Sariffuddin: WSJ ‘unethical’, breaking all journalism rules


KUALA LUMPUR: Journalism should be about independently reporting news based on “verified” sources and “facts”, ventured Tengku Sariffuddin, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, in a statement.

Instead, he claimed the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for one has become a willing vehicle for the “propaganda” of the Prime Minister’s political opponents.

“They (opponents) have openly declared their intent to unseat the democratically elected government,” he said, calling for an investigation to be launched into why the WSJ was “taking sides in Malaysia’s politics and internal affairs.”

He was commenting on “the latest false report”, where the WSJ alleged on Friday that the Prime Minister was not interviewed by Malaysian investigators. “It claims this shows that the investigations which cleared the Prime Minister of any wrongdoing were ‘undermined by political pressure and a lack of transparency’.”

It’s a matter of public record, and was widely reported by other media at the time, that the Prime Minister was interviewed for “multiple hours” on December 5, 2015 by the primary investigative body in this case, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), said the Press Secretary. “The Prime Minister gave his full cooperation to the investigators.”

“He publicly instructed all relevant bodies in the government to do so as well.”

The WSJ not only deliberately ignored these “key facts”, he alleged, “but lied and said the Prime Minister wasn’t interviewed”.

He reckons that this shows its “biased agenda” to continue its consistent pattern on its Malaysia reporting. “They rely only on anonymous sources and smears by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his new allies, the DAP, including Tony Pua in this latest article,” charged Sariffuddin.

These “unverified lies”, where they fail to give any evidence, he lamented, are then presented as facts by the WSJ. “Just like their multiple reports falsely claiming that the Prime Minister had picked Irwan Serigar Abdullah to be the new Governor of Bank Negara.”