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Monday, June 29, 2015

Zam: Mahathir yet to reveal all on 1MDB

The Najib administration and its communication and propaganda machinery blew its chances with the Justo arrest in Bangkok.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Former Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin has taken to his blog to correct several misconceptions in the media including that in a news portal which had erroneously attributed to him things that he did not say or, for some reason, carried only parts of what he had said and thereby created a situation where things may be taken out of context.
He reiterated that it would be fallacy of the highest order for government ministers and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to conclude that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad only relied on The Sarawak Report to raise the issue of the scandal-ridden 1MDB.
“Mahathir has been Prime Minister for 22 years. He had and still has access to a wide variety of sources of information,” said Zainuddin. “Even in the case of Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir did not accept the complaints by various quarters against him and a report by an Inspector General of Police.”
“Mahathir has always relied on the truth and accuracy of reports to make decisions.”
He ventured that Mahathir still has information that he has not revealed so far on 1MDB.
He was commenting on the Najib administration going to town on the arrest of a former PetroSaudi International director, Xavier Andre Justo, 49, in Bangkok.
He reminded that all the reports state that the New Straits Times was already in position in Bangkok before the Justo arrest to provide coverage. “That led to the belief that the whole incident was planned beforehand to whitewash Najib.”
It was not wise, he reiterated, to use a medium whose credibility would be suspect. “It’s the same as using paid bloggers or other sources, even foreign, to slant news in a certain manner.”
“If Mahathir can be criticized for not waiting for the outcome of the probe by the Auditor-General (A-G) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 1MDB, the same accusation can be leveled at the government side.”
Again, he cited the Justo arrest as one example. “There was no strategizing on the news for smooth coverage of the arrest. What grabbed the limelight was the NST lying in wait for the Justo arrest to take place.”
He attributes this failure to the weakness of the Najib administration’s communication and propaganda machinery. “Even the Ministers immediately gave their reactions which were of course dismissed by the people as not credible. The people felt that the Najib administration was trying to make fools of them.”
“They should not have immediately announced, in the wake of the arrest, that The Sarawak Report reports were all false, that everything reported on 1MDB was based on falsehoods from the website, and that there was nothing wrong with the company.”
He feels that the government side blew its chances of clearing the air on the Justo arrest when it used the New Straits Times and not Bernama, the national news agency, to put out accurate reports on the Justo arrest. “Mahathir is just an ordinary citizen,” he pointed out. “On the other hand, government ministers would be closely watched for whatever they said as authoritative, official and confirmed.”

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