Monday, May 21, 2007

There Was A Media Conspiracy
On The Slip Of The Tongue Issue?

On May 18, 2007, Malaysia National News Agency www.bernama.com carried two news item concerning IDR.

The first quoted Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk N. Parameswaran who described as baseless allegations that the formation of a joint Malaysia-Singapore committee to oversee the cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) would affect Malaysia's sovereignty.

The second one quoted Johore Menteri Besar, Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, as saying that The Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is the sole decision-making body on all issues pertaining to both domestic and foreign investments flowing into the region.

Please read the two news items below in full since they are related to what I am going to reveal to you about some strategic irregularities in a news item by www.bernama.com on May 15, 2007, regarding the setting up of a Malaysia- Singapore “ministerial-level joint committee to oversee some areas of cooperation between the two countries” in IDR.

S'pore Not Dictating On How To Manage IDR, Says Envoy

JOHOR BAHARU, May 18 (Bernama) -- Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk N. Parameswaran today described as baseless allegations that the formation of a joint Malaysia-Singapore committee to oversee the cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) would affect Malaysia's sovereignty.

He said Singapore was not interested in meddling with Malaysia's internal affairs, more so dictating on how to manage the IDR.

"If there're those who have that kind of thinking, it means that they don't know the truth. There's no reason why the committee should get involved in Malaysia's affairs. And they (the committee) don't intend to do that," he told reporters after accompanying members of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce on a visit to the IDR here.

Parameswaran said the committee would only cooperate on technical matters. "Singapore hasn't expressed any intention to give ideas on the IDR. But we're ready to share our expertise, for example, in river clean-up with Malaysia," he said. - BERNAMA

IRDA Is Sole Decision-making Authority Over Investments In IDR

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 (Bernama) -- The Iskandar Regional Development Authority is the sole decision-making body on all issues pertaining to both domestic and foreign investments flowing into the region, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said Thursday.

"Be they local or foreign direct investments from all sources including Singapore, it is the IRDA which will have jurisdiction over issues pertaining to investments," he said.

Allaying concerns and some confusion that the proposed Malaysia-Singapore ministerial committee on Singapore's participation in IDR could lead to excessive focus on Singapore, he said the committee "is neither consultative nor has decision-making powers in its role."

On the contrary, the committee will be optimising the synergies of growth and investment in the region, he told Bernama when asked to respond to such concerns.

It would facilitate economic cooperation between the two countries in the development of the IDR, he added.- BERNAMA

Now, please read the following two news dispatches by www.bernama.com on the setting up of the Malaysia-Singapore “ministerial-level joint committee to oversee some areas of cooperation between the two countries” in IDR.

The first item was posted on the www.bernama.com news portal at 14.38 pm [2.38 pm] on Tuesday, May 15, 2003. I received this news item from an e-mail sent to me by a friend on the same day at 3.10 pm – exactly 32 minutes after the news was published on www.bernama.com.

Please pay special attention to the posting time, the heading of the news and also the paragraphs which I have highlighted in red.

You will know why after you finished reading the same news item posted on the screen of www.bernama.com on the same day but 19:47 pm [5.47 pm] – 3 hours and nine minutes later.

May 15, 2007 14:38 PM

Malaysia-S'pore Agree On Committees To Oversee Joint Cooperation In IDR

By Noor Hayati Muda and Massita Ahmad

LANGKAWI, May 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to set up a ministerial-level committee on each side to oversee joint cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in southern Johor.

There will be consultative committees to work on areas such as easy access for investment, tourism and environment cooperation in IDR.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, said this in a joint news conference after a delegation meeting here today.

"We have agreed to set up a special committee at ministerial level to discuss many issues. We will name the ministers soon," said Abdullah.

Meanwhile, Lee said the ministers in charge would be tasked to focus on ideas and proposals which both leaders had floated so far and turn them into something tangible and practical.

Elaborating on the easy access to IDR, Abdullah said that he and Lee wanted speedy access between IDR and Singapore.

"I have made a specific suggestion that we can have easy access for people who are travelling between Singapore and IDR, that will be good.

