KUALA LUMPUR: Following is a statement issued today by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak on what he described as irresponsible journalism by the Wall Street Journal:
1. The Wall Street Journal’s persistent attack on Malaysia and the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) based on unsubstantiated allegations and anonymous sources, which may not even exist in the first place, is a classic example of extreme irresponsible journalism. It is becoming all too obvious that the WSJ has allowed itself to be used as a conduit for the the Anti-Najib campaign.
2. The latest article raises old allegations about Swiss investigations into supposedly 1MDB-linked companies, but then fails to even mention the fact that the Swiss Attorney General has made it clear that the Prime Minister is not involved in any way.
3. They then claim that “A Saudi official said the nation’s finance and foreign ministries had no knowledge of the donation and that such a transfer into the personal bank account of a foreign leader would be unprecedented” – completely ignoring the fact that the Saudi Foreign Minister has said that the funds did come from his country!
4. Why does the WSJ ignore these key details, which would be vital to any impartial reporting on this story? Because they are not interested in being impartial, let alone in ethical journalism. They are fully committed – either by being duped, or because of their own agenda – to running down Malaysia and its democratically elected government.
5. And who exactly are the WSJ relying on for their info? They claim to have heard from “one cabinet member”, “a Saudi official”, and an interim version of the Auditor General’s report “from last year” which they claim was leaked to them. Where is the proof for any of this? How do we know that any of these people exist? How do we know that the report is genuine and not fake?
6. Here is what Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times editor responsible for standards, said about it: “Anonymity is a last resort. Editors have a role here…in drawing a hard line by not allowing material from unidentified sources, particularly quotations, to be published. Readers are right to protest when they see anonymity granted gratuitously.”
7. Apart from the DAP’s Tony Pua, everyone quoted in the WSJ article is anonymous. This anonymous sourcing is journalism at its worst. So why are the WSJ editors allowing it? Nothing happens by chance at a paper like the WSJ.
8. Malaysians must not be misled by propaganda, lies and smears masquerading as news.
9. The real story about Malaysia is different – we are doing well, despite the global economic headwinds. The Prime Minister has a plan, and it’s working. For example, the International Monetary Fund recently praised the government for keeping the country safe by maintaining stability, and saying that “Malaysia’s economy continues to perform well”. And just yesterday Fitch re-affirmed Malaysia at ‘A-‘ with stable outlook.
10. Why was there no mention of this in the WSJ’s latest article? The truth is just too inconvenient for the WSJ. Their anti-Malaysia agenda is becoming clearer every day.– BERNAMA