Karma


UMNO/BN spent 10s of millions of dollars to try and buy soft and friendly news on American media. The total effect of that expenditure of taxpayer dollars has been nil. However, as a result of its unethical activities, for absolutely no money, UMNO/BN has managed to get far more negative media in the last 24 hours than it could have ever afforded on its own. Let’s recap:

Din Merican’s blog broke the story with my post yesterday linking to Josh Trevino’s FARA statement.

Soon thereafter the very popular US news and entertainment site Buzzfeed published a lengthy investigative piece by Rosie Gray. Buzzfeed receives over 25 million unique visitors per month which is about the same as the respectable Washington Post and 10x what Malaysiakini sees per day.

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Within a few hours additional follow up stories appeared on

Talking Points Memo [here] about 1 million monthly uniques and read by many political and business insiders

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NY Magazine [here] about 1 million monthly uniques

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Salon.com [here] – about 12 million monthly uniques

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Politico [here] – about 10 million monthly uniques, including most of the influential US politicians

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Wonkette [here], another political insider site

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and to add insult to injury, Gawker, which usually focuses on celebrity gossip, carried a piece today on its FRONT PAGE to its 5 million monthly readers [here]

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Meanwhile, the even more popular Huffington Post site took down articles written by Trevino when it learned that those articles violated the Huffington Post’s on (relatively low) blogging standards.

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Although you can still read a cached version of this article from August 2010 in which Trevino tries to cozy up with the Malaysian Attorney General Gani Patail in supporting the prosecution persecution of Anwar Ibrahim in court.

On the Twitters, Josh Trevino had a bad day yesterday. While he himself maintained an upbeat and positive attitude, critics were relentless. It appears that Trevino could care less what ethical lines he crossed since he was paid handsomely for his work. But others have been less forgiving:

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and my personal favorite:

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You may be asking, SO WHAT? UMNO/BN embarrasses itself on an almost daily basis. When given the opportunity in the international community it embarrasses itself even more effectively by groping women, casting racial slurs, and mentioning investigations of allegations of murder leveled against its head of state during press conferences when no one ever asked about said allegations.

I think this matters for several reasons

  1. All of a sudden Malaysia, which is never in the international media even in the case of the carnage in Sabah, is all over US media. Which means they will be taking some note of what is happening in the country, which is good, especially with elections around the corner. I believe that the allegations of electoral fraud will garner more attention given this intense media pressure.
  2. The Malaysian government and UMNO/BN which regularly attacks Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia for being a Jewish agent has demonstrated its willingness to engage with vehemently pro-Israeli, anti-Muslim writers to do its dirty work around the world.
  3. Anwar Ibrahim is once again vindicated in his very vocal attack against APCO that started in 2009/2010. Back then many people criticized him for overreaching but pretty much everything he said back then has proven to be true.
  4. Between the Prime Minister’s office and Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s office all told perhaps over 50 million dollars was spent on paid media to prop of the image of these two figures. One has to wonder the ROI on that expenditure. In both cases the PR strategy has been exposed as fraudulent. The people and organizations involved have been fraudulent and there has been intensive blow back. So much money from public coffers was wasted on these operations.

 

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “Karma

  1. Hahahahaha the truth will prevail sooner or later, highway robbers will get their punishment. That’s the sermon I heard yesterday at the Mosque. InsyaAllah, these people will get their punishment. Nothing’s more wonderful than UMNO going down along with their hypocritical american right-wing friends.

  2. This is not a dead insurgent but the body of a dead Malaysian soldier abandoned by his comrades only to have his body seen here being mutilated by the insurgents ! What happened to “No one left behind”?

  3. elsewhere, this is enough ammo to compell the Government to step down and call immediate election!!!!!!!
    not only cheating its own citizens but lying to the world.
    what a way to go down the longkang, Malaysia!

    what are our RULERS doing; no comment??

  4. I am in New York; and there’s nothing about Malaysia in the news. In view of the incursion from a paramilitary force from Sulu in Lahad Datu, you expect an enhanced international scrutiny on Malaysia and the general elections?? Don’t be on it.

    The prospect of a U.S. government shutdown in view of the sequestration is much more serious. Nobody cares about Malaysia. Sorry.

  5. correction … that was a fake video clip of what’s going on down in Lahad Datu (but an earlier confrontation between Filipino government forces and Sulu insurgents)

  6. I don’t see the relevance here. Anybody can pay anyone to write anything. We have already seen how PR paid foreign media to paint the gov negatively and how US itself has been trying to meddle with M’sian internal affairs. So just suck up your ego and admit its a “if you can do it, so can I” scenario here.

