The spin that’ll sink Malaysian Insider

After the debacle Malaysian Insider went through in twisting Marina Mahathir’s and Bridget Welsh words, and after being chastised by both ladies for practising atrocious journalistic behaviour, the Insider were at it again with their pro opposition agenda of misinforming the general public.

An article by Bernama was published in Malaysian Insider as below. Please take note of the headline:

French official says Scorpene probe not at trial stage yet

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — A prominent French government prosecutor has denied reports circulating among some Malaysian online news portals of an ongoing trial in France, on allegations of corruption by a French company over the purchase of two French-made Scorpene submarines by Malaysia in 2002.

Yves Charpenel said the media in Malaysia should be able to distinguish between rumours and facts, and between investigations and a trial.

“I am aware about all the fuss kicked up by certain media (organisations) in Malaysia over this matter but what I can say is that this is nothing more than a trial by the media,” he told Bernama here today.

Charpenel, who was a former head of prosecution in France and now a state prosecutor and an executive member of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), was here to attend the four-day IAACA conference and general meeting which ended yesterday.

Following a complaint filed in 2009 by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), a Malaysian human rights non-governmental organisation (NGO), that a French company had allegedly paid bribes to a Malaysian firm for the submarine deal, he revealed that two independent “investigating judges” started their investigations earlier this year.

Charpenel said that in France, as in other countries practising the rule of law, all investigations were done in absolute secret.

He said it was anybody’s right to file a complaint and due to the secret nature of the investigations, some resorted to complaining to the media.

He explained that for specific cases in France, the Justice Ministry would ask an independent judge, called an “investigating judge”, to investigate.

“He is just an investigator. This is an old system that started from the Napolean era. If the investigating judge wants someone to come to Malaysia, he has to ask from your government because we have what is called the Treaty of Mutual Legal Assistance. And the Malaysian government can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It has to be decided by the Malaysian authorities.

“A French investigating judge cannot take his luggage, take a plane and go to Malaysia and ask someone to answer his questions. It is impossible, it is against the French law and it is also against international law,” stressed Charpenel.

He pointed out that in France, as elsewhere, the course of justice would not be dictated by the media.

As he put it, “In France, the time of justice is different from the time in media. Of course, the media needs data, information, news. It’s natural but the investigation is quite different. This is exactly the same, whether in France or in Malaysia.

“And, it has to be secret. We are now in the first step, maybe, we got another step, maybe not, and it is quite early to say more.”

Asked about media reports that French lawyers representing SUARAM in the suit would be coming to Malaysia to brief their clients, Charpenel said any lawyer from any country was free to do so because he was paid by his clients.

“He can speak freely to the press, that’s freedom or human rights. But he is not a prosecutor. He is not an investigating judge. He is not an official.”

In April this year, local opposition politicians here had even called for Malaysian officials to testify in Paris or risk being ostracised in the European Union.

“A trial is a trial with all the rules. Investigation is another thing,” said Charpenel of the misinformation generated by certain news portals over allegations that a trial was already underway.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also said over the weekend that the Auditor-General had declared the Scorpene deal was done in accordance with legal procedures. — Bernama

Note that the original title of the Bernama report was :


Screenshot of the original article in Bernama.

If read carefully, the french official was not even certain if there would even be a trial even after the investigating judge being appointed. The change of the original headline in its entirety and the inappropriate use of the word ‘yet’ in this context is misleading. See the difference between the two headlines?

In fact, the french official stressed that the media should discern between what are rumours and what are facts.

Hence Malaysian Insider should not delve in rumour mongering even further by giving slanted headlines just to satisfy their pro opposition agenda. By saying that a trial may yet happened, the editorial desk of Malaysian Insider is jumping the gun way ahead than what the french official had officially reported to have said. And to further, erode their news credibility, Malaysian Insider basically had changed the gist of the news reported by Bernama unnecessarily.

First rule of news reporting, never put words from the source’s mouth. That’s what put them into trouble with Marina and Bridget in the first place.

The very act of twisting the headline exposed The Malaysian Insider’s desperate act of pacifying Pakatan Rakyat’s rabid supporters. God forbid if their version of the Scorpene story could not be sold to the public.

The french government official also reiterated that any french lawyers that chose to go to Malaysia to brief their clients can freely go as they are paid by their clients.

He was saying this as the news of SUARAM getting french lawyers to give briefing on the Scorpene trial in our Parliament are being published for the past few days. It seems that all this while SUARAM has been feeding lies to the Malaysian public regarding this Scorpene deal and had paid these lawyers to assist them.

With this explanation from the French’s government official, it is more incumbent upon Suaram and also Anwar Ibrahim to explain themselves on why are they purposely and very determined to spread lies to the public?

With The Malaysian Insider and its ilk, together with the news that MalaysiaKini and Suaram are getting funds from foreign agents to bring down the government though unethical means, there is no doubt that the opposition and their foreign friends are getting frenzied and eager to grab power from the current government.

Importantly, we the Malaysian public should be smart enough to differentiate between lies spread by the opposition and their tools as well. They will try to mislead us on daily basis, hiding behind their favourite mantra of “we are independent news portal“, in order just to manufacture a negative public perception towards their enemies.

Malaysians need to be more aware than ever. Your misperception, is their survival.

#reference, #sour-grapes