The communications and multimedia minister today accused The Wall Street Journal of pursuing an agenda “to run down Malaysia and its democratically elected government” with its reports based on anonymous sources.
In a statement to national news agency Bernama, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the New York-based international daily practised irresponsible journalism following its “persistent attack on the country and prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak”, which he said were based on “unsubstantiated allegations and anonymous sources, which may not even exist in the first place”.
“It is becoming all too obvious that the WSJ has allowed itself to be used as a conduit for the anti-Najib campaign,” he said today.
He said instances in which WSJ left out key details in its reports showed that the paper was not impartial and lacked interest in ethical journalism or had been duped by certain parties.
“The latest article raises old allegations about Swiss investigations into supposedly 1MDB-linked companies, but then fails to even mention the fact that the Swiss attorney-general has made it clear that the prime minister is not involved in any way.
“They then claim that ‘A Saudi official said the nation’s finance and foreign ministries had no knowledge of the donation and that such a transfer into the personal bank account of a foreign leader would be unprecedented’ – completely ignoring the fact that the Saudi foreign affairs minister has said that the funds did come from his country.
“Why does the WSJ ignore these key details, which would be vital to any impartial reporting on this story? Because they are not interested in being impartial, let alone in ethical journalism.
“They are fully committed – either by being duped, or because of their own agenda – to running down Malaysia and its democratically elected government.”
He said apart from DAP’s Tony Pua, WSJ did not name any of its sources, raising questions on the veracity of its reports.
“Who exactly are the WSJ relying on for their info? They claim to have heard from ‘one cabinet member’, ‘a Saudi official’ and an interim version of the auditor general’s report ‘from last year’ which they claim was leaked to them.
“Where is the proof for any of this? How do we know that any of these people exist? How do we know that the report is genuine and not fake?
“This anonymous sourcing is journalism at its worst. So why are the WSJ editors allowing it? Nothing happens by chance at a paper like the WSJ.”
Salleh also asked why WSJ failed to report on “good” news on Malaysia, such as the International Monetary Fund remarking that the economy continued to perform well and Fitch reaffirming the country’s “A-” ratings with stable outlook.
“Malaysians must not be misled by propaganda, lies and smears masquerading as news.
“Why was there no mention of this in the WSJ’s latest article? The truth is just too inconvenient for the WSJ. Their anti-Malaysia agenda is becoming clearer every day.”