Whither Sarawak As CMSB shares Nosedive?


May 24, 2018

Whither Sarawak As CMSB  shares nosedive?

 

Image result for Sarawak Report

According to Bernama, the present Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abang Johari, has confirmed that the Editor of this website is still banned from entering the state.

He has not yet made up his mind whether to revoke a ban slammed on the writer, along with a number of prominent agency journalists back in 2008, after they visited Penan blockades protesting against the logging of their indigenous lands.

Perhaps the sense of threat in the minds of the leading party PBB and its BN allies as they contemplate how to respond to the changed political scene, is related to this week’s release of a statement by the state’s largest conglomerate CMSB, largely owned by the family of the Governor Taib Mahmud.

CMSB’s shares went into a nosedive on Friday as the likely implications of proposed anti-corruption reforms on the favoured position of this company sank in with shareholders. Those shareholders fled, showing a plunge of prices after lunch of 30%, before trading was suspended to stem the panic.

Image result for Cahaya Mata Sarawak and Taib Family

Explaining the shameful event, the CEO of the company, Isac Lungan, could not have been more frank in his view that revelations over the years by Sarawak Report could affect the profitability of the company in a new cleaner ‘reformasi’ environment.

In a management note to investors he said the catastrophic collapse had been caused by factors, of which the first was the combined effect of the Bruno Manser Fund offer to release research first published on this website and also the decision of the federal government to unblock Sarawak Report, which has articles spanning a number of years covering corruption in the state, including its largest company.

CMSB statement

“The following in our view, has led to the steep sell-down:

1.  Bruno Manser Fund’s offer to share information and unblocking of Sarawak Report website:

Possible reaction to an article carried by the Star Online portal stating that the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is willing to share information with the new Pakatan government on the Tun Taib family as a basis for reopening of investigation.

This followed a report on Thursday 17 May 2018 that news portal Sarawak Report, which has been known to release anti Tun Taib family (as well as anti-CMS) related articles, has been unblocked. The Sarawak Report website was blocked by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in 2015. The news they publish is now widely available for the general public to access, including reports portraying CMS negatively.”

The statement, which then goes on to list various other anti-corruption demands issued by opposition MPs in the state as being further threats to the company, is a open acknowledement that CMSB does not see itself as being in a particularly strong position to refute criticisms of cronysm and corruption with regard to the Taib family connection.

 

Otherwise, the threats of a small NGO and reappearance of a small online portal would not  create such a devastating impact.

Johari Cannot Make Up His Mind?

What the admissions of CMSB and the waverings of Abang Johari prove is first that Taib still holds a continuing grip over business and politics in Sarawak and second that the present Chief Minister and his PBB followers have not been able to make up their minds about whether to throw their lot in with the new guys in charge in KL or to cling to the crumbling BN coalition, which still holds sway in the state government.

It is weak and vacillating behaviour that will not impress local voters, who will be entering state elections in the next couple of years or so. Admitting that he has yet to formulate a position on such a crucial matter as whether or not it supports the new federal government has revealed Johari to be every bit as stunned and indecisive as Najib was on election night.

The longer this Chief Minister fails to make up his mind about the political direction of the state that was once known as BN’s ‘safe deposit’, the less safe that ‘deposit’ is likely to remain.

As for Taib, much in the way that Najib railed against Sarawak Report over 1MDB, claiming dark plots and plans for an ‘overthrow of the state’, the former Sarawak Chief Minister had responded equally disproportionately and irrationally after he lost the urban vote in 2011, largely because of devastating corruption allegations online, followed up by opposition progress in the 2013 general election.

Not long after that disappointing election, Taib had marched into the state parliament and singled out Sarawak Report along with other NGOs as a dangerous force. He accused the website of seeking to overthrow the state and of malicious slander ‘poisoning the minds’ of the ‘simple people’.  The raging CM even went so far as to suggest that SR’s motive involved a plot to re-colonise Sarawak and to steal its remaining oil revenues!

It was following this somewhat unhinged and disproportionate rant that Najib apparently saw his chance to remove Taib from the position of absolute power that he had held as Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Planning Minister of Sarawak for over three decades.

It was no secret that his power and wealth irked the new Prime Minister, who nonetheless used him as a model for his own subsequent pillaging of public coffers.  Taib was booted upstairs into the Governor’s mansion on a vague understanding that it brought immunity.

What Do The People of Sarawak Want?

As they weigh up their best options for the future Sarawak’s ruling parties ought not to be placing a priority on the perceived dangers of incomers, such as SR, BMF or civil rights and reform campaigners from Malaysia.

Image result for abang johari abang openg

 

Sarawakians have access to information and can form their own opinions with or without such visitors these days.  The Chief Minister needs to listen to what people are now asking in the coffee shops or commenting online.  There has been very vocal concern from the moment of the election that the state could yet again be left out of the progress that is now sweeping federal changes.

People want to know if the programme to root out of corruption and open up of freedoms will reach their state and Abang Jo needs to finally get off the fence and decide if he can afford to ignore that yearning.