"We can have smart card for this purpose. That means we do away with the necessity of having to produce a passport and going through immigration which can take a long time," he said, adding that Lee had agreed on this.

The IDR was launched by Abdullah in November last year to boost the southern region of Malaysia. Meanwhile, Lee, who acknowledged the importance of the IDR to Malaysia, said Singapore has made an assessment of the IDR and decided that "it is fundamentally good for us".

"If this project takes off and succeeds, it will complement Singapore and between us, it will have a whole centre of vibrancy, activities, interest which will be good for tourism, manufacturing and services," he said.

He said this was good for people because there would be opportunities on both sides of the Johor strait.

Described the IDR as a "little spot" in Southeast Asia, he hoped that investors all around the region would take serious advantage of the opportunities that would be offered from the development.

This is their first media statement since Abdullah and Lee arrived here yesterday for the unofficial talks.

They said they also discussed Asean issues, particularly the Asean Charter which Malaysia has agreed to support Singapore in drafting.

"Asean needs a good document in order to strengthen its institution and set a clear directive for the organisation for its future, so that it can be effective and its co-operation can be strengthened," said Lee.

The leaders also touched on environmental issues in which Abdullah said Malaysia had agreed to allow Singapore to participate in environmental projects such as cleaning up rivers in southern Johor.

They also agreed to take the issue of aviation services further in future meetings. - BERNAMA


Next is the news item on the same subject matter found on www.bernama.com on May 15, 2007, at 5.47 pm.

Again, please give a special attention to the time of the posting, the heading and the paragraphs which I highlighted in red.

May 15, 2007 19:47 PM

Malaysia-Singapore Agree On Joint Committee To Oversee Cooperation In IDR

LANGKAWI, May 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to set up a ministerial-level joint committee to oversee some areas of cooperation between the two countries in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in southern Johor.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today the joint committee would be represented by a minister from each side.

"They will be supported by officials, and at any time that they feel that someone has to be invited to discuss, they can," he told reporters at the conclusion of a two-day unofficial meeting with his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, here.

Earlier, during a joint news conference, Abdullah and Lee announced the establishment of the committee which would be tasked to further discuss some of the decisions agreed upon by both leaders concerning cooperation in the IDR.

Asked to elaborate, Abdullah said one of the major concerns was that Malaysia wanted a speedy access between the IDR and Singapore.

"I think it's important that we have this easy access. The flow would be very good and it will expedite a lot of work, a lot of things we want to do...later on more and more people will be involved and I think it's only logical that such facility be made available," he said.

This could be done by introducing a smart card for those who are eligible, such as people who work in the IDR, he said.

However, he stressed that this smart card would be different from the Malaysian MyKad and would only be used in IDR.

Other concerns that the committee would look into included the promotion of tourism between the IDR and Singapore.

He, however, said the committee would not decide on investment coming from Singapore to the IDR.

The IDR was launched by Abdullah in November last year to boost the southern region of Malaysia.

In the joint news conference, Lee, who acknowledged the importance of the IDR to Malaysia, said Singapore had made an assessment of the IDR and decided that "it is fundamentally good for us".

"If this project takes off and succeeds, it will complement Singapore and between us, it will have a whole centre of vibrancy, activities, interest which will be good for tourism, manufacturing and services," he said.

He said this was good for people because there would be opportunities on both sides of the Johor strait.

Describing the IDR as a "little spot" in Southeast Asia, he hoped that investors all around the region would take serious advantage of the opportunities that would be offered from the development. -- BERNAMA

From the above two news dispatches, do you notice the difference in the heading and the missing byline as compared to the posting at 2.38 pm?

The heading for www.bernama.com 2.38 pm posting is: Malaysia-S'pore Agree On Committees To Oversee Joint Cooperation In IDR. The heading for 5.47 pm posting is: Malaysia-Singapore Agree On Joint Committee To Oversee Cooperation In IDR.

