Systemic Failure (Part III): Information infidelity

NST front page on Thursday 13 June 2013

NST front page on Thursday 13 June 2013

Its seems that Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s lousy luck bout is digressing from bad to worse. Not only it has been established that BN’s lowered performance for 13GE is due to the ‘Systemic Failure’, it seems to be continuing post 13GE  as the ‘Systemic Faliure’ train rolling on the track towards destruction for the Prime Minister.

The NST carried this front page story of PM Najib’s speech at MPI-Petronas Awards night on Wednesday:

Blog, portal owners must reveal identities: Najib

By R. Sittaparam
New Straits Times
Thursday, Jun 13, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia will not emulate Singapore’s move requiring blogs and news portals to be licensed, but will instead opt for self-regulatory measures that make it necessary for blog and website owners to reveal their identities, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said in handling the challenges of a mature nation, the government would ensure social media practitioners are more responsible in disseminating information.

He was speaking at the Malaysian Journalists Night 2013 and Malaysian MPI-Petronas Media Awards 2012 here last night.

Najib said the government would study the proposal for blog and news portal owners to provide information about their identities in their websites.

“No more anonymous writers, as is practised now. This is to ensure that information presented isn’t considered libel (fitnah), which can jeopardise unity. It is also to ensure that writers are responsible and accountable for what they write.”

He said the authorities would take action against owners of blogs and portals who failed to do so.

Najib said under the Communications and Multimedia Act and MSC Malaysia Bill of Guarantees, there would be no filtering of the Internet.

However, through the implementation of self-regulatory measures, action would be taken against blog or portal owners who spread false and slanderous information, he added.

“The government, for instance, will not move to license news portals, as what has been done in a neighbouring country.

“However, to safeguard national harmony, the government will enforce laws to ensure that anyone attempting to create factionalism using race, religion, language or try to belittle the royal institution or subvert the democratic parliamentary system, will face action.”

He said the country’s media and news organisation landscape had evolved tremendously, with print and electronic media being complemented by online media.

“Media democracy and the freedom of expression have become a reality. We have witnessed the full use of new and traditional media in the 13th General Election.”

Najib said the dissemination of false, slanderous and provocative information that incited hate in social media, which was prevalent during the polls by those who called themselves journalists, did not benefit anyone.


Apparently, that was not what PM Najib delivered in his speech. Probably it was included in the text prepared by his office, but during the delivery he decided to skip the whole thing. What was important is what the Prime Minister said, not what was prepared for him to say.

There is a serious systemic failure in this. One, who prepared the speech and was the bit about ‘bloggers and portal owners must reveal identity’ was something the Prime Minister wanted to tell at the MPI dinner? Or, it was someone in PMO’s conniving agenda to tighten the screw on bloggers and on line journalists, to emulate what Singapore did last week?

Then again, there is this bit about NST played this story. Was it an agenda or negligence?

Datuk Rocky raised in his posting today that there is an agenda to put words in the Prime Minister’s mouth. It must be a sinister agenda because someone or a group of individuals within conspired, either the inner circle of the PMO or the editorial board of NST wanted to create a wedge and probably a war between the Prime Minister  and bloggers and online journalists.

If it was pure reporting negligence because the writer and editor did not check on the delivery before they send the story for production, then it demeans the awards the English daily won that night. It is utter shame that awards winner  Farrah Naz Karim’s great work as a newdesk editor is marred considering the Group Managing Editor’s leadership incompetency even boo-booed the speech of the Prime Minister.

For the record, PM Najib who picked the NST Group Managing Editor.

Pg 3 NST 15 June 2013

Pg 3 NST 15 June 2013

Either way, NST didn’t not apologise for their reporting cock-up. All available is only this story:

14 June 2013| last updated at 01:21AM

‘No govt intention to obtain bloggers’ identities’

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KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no intention to make it compulsory for bloggers and news portal writers to reveal their identities.

In a statement yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Department clarified that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had never mentioned anything to the effect in his speech at the Malaysia MPI-Petronas Media Awards 2012 as reported by the media.

Following is part of the prime minister’s speech in relation to the matter.

“As a growing nation in facing current challenges, we need to ensure that the social media is not abused.

“We need to create an atmosphere where anything published in the realm of social media, is based on the existence of principles, values and responsibility.

“For that, I would like the people and social media users to suggest positive measures that the government can implement to ensure the information is relayed responsibly and does not violate any law.

“The freedom accorded to the social media must be parallel with a sense of responsibility.

“Often, in the domain of social media, there are mischievous writers who will use the space given to them to relay information containing slanderous elements that can jeopardise harmony.

“It is a different situation with the mainstream media where media practitioners are bound by journalism’s code of ethics which make them extra careful when writing and relaying information.

“It is my hope that the suggestions given are not against the Communications and Multimedia Act and also those provisions under the MSC Malaysia’s Bill Of Guarantee which states that the Internet will not be censored.

“In this case, I would like to explain here that the government will not impose licensing on news portals as has been done by a neighbouring country.

“But to preserve harmony in the country, the government will continue to enforce existing laws to ensure that no quarters try to create disunity by resorting to elements of race, religion and language or try to belittle the royal institution or try to subvert the system of parliamentary democracy.

“Appropriate action will be taken in accordance to existing laws.”

Read more: ‘No govt intention to obtain bloggers’ identities’ – General – New Straits Times


Something is amiss here. The story is based on a statement issued by PMO. For the record, the NST front page story about bloggers and online journalists identity is no longer available in the NST portal.

That is very much the proof that there was a conspiracy between individuals within PMO and some members of the NST editorial to fix the Prime Minister into a war with the bloggers and online journalists. The very least, that wedged a notch on the distrust block of the bloggers and online journalists with the Prime Minister.

Probably Jalil Hamid shouldn’t be away abroad to often and get his act together.

‘Information infidelity’ by personalities that are supposed to work and deliver the best results is something Dato’ Sri Najib cannot afford to have either is his personal capacity or as the Prime Minister, especially now. A lot at stake, more now than ever.

Published in: on June 15, 2013 at 16:00  Comments (11)