Source: http://www.sarawakreport.org/2018/05/whither-sarawak-as-cmsb-nose-dives/

Fake News Laws and Democracy Don’t Mix


May 14, 2018

SARAWAK REPORT

Image result for Clare Rewcastle Brown and Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

Fake News Laws and Democracy Don’t Mix

What is fake news and what is not will be clearly defined, says Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the new government will not restrict on the press regardless of their leanings, but warned that any efforts to instigate the people will not be tolerated.

“Fake news laws will be given clear definitions so that news companies know what is fake news and what is not fake news.

“Even though we support freedom of the press and free speech, but there are limits. If they purposely try to create chaos, they will have to face action under specific laws.”

However, he said the government would not restrict any factual reports.

“If the press writes (factual) reports, even if makes the government uncomfortable, they are free to do so, we will not take action,” Mahathir said in a special televised address on RTM today.

Source: Fake News Laws and Democracy Don’t Mix

Comment

Image result for Clare Rewcastle Brown and Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

Dr M will remember how the authorities accused him of lying over his slashed plane tyres just a week ago.  They called it Fake News.

‘Facts’ in the world of science are usually established through being tried and tested. Even so, matters regarded as fact for decades can later be discovered to be false, usually thanks to dissenters who eventually proved their point. The context of human discourse is far more complex and changing still.  You cannot create a scientific ‘definition’ to govern such things and human society needs those dissenters to be able to voice their position.

There are already huge disincentives facing journalists and public persons when it comes to deliberately or mistakenly disseminating false information.  Firstly, a reputation once lost is hard to regain.  Secondly, there are paths to sue within a civil context.  That is enough.

Leaders ought not to fear a false bogeyman – the idea that some unknown person could suddenly spout nonsense that would have hoards running onto the streets.  For every purveryor of false information there is the check of a trusted voice of good sense to counter-balance the impulses of the people in these situations.

Only one phenomenon breaks that rule, which is the development of cults – mostly extremist versions of established religions.  Cults can stir up dangerous actions by the indoctrinated followers, fed daily on false information.  Hence, bombs on the streets of Europe and elsewhere.

However, there is terror legislation for these matters and dangerous preachers are a very different target to journalists and ought to be handled separately.

Journalists and citizens must be allowed speak freely and even be allowed to get it wrong, if they can show their intentions were to inform about something they genuinely had good reason to believe and are willing to correct and amend if found mistaken (as opposed to intended and malicious lies).  These are the principles that have now evolved after much pain and argument in most modern democracies and Malaysia would do well to join them.

After all, the alternative is far worse.  It gives power to people like Najib to tell people like Dr M that they are lying over slashed tyres, 1MDB and all the rest.

SR rests its case.

CnM Minister Salleh Said Keruak just defined “Fake News”!


April 1, 2018

CnM Minister Salleh Said Keruak just defined “Fake News”!

by Sarawak Report

http://www.sarawakreport.org/talkback/salleh-just-defined-fake-news/

Image result for salleh said keruak

Malaysia’s Tough Talking CnM Minister Salleh Said Keruak–Our Paragon of Virtu 

 

Know this Guy? Clue: He is the Supreme Realist

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak has denied that the anti-fake news law is aimed at silencing debate on the 1MDB.

“But this is not true. There is nothing to stop anyone from debating or talking about 1MDB,” Salleh said in a blog posting this morning in response to critics. However, he said, the issue is when a person spreads false information as “news” and “facts”.

“For example, we keep hearing ‘news’ that RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money has ‘disappeared’ into thin air when this has been officially explained and proven false.

“The bigger issue here is to deal with the irresponsible spread of such fake ‘news’ and ‘facts’, which applies to many other situations in our lives,” he added.

Salleh pointed out that when a lie is repeated many times, the people believe it to be the truth.

SR’s  comment

The Communications Minister himself has now confirmed what everyone has suspected, which is that the ‘Fake News’ bill is all about protecting Najib Razak over the 1MDB scandal and all his other corruptions. To silence the critics and cover-up.

Image result for Najib RazakDato Seri Najib Razak is the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia: Is that fake news or fact, Mr. Salleh?

 

The problem is that the world can see that it is all these cover-ups that are the Fake News, as Salleh’s claims and antics become all the more contradictory and ridiculous.

On this occasion he is claiming that ‘Fake News’ providers are saying that RM42 million “disappeared into thin air”.  In fact, what people are saying is that the money was traced by MACC investigators from 1MDB’s subsidiary SRC into Najib’s bank account, where amongst other things it was used to pay for a very wasteful and ineffective anti-ageing treatment for his wife.

We know this, because the documents have been leaked and the details corroborated, including the cheque paid to the anti-ageing doctor in that particular case, which was confirmed by his alternative medicine association boss.

Not only that, Salleh’s own Attorney-General waved the MACC papers that showed the same money trail in front of cameras at the very press conference Salleh is referring to when he says “this has been officially explained and proven false”.

As the facts pile up world-wide in this 1MDB investigation, amidst asset seizures, court rulings, jail sentences and all the rest.  Salleh and Najib are left only bleating ‘Fake News, Fake News’.

It has become a very sad joke at the expense of the dignity of Malaysia.