Do you also notice the missing paragraphs which I had highlighted in red in the posting done at 14:38 PM? To recap here are the missing paragraphs:

LANGKAWI, May 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to set up a ministerial-level committee on each side to oversee joint cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in southern Johor.

There will be consultative committees to work on areas such as easy access for investment, tourism and environment cooperation in IDR.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, said this in a joint news conference after a delegation meeting here today.

My questions here are: why changed the headings and why delete the above three paragraphs in red? You want to know why, please read the following item in The NST, May 16, 20007.

Fruitful talks: Special panel to boost investments in Iskandar

By : Wan Hamidi Hamid

LANGKAWI: A special ministerial committee will be formed by Malaysia and Singapore to focus solely on bringing in investments and facilitating business and tourism in southern Johor’s Iskandar Development Region.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the committee would comprise a minister from each country and other ministers will be invited to join in when related issues involving specific projects and programmes were involved.

He said it would be a general committee and not a consultative committee.

A consultative committee could imply the need to refer to each government in making decisions, which would be unfair to Malaysia, as Iskandar is a Malaysian project, and not a joint venture with another country.

Question: Why those two paragraphs in red above are not found in reports on the similar topic by Bernama, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and The Star? Who said those words then? The NST or Abdullah? If NST, why? If Abdullah, why the other papers and Bernama blacked out those important paragraphs?

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/20070516072227/Article/index_html

You will know later why The NST had those paragraphs which I highlighted in red. Before that, please read excerpts about the same subject from Utusan Malaysia, below, and try to understand the paragraph in red.

LANGKAWI 15 Mei – Malaysia dan Singapura bersetuju menubuhkan sebuah jawatankuasa khas peringkat menteri khusus untuk Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI) di Johor yang antara tugas awalnya adalah memperincikan penggunaan kad pintar bagi memudahkan pergerakan keluar masuk orang ramai dari republik itu ke wilayah berkenaan.

http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/archive.asp?y=2007&dt=0516&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Muka_Hadapan&pg=mh_03.htm

And, please also read this take from Berita Harian and understand the paragraph in red.

WPI: KL, Singapura tubuh jawatankuasa khas
Oleh Azmi Md Deros dan Johari Ibrahim

LANGKAWI: Malaysia dan Singapura bersetuju menubuhkan jawatankuasa khas peringkat menteri bagi memantau pelaksanaan dan memperhalusi sebarang cadangan berhubung kerjasama pembangunan di Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI), selatan Johor.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, berkata jawatankuasa itu akan diterajui sebuah kementerian supaya tidak membabitkan terlalu banyak pihak hingga menjejaskan kelancarannya.

http://www.bharian.com.my/m/BHarian/Wednesday/Mukadepan/20070515230445/Article/

And, read this excerpt from the Star, Wednesday, May 16, 2007, and why the paragraph in The NST “He said it would be a general committee and not a consultative committee. A consultative committee could imply the need to refer to each government in making decisions, which would be unfair to Malaysia, as Iskandar is a Malaysian project, and not a joint venture with another country.” are not being reported by The Star.

Singapore keen on helping to make IDR a huge success

By Mergawati Zulfakar

LANGKAWI: The warming of relations between Malaysia and Singapore in the last two years was given a further boost when the island republic’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledged to support the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).

In the first get-together of the Malaysian and Singaporean leaders, they agreed to set up a special ministerial committee to discuss areas of co-operation including the usage of smartcards for easier travel between IDR and Singapore and promotion of tourism.

A minister will be appointed from each country to sit on the committee.

“As far as investments are concerned, we have other bodies to decide on proposals from other countries. This special committee will not decide investment matters,” he said.

“On that basis, we need to work together because our co-operative interest far outweighs our competitive concerns and one of the major areas we can work on together is the IDR as it is a major project for Malaysia,” Lee said.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/5/16/nation/17741098&sec=nation

Now, you are about to get the answer as to why the two www.bernama.com postings on 15 May, 2007, had glaring irregularities and why The NST report on May 16, 2007, carried the paragraph saying “A consultative committee could imply the need to refer to each government in making decisions, which would be unfair to Malaysia, as Iskandar is a Malaysian project, and not a joint venture with another country.”

