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‘Raja Petra interview taken out of context’

 | April 15, 2011

TV3 is accused of selectively cutting out portions of the interview to put BN in a good light, while painting a negative image of Pakatan Rakyat.

FULL REPORT

KUALA LUMPUR: A TV3 interview of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was completely taken out of context, claimed the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM).

MCLM president Haris Ibrahim also accused TV3 of selectively cutting out portions of the interview to put Barisan Nasional in a good light, while painting a negative image of Pakatan Rakyat.

“The fact is that the quotes by Raja Petra (who is the MCLM chairman) in the heavily edited video recording have been taken out of context and caused the message to be grossly distorted,” he said.

Haris also claimed that newspapers such as The Star and the Malay Mail had put words in Raja Petra’s mouth.

‘What link to Anwar’s aides?’

He attacked the mainstream media for saying that Raja Petra linked Anwar’s aides to murdered Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Haris said although The Malay Mail printed “Anwar’s aides”, Raja Petra said that there was only one person who approached him over Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s apparent link to Altantuya.

According to Raja Petra’s article “Now that the Shit has hit the fan” on his blog Malaysia Today, this person was allegedly Nik Azmi Nik Daud, one of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s aides.

Haris added that the only instance where a confidante of Anwar might have been used was Din Merican.

In the same article, Raja Petra said that he was assured by Din that Nik Azmi was a very reliable source.

In its report yesterday based on the TV3 interview, The Star quoted Raja Petra as saying: “I no longer accept the story. I think it’s quite impossible.”

According to Haris, Raja Petra had said: “I did not accept the veracity of the claim at the time, because it was quite incredible.”

Never questioned Anwar’s credibility

Haris also pointed out that Raja Petra never undermined Anwar’s credibility as the opposition leader.

“If you go through the entire video clip, you will not find once where Raja Petra says Anwar has lost complete credibility,” he said.

He added that TV3′s voiceovers had obscured the blogger’s words, making it seem as though he was singling out Anwar.

Additionally, Haris said that both he and Raja Petra had criticised the opposition on numerous occasions for its poor performance in recent times, and this was “nothing new”.

“We have said this time and time again. We do this almost as how a father chastises a child whom he loves. We criticise the opposition because we hope to see improvements,” he added.

Haris stressed that MCLM was still strongly “aligned” with Pakatan over Najib’s alleged connection to Altantuya’s death.

“Najib, if you think what Raja Petra said lets you off the hook, sorry, we the thinking members of the civil society will continue until justice has been brought to bear,” he said.

Not aware of RPK’s interview

Haris also said that he did not know that Raja Petra had conducted the interview with TV3 until it was aired.

“If I was aware, I would have advised him not to take up the interview,” he said, adding that Raja Petra might have been too enthusiastic in his attempts to “reveal the truth”.

The MCLM president also challenged the television station to air the full unedited copy of the interview.

“We have only seen a little over 10 minutes. We challenge TV3 to put the unedited full video on YouTube,” he said.

Haris also said that it was “impossible” for Raja Petra to have been bought over or pressured by the government to give his interview.

“I don’t believe anyone can coerce this man. …In 2008, he was subjected to round-the-clock interrogation by seven Special Branch officers and they couldn’t break him,” he said.

‘BN running scared’

Haris also claimed that the release of the TV3 interview was to derail Pakatan’s chances in the Sarawak state election.

He told Sarawakians not to be distracted by “this media spin” and to focus on the polls instead.


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