When you want to understand an answer, first you need to understand the question. Otherwise the answer will be without context, and will be greatly misunderstood. Take for example, the video below.
Transcript from the video:-
Reporter: Your Excellency, are you aware of the background and details about the issue on the donation to the Prime Minister of Malaysia?
Foreign Minister: We are aware of the donation and it is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return and we are also fully aware that the Attorney General of Malaysia had thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing so as far as we are concerned the matter is closed.
Somehow, the mainstream media quoted the Foreign Minister as if he had admitted that Saudi Arabia government was the donor of all the RM4.2 billion ‘donation’ into the Prime Minister’s private accounts.
A foreign minister telling a reporter he has some awareness of the issue is somehow turned into an admission that the money came from Saudi Arabia?
Obviously the Saudi minister was just regurgitating what our own Attorney General had said back in January in order to clear Najib Razak of any wrong doing. Thank you Anifah Aman for briefing his counterpart expeditiously.
So it is not surprising to see a couple of ministers and even the Prime Minister’s press secretary jumping on the bandwagon without knowing what the full conversation was all about. Well, they can be forgiven because they are not media savvy people. Plus they are just being loyal and stupid. God forbid if some Oxford graduates had also misinterpreted what had been said. Their imbecilic statements may go viral.
Coming back to the issue at hand, when a reporter asked a stupid question (everyone in the world should know by now about the background and details on the donation issue), the stupidity can only be surpassed by the people who had misconstrued the answer.
But maybe we are the ones who had misunderstood the question and misunderstood the answer. Maybe the Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister did admit his country gave Najib those billions. From the video above probably at some point in his short answer he had confirmed and admitted that the government of Saudi Arabia had donated those billions. After all, English is not an easy language.
To remove any doubt next time, we suggest reporters to ask a more specific question to the Arab ministers. For example:
“Your Excellency, does Saudi Arabia government admit in giving more than one billion dollars straight to Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts whereby some of it went through several obscure and dodgy shell companies not owned by your Government? Mind you, these companies had suspiciously been set up to launder their money and liquidated when their task has been completed. Any comment on that?”
The reporters need to ask this because Najib Razak will surely not answer it himself. Reporters might get arrested for trying to know the truth here in Malaysia. It’s not like he does not know how billions of ringgit made its way into his own accounts. Surely this prime minister is not an idiot who cannot answer how billions got in his account and how he had spent it as he pleased.
The mainstream media must take heed of the advice given by the veteran journalist, Datuk Kadir Jasin; that their audience will ultimately shrink if they cannot discern between right and wrong.
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