The answer is here, taken from The NST 17 May, 2007, with the heading Rising to a new level of understanding, writted by Wan Hamidi Hamid.

Even Tuesday’s discussion in Langkawi created a small furore when Lee used the term "consultative committee" to describe a special ministerial committee between Malaysia and Singapore to help boost the IDR’s growth.

Abdullah cleared the air when he explained that the word "consultative" did not arise at all and it was just a joint committee for both sides of the Johor Strait to ensure the success of IDR.

[Questions: When did Abdullah cleared the air? Why other papers and Bernama have not carried this explanation?]

To some people, "consultative" would mean the committee being answerable to both governments. This is ridiculous because IDR is Malaysian in its entirety and has nothing to do with Singapore. Having to consult Singapore would mean relinquishing sovereignty. This is not the case, of course. That’s why Lee was quick to explain that it was never meant to be a consultative committee and the Singapore media delegation had been informed of the little slip of the tongue.

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Thursday/Columns/20070517075244/Article/index_html

So, the www.bernama.com posting on May 15, 2007, at 14:38 PM was correct after all. So, it was a fact when Bernama reporters, Noor Hayati Muda and Massita Ahmad, reported that “There will be consultative committees to work on areas such as easy access for investment, tourism and environment cooperation in IDR.”?

To the NST [not Wan Hamidi I hope] the use of the words “consultative committee” was a “little slip of the tongue” by Lee Hsien Loong. And “That’s why Lee was quick to explain that it was never meant to be a consultative committee and the Singapore media delegation had been informed of the little slip of the tongue.”

I would like to give Lee Hsien Loong the benefit of the doubt that it was really “a little slip of the tongue” when he used the words “consultative committee” for IDR. But, will this highly trained military general afford “a little slip of the mind” in any of his statements on diplomacy?

I am not going to dwell further about it here. Hopefully, Noor Hayati Muda and Massita Ahmad of Bernama who were being deprived of their byline in the 5.48 posting will volunteer to explain whether Lee Hsien Loong really had “a little slip of the tongue” on that day as being reported by Wan Hamidi Hamid in The NST on May 17, 2007.

Or, will Datuk Anwar Zaini, Chairman of Bernama, and Datuk Kalimullah Hassan, Deputy Chairman of NST, come forward to furnish Malaysians with their explanations on this “little slip of the toungue” issue?

I have to put this on record because I want our dear Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk N. Parameswaran “who described as baseless allegations that the formation of a joint Malaysia-Singapore committee to oversee the cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) would affect Malaysia's sovereignty.” to check his facts first before shooting his mouth unnecessarily!

So, fellow Malaysians, can we accept that Lee Hsien Loong really made “a little slip of the tongue” in Langkawi? Do we believe The NST report that Abdullah said that “it would be a general committee and not a consultative committee” because “a consultative committee could imply the need to refer to each government in making decisions, which would be unfair to Malaysia, as Iskandar is a Malaysian project, and not a joint venture with another country.”?

I leave it to you to decide. But, several questions still remain unanswered here. And, they are: Why www.bernama.com took three hours and nine minutes before it deleted the first posting which said “There will be consultative committees to work on areas such as easy access for investment, tourism and environment cooperation in IDR.”? Who ordered the deletion? Why The NST said: “Abdullah cleared the air when he explained that the word "consultative" did not arise at all and it was just a joint committee for both sides of the Johor Strait to ensure the success of IDR.”? And why did The NST report that Abdullah “said it would be a general committee and not a consultative committee” because “a consultative committee could imply the need to refer to each government in making decisions, which would be unfair to Malaysia, as Iskandar is a Malaysian project, and not a joint venture with another country.”?

