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Can BN deny paying US bloggers?

 | July 28, 2011

A UK-based investigative news blog claims their research 'clearly links' America's 'New Ledger' to Umno-Barisan Nasional.

KUALA LUMPUR: Online news portal Sarawak Report (SR) has challenged Umno/Barisan Nasional to deny its ties with US-based blogsite New Ledger and other associated blogs.

The portal claimed the ruling coalition and its leaders had commissioned the various blogsites in the US to defame its political opponents including SR.

According to SR founder-editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, Umno-BN’s ‘dirty tricks’ public relations campaign began just after the general election in 2008 when the Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, swept into power in five states.

“Our research shows the dirty tricks campaign is clearly financed by BN.

“The New Ledger was launched in 2009 as the main vehicle for these commissioned attacks. Throughout 2010 and 2011 they have focused more on Anwar than on any other subject!

“(Sarawak Chief Minister) Taib (Mahmud) has also now hired them to run a sustained defamation campaign against us (SR).

“But our research has clearly established the online campaign against Anwar and Sarawak Report as being commissioned by Umno/BN and Taib.

“We therefore, challenge Umno and BN to deny our reports that its party leadership is paying New Ledger and other online blogs to defame its opponents,” she said.

Misleading Malaysians

A July posting on SR noted that New Ledger’s whole campaign’s game plan was “to bounce back articles that have been placed in the United States websites into anonymously run blogs in Malaysia and then work on getting the stories into Malaysia’s mainstream media, as if they had originated from a reputable source.”

The posting named ‘Malaysia Watcher’ is one of the websites managed by the New Ledger team.

“New Ledger writers like to refer to Malaysia Watcher as an independent website, which they use as a resource, but in fact the sites ‘bounce’ stories off each other to build them up.

“In this way the Umno-BN were conniving to mislead the Malaysian public and trick them into thinking that Anwar is also despised in America and has lost his influence in the US establishment,” it said.

Naming the foursome who formed the core of the New Ledger writing team – Racheal Motte, Christopher Badeaux, Leon Wolf and Brad Jackson – the posting said these were ‘people with no profile in the United States or recognised expertise in Malaysia.”

It described the reports by these writers as malicious and one-sided and dismissed them ‘as laughable’

The next Osama

Defaming Clare and SR aside, the US team of writers have been accused of working on ‘sustained campaign to deliberately’ vilify Anwar and portray him as dangerous Islamic terrorist.

“They describe Anwar as a dangerous Islamic terrorist and a “strategic threat” to the United States, should the “moderate” BN lose the next election and be replaced by this ‘enemy of the West’.

“Readers of New Ledger could be forgiven for concluding that Anwar could become the next Osama bin Laden!” it said.

But then who exactly are New Ledger readers? Well they definetly aren’t all Americans, said Clare.

“The real audience are the BN politicians who have expensively commissioned the articles for the people who might be influenced in Malaysia.”

Also read:

‘Anti-Islam bloggers in US on Najib/BN payroll’


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