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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chandra expresses shock over Mkini-Soros link


(The Star) - Mkini Dotcom has come under fire for having George Soros-linked Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF) chief executive officer Harlan M. Mandelas one of its directors.
Expressing shock over the appointment, International Movement for Just World (JUST) president Dr Chandra Muzaffar said it was preposterous to allow a foreigner to hold such a strategic position in an influential media channel.
He was responding to The Star's report that Mandel was appointed in July last year as one of three directors of Mkini, which operates online news portal Malaysiakini.
“This is a very significant disclosure,” Dr Chandra said.
He said the media had the potential to shape the people's outlook, attitude, choices and preference in politics.
“Foreigners have no business shaping the thinking of Malaysian society,” he said, adding that changes should be inspired by locals and not instigated by foreigners with vested interests.
He said Malaysians have to be particularly concerned as Soros was linked to bodies such as National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Open Society Institute (OSI) that had a certain track record around the world.
Soros had an unsavoury reputation in various parts of the world because of his manipulations and manoeuvres in global finance, Dr Chandra said, adding that he had been linked to financial crises in South-East Asia, Russia, Latin America and Britain.
“It is very naive to believe that they are genuinely concerned about freedom and democracy,” he said.
“I am astonished that individuals from Suaram and PKR, who claim to be socialists, are hobnobbing with outfits linked to Soros, who is perceived as an unscrupulous capitalist,” he said.
Dr Chandra said the Soros-linked outfits had been active in Malaysia over the last 10 years, adding that they were linked to the US agenda in South-East Asia aimed at containing China.
Netizens also questioned if Malaysiakini was truly independent, as apart from Mandel being on its board, some of the shareholders are Opposition figures.
National Council of Professors Politics, Security and International Affairs chief Prof Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said Malaysiakini's credibility was at stake as the presence of foreign and Opposition figures was inconsistent with its claim of being a free and independent media.
“They have to prove that they are not being used as a tool by foreigners with vested interest,” he added.

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