But, the biggest question marks of all are: who is (are) behind all these irregularities? Is there a media conspiracy here? Is Datuk Seri Zam Maidin aware about this? And, what has he to say about this “little slip of the tongue” story? – Ruhanie Ahmad

6 comments:

Muhammad Ilham said...

well done mr ruhanie. some good points there in your article.

yes, i agree, there is a possibility that the committee is in fact, consultative in nature, and not merely a general committee. i'm sure most malaysians would prefer the former. i know i do. however, there is of course a chance that it was merely "a slip of the tongue". we don't know. time will tell mr ruhanie. let's not jump the gun yet. we'll have to see how things develop.

but, let's not be so surprised as to the media "blackout", that you've pointed out happening in bernama. biasa la tu. arahan daripada orang atasan, shareholders, orang umno, orang mca, biasalah journalist kena ikut tunduk. you were a journalist in the NST youself, mr ruhanie. everybody knows, that the NST, the star, utusan, and the like, are merely organs of the BN designed to keep us malaysians stupid and uninformed. you were part of that design mr ruhanie. so don't pretend to be surprised by the media conspiracy itself. because i'm sure you are well versed in that practice.

how does it feel, when the nation is about to suffer, because the media are not being truthful? the media must be given more freedom.

p.s. en ruhanie, tolong jangan lupa untuk menulis artikel tersebut dalam bahasa malaysia. terima kasih.

cakapsiang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anakbanjar said...

IDR (or WPI) is Singapore Trojan Horse !!!

Monkey Code said...

Dato Kudakepang.
Alhamdulillah ALLAH membantu rakyat Malaysia.
Sekarang, pasti ketua conspirator "MONYET KJ" mengelabah..'blue print grand design' gagal sekerat jalan.Singapore dan agent2 Zionist mesti cari jalan pintu lain..
'pre-emptive'!!

UTK MAT SABU,
TAK BETUL LA MAT SABU, BUKAN "Faktor Mahathir", TAPI "Faktor ANWAR" LA. KAU NI MAT SABU DAN AHMAD SAYUTI TAK HABIS2 CEMBURU DENGAN ANWAR,..SUDAH LA DAN CUKUP LA.

VIVA,VIVA,VIVA ANWAR IBRAHIM


MALAYSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ANWAR IBRAHIM: 'All Malaysians regardless of race, culture and religion are a nation of one. The people have expressed in no uncertain terms that they want accountability, transparency and the rule of law.'

'Today unity, consensus and mutual respect thrives. Tomorrow we will start building a brighter future. This is a new dawn.'

Caya Ini Anwar

Caya Itu Anwar

Caya la Anwar

Monkey Code said...

Dato Kudakepang.
Alhamdulillah ALLAH membantu rakyat Malaysia.
Sekarang, pasti ketua conspirator "MONYET KJ" mengelabah..'blue print grand design' gagal sekerat jalan.Singapore dan agent2 Zionist mesti cari jalan pintu lain..
'pre-emptive'!!

UTK MAT SABU,
TAK BETUL LA MAT SABU, BUKAN "Faktor Mahathir", TAPI "Faktor ANWAR" LA. KAU NI MAT SABU DAN AHMAD SAYUTI TAK HABIS2 CEMBURU DENGAN ANWAR,..SUDAH LA DAN CUKUP LA.

VIVA,VIVA,VIVA ANWAR IBRAHIM


MALAYSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ANWAR IBRAHIM: 'All Malaysians regardless of race, culture and religion are a nation of one. The people have expressed in no uncertain terms that they want accountability, transparency and the rule of law.'

'Today unity, consensus and mutual respect thrives. Tomorrow we will start building a brighter future. This is a new dawn.'

Caya Ini Anwar

Caya Itu Anwar

Caya la Anwar

Bentara Shakti said...

Datuk,
memang kagum dengan keyakinan datuk masa temuramah dengan rancangan BLOG di RTM1 tempoh hari. Tahniah, kerana terus mempertahankan "blogers" yang sudah muak dengan putar belit laporan media "tradisional". Keadilan (Bukan Parti Keadilan) memang hanya boleh ditegakkan, apabila semua orang berfikiran secara sederhana, tetapi cukup terbuka, merentasi pelbagai sempadan dan penuh iltizam.
GRACIAS.

Ikhlas
bentarasakti.