  7. Malulah nak mengaku saya rakyat Malaysia. Kita sekarang dah jatuh ketaraf negara Pariah dan pemimpin pemimpin kita sebagai anjing kurap dimata negara negara lain.
    Inikah yang dibangga banggakan? Kepimpinan Melayu? Patutlah UMNO takut Melayu hilang didunia. Hilang nya Melayu sebab Melayu yang berfikiran waras tak mau dikenali sebagai Melayu.

  8. Outstanding article ! As always, the government wastes money, shoots itself in the foot, and looks foolish. On the other hand, a lot of people made a lot of money, courtesy of the taxpayers.

    I know that we take this kind of behavior for granted, but this larger point is worth remembering — government money is being used not to promote Malaysia, but to smear the opposition. Najib likes to portray himself overseas as a liberal, western-style democrat. But this kind of behavior is what we expect from Third World despots.

  9. “I don’t see the relevance here. Anybody can pay anyone to write anything. We have already seen how PR paid foreign media to paint the gov negatively and how US itself has been trying to meddle with M’sian internal affairs. So just suck up your ego and admit its a “if you can do it, so can I” scenario here.”

    Where’s your evidence that PR paid foreign media to paint the government negatively? Do we have to wait until it comes out from your back hole? Why don’t you just suck up your ego and admit your bosses have been caught with their pants down. Better just go suck up their bruised egos.

  10. Bigelo can’t see the relevance here. Apparently he thinks taxpayers’ money is like his dad’s money and can be used according to his whims and fancies. Who’s the one who hired American political hacks to write about Malaysian politics here? If you can read you’ll see it’s the Malaysian government. So who invites the meddling? If they have pills for paranoia, I suggest you take it before you harm yourself and others.

  11. The bigger issue is that clearly Najib think these amounts and ethical violation are INCONSEQUENTIAL – He has a dismissive attitude not only to standards of ethics and principles but money spent. Its why he can literally spent hundreds of millions, maybe even billions on advertising and public relations that are completely detached of the reality of his administration and policies – a new standard of hypocrisy – an unrealistic hypocrisy that has boomerang back to him and failing – that Mahathir has alllowed him to indulged even supported – just because Najib does not go against HIS interest and his extremist cause..

  12. …and now it’s in the NY Times opinion blog, by Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/what-the-malaysians-know/

    March 2, 2013, 2:23 pm22 Comments
    What the Malaysians Know
    by Paul Krugman

    Via TPM, Buzzfeed has a story about how a bunch of conservative pundits, especially but not only Josh Trevino, acted as paid agents of the Malaysian government in a covert propaganda campaign:

    A range of mainstream American publications printed paid propaganda for the government of Malaysia, much of it focused on the campaign against a pro-democracy figure there.

    According to Trevino’s belated federal filing, the interests paying Trevino were in fact the government of Malaysia, “its ruling party, or interests closely aligned with either.” The Malaysian government has been accused of multiple human rights abuses and restricting the press and personal freedoms. Anwar, the opposition leader, has faced prosecution for sodomy, a prosecution widely denounced in the West, which Trevino defended as more “nuanced” than American observers realized. The government for which Trevino worked also attacked Anwar for saying positive things about Israel; Trevino has argued that Anwar is not the pro-democracy figure he appears.

    Pretty amazing stuff. But none of the reports I’ve seen brings up a blast from 2005 we should surely remember: Think Tank’s Ideas Shifted As Malaysian Ties Grew:

    For years, the Heritage Foundation sharply criticized the autocratic rule of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, denouncing his anti-Semitism, his jailing of political opponents and his “anti-free market currency controls.”

    Then, late in the summer of 2001, the conservative nonprofit Washington think tank began to change its assessment …

    Heritage’s new, pro-Malaysian outlook emerged at the same time a Hong Kong consulting firm co-founded by Edwin J. Feulner, Heritage’s president, began representing Malaysian business interests. The for-profit firm, called Belle Haven Consultants, retains Feulner’s wife, Linda Feulner, as a “senior adviser.” And Belle Haven’s chief operating officer, Ken Sheffer, is the former head of Heritage’s Asia office and is still on Heritage’s payroll as a $75,000-a-year consultant.

    Hmmm.

    It seems that some years ago Malaysia’s ruling party took a good look at leading pundits and policy intellectuals in the conservative movement, reached a judgment about their personal and intellectual integrity or lack thereof, and acted in accordance with that judgment.

    Funny how Malaysia gets who these people are and what motivates them — while our own press corps doesn’t.

  13. Malott,
    Unfortunately it won’t be effective enough. Unless the same impact to Ian Smith’s Rhodesia can be applied to Malaysia…….I believe it’s impossible……..Especially dictatorial leaders such as Mugabe still survive

  14. The world should also get to know the allegation that a former PM has a fortune larger than that of Suharto and that of Marcos.

  15. Phua,
    Madhater will still survive. Perhaps if all things fail, he may fly to Harare to join his buddy, Mugabe

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