My Anthem

Monday, August 06, 2012

S'pore paper seldom criticises Malaysian gov't. but on the Rafizi case, SBT says it succinctly!

via The Malaysian Insider:)~~~~~~

Rafizi prosecution wrong move, Singapore daily suggests

August 06, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — Putrajaya’s move to charge Rafizi Ramli has only served to raise the PKR strategy chief’s public stature in the run-up to key national polls as it appears to run counter to the federal government’s pledge to combat corruption, a Singapore paper suggested today.

Rafizi was charged on August 1 with violating the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) in exposing confidential banking details related to National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp), in a case that has put whistleblower protection laws under greater scrutiny.

“Transparency International Malaysia has urged for whistleblowers to be protected as they ‘put themselves at great risk to their livelihood and career and also to their work, family and community relationships’,” Singapore’s Business Times reported today.

File photo of Rafizi (right) being led in handcuffs when he was charged with violating the Banking and Financial Institutions Act on August 1, 2012.
The anti-graft watchdog has stressed that public perception of selective prosecution would prove damaging to Malaysia’s enforcement agencies in the fight against corruption, as well as being inconsistent with the purpose of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s denial of double standards, the paper reported.

The paper highlighted the different treatment the authorities accorded Rafizi when they handcuffed him during a pre-dawn arrest at his home before taking him to court and the man whose company he had exposed for alleged corruption in a RM250 million cattle farming scandal, NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Ismail, who was left uncuffed to walk into court.

“Already, the prosecution of Mr Rafizi has only served to raise his stature in the eyes of the public,” the paper said in its article titled “Govt may be making the wrong move in charging Rafizi” published today.

Apart from his NFCorp expose, Rafizi has gained additional prominence after he went public with confidential Treasury documents showing an allegedly less-qualified consortium led by engineering firm George Kent, which he has linked to Najib, weeks before the government announced it as the winning bid for a lucrative RM1 billion rail expansion project in the Klang Valley.

Rafizi has also accused Najib of interfering in the bidding process by awarding the contract to a close associate who owns George Kent.

The paper noted that Rafizi’s role in exposing financial mismanagement in companies linked to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government has raised his profile as among the young up-and-coming politicians in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact that could see a regime change in Malaysia for the first time since the nation gained independence 55 years ago.

“Should the 35-year-old accountant be fielded in the coming general election, he is expected to be a formidable opponent,” the paper said.

Rafizi has told The Malaysian Insider that despite the legal hurdles he will continue his revelations on alleged corruption in the government.

He faces two court charges for his exposes that could land him in jail and set him back millions of ringgit and a shot at a Parliament seat.

The highlight (BOLDED THUS) is mine alone. YL, Desi


Minister comes under fire

All, including Rais, must respect press freedom, says Saifuddin
MONDAY, AUGUST 06, 2012 - 12:37
by Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

UMNO supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has criticised a senior party member for attacking The Malay Mail after the paper highlighted public disenchantment over the country’s National Day celebrations.

The Malay Mail front-page story on Friday, headlined “We’ve had enough!”, pointed out the anger felt by Malaysians, calling on politicians to respect the spirit of Merdeka.

The Malay Mail also ran an editorial calling on both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to stop hijacking Merdeka.

However, Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim went on the attack on his Twiiter account and tweeted “The Malay Mail shows its true opposition colours, today, in its lead misleading story.”

Rais also later added that the theme was approved by the Cabinet and that it was the ministry’s responsibility to publicise the success the BN government had achieved over the past 55 years.

Saifuddin said that ministers and the administration must safeguard the sanctity of the press.

“We, as ministers and members of the administration, should uphold the notion of press freedom to its fullest. We must be able to accept different views and diff erent perspectives even to the extent that people may not agree at all we say.

“I’ve seen what was written in The Malay Mail and think it is The Malay Mail’s way of presenting the voice of the people. I thought it was fair. If we don’t agree, we can rebut, but that is it."

FLASHBACK: Our Page 1 on Friday which Rais criticised on Twitter

He also added that it was unnecessary for Rais to admonish the paper.

“I don’t think there is any need for that to be done. It is a newspaper. A newspaper works like a newspaper.

“We may have one or two newspapers we prefer to read and one or two which we prefer not to even touch, but we should respect newspapers as newspapers,” he said.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently announced that PR held states of Selangor, Kelantan, Penang and Kedah may hold Merdeka celebrations with its proposed alternative theme, Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa (One Nation, One Country, One Soul).

The federal government had chosen Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled) as this year’s national day theme, but received flak from the public for ignoring the Merdeka spirit and espousing BN’s political agenda.

The Malay Mail also conducted an online poll, last week, on which Merdeka theme was preferred by the public.

As at 6.30pm yesterday, 5,986 readers had voted, with 98 per cent choosing 'One Nation, One Country, One Soul' and two per cent for 'Promises Fulfilled'.

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