alleged that his son was one of the beneficiaries of the ministry’s RM1 billion grant to improve broadband access within the nation.
Rais’ Press secretary, Norazli Noh, confirmed this with The Malay Mail this afternoon.
“The minister has already lodged his police report against the bloggers this morning.”
Norazli declined to elaborate and told The Paper That Cares to contact Rais for comments. Our efforts to do so have been futile thus far.
Meanwhile, sources told The Malay Mail that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has reacted swiftly on the issue and has hauled up bloggers to assist in the investigation.
On Sept 27, two blogs namely Taikors and Taikuns (TnT) and bigdogdotcom had alleged that Rais’ son’s telecommunication company was one of nine companies which had benefitted from the government grant to develop the broadband connectivity access in Malaysia.
The grant, made via the MCMC, is intended to achieve a 50 per cent broadband household penetration rate. The 2.6GHz spectrum would be made for allocation in January 2013.
Yesterday, we reported that Rais had refuted the claims made by the bloggers.
Rais had told The Malay Mail that none of his family members were “even remotely associated with those slanted and ill-intended allegations, and will forthwith assert my rights under the law and report the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) so that an investigation could be under way”.
He had also said he would lodge a police report in reference to the “false” news raised by the bloggers.
The issue of “false news” had made headlines recently, in particular the case of The Malay Mail’s entertainment and lifestyle executive editor Irwan Abdul Rahman, who was charged in court over his blog post ‘TNB To Sue WWF Over Earth Hour’, penned under his blogger name, Hassan Skodeng.
Irwan was charged by MCMC under Section 233 (1)(a) of Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper use of network facilities or network service by making, creating, soliciting and initiating transmission of any content that is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with malicious intent.
The charge has been met with ridicule and disdain by the blogging community as well as the legal fraternity, who have labelled it “frivolous”.