Kompas’ strange apology to Malaysian PM Najib Razak


In Indonesia Kompas is the most respected newspaper in the land. It has the highest circulation (observers put it at about 500,000 but its difficult to tell as no paper is subjected to the Audit Bureau of Circulation here). It is very conservative and very careful about what it writes, so much so that sometimes its readers have to wade through lots of ho-ing and humming just to get at the meat of a story.

So it is with great surprise then that Kompas printed a story on August 4 that alleged, among other things that democracy did not exist in Malaysia; that Najib’s wife, Rosmah, had bought a US$24 million ring and that Najib’s family was somehow related to the “Russian Mafia” and when it was called to the carpet was unable to defend it.

Yesterday Kompas, in an article entitled PM Najib Razak: Demokrasi juga terjadi di Malaysia (PM Najib Razak: Democracy also exists in Malaysia) apologized to Najib for the August 4 article. It was, however, a strange apology though.

The article quoted Najib at length refuting the August 4 article in nine paragraphs and a short 10th paragraph quoting its chief editor Rikard Bangun offering an apology to Najib and his family.

The rest was quoting Najib elaborating on the BN’s chances during upcoming elections (good) in a largely Q&A format that seems more a compensation for wrongs done to the man and his family rather than real reporting.

It is no reflection on Najib, of course, but shouldn’t Kompas, as the nation’s most respected publication, explain to its readers how it could either have got things so wrong about Najib and his family, or couldn’t substantiate what it had written and thus had to apologize. At either case Kompas should not have carried the story but it did.

So now we all are left wondering how it came about that the most respected publication in the country could have fumbled so badly, apologized so strangely and what sort of checks and balances it exercises to ensure that people are not the victims of misreporting?

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Times and Sydney Morning Herald has never apologized to the Suharto …
    why Kompas ???

    Like

  2. rockybru says:

    Thank you, Pak Ong. Diffiult to get Kompas’ article and apology/ I was prepared to subscribe to Kompas online just to know what brought about the screw up but Kompas only accepts Paypal and not the usual Visa or Mastercard or Amex. I’ve also asked the national newswire agency, Bernama, to run Najib’s full interview with Kompas but that hasn’t happened yet.

    Do you think Indonesians will be told the real story?

    Like

  3. Bebas Ber-opini & Berpendapat says:

    There was no wrong in the article of Kompas re. Najib and Rosmah … Tak ada asap jika tak ada api … Hahahaha

    So, what happen with Kompas .. Are they affraid with Najib Malon? or Are they affraid to write the truth to their readers in Indonesia?

    1Malaysia Boleh …

    Like

  4. Anak Jakarta says:

    Hahahaha …Sangat Memalukan .. jika suratkabar yang paling tidak bermoral di Malaysia (Utusan Melayu) memberikan khotbah moralitas kepada suratkabar yang jelas-jelas lebih kredibel dibandingkan dirinya ….

    http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2011&dt=0823&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Rencana&pg=re_03.htm

    Inikah Malaysia yang sebenarnya?… Menyatakan dirinya sempurna .. The master of Malay…or The Master of Liar …

    Mr. Unspun, are you still proud to be a Malaysian?

    Like

  5. unspun says:

    @Anak Jakarta: a Malaysian is what I was born as. Fact of life and I’m not ashamed of loving the country. But I am ashamed and infuriated by the government and its affiliated organizations. Mereka memalukan orang Malaysia and ruined the country

    Like

    1. anak malaysia says:

      Mereka memalukan orang Malaysia and ruined the country? so you ade bukti kukuh ke nak tuduh najib dan isterinya? kalau tak pasti jangan, fitnah tu dosa lagi besar dari membunuh. aku lagi malu kat rakyat Malaysia yang tidak taat kepada pemimpin dan memburuk-burukkan pemimpin negaranya sendiri. nak membetulkan silap orang lain kena guna cara baik bukan menuduh membabi buta. rakyat jenis apa kau ni? kau ingat indon tu betul ke negara kita. mereka hanya suka membuat spekulasi dan cari kelemahan kita untuk diaibkan saja. bukalah mata kau, jangan tergolong dalam golongan mereka. mereka itu hanya si pengadu domba dan berhati busuk. tak betul kau ni. kau dah salah mintak maaf je la macam si kompas buat. jadi sesiapa yang pertikaikan tu anda adalah orang buta hati dan berhati busuk. buat indon2 keparat, korang mau burukkan negara aku ye? tengoklah betapa tuhan akan tunggang terbalikkan negara kau dengan masalah.

      Like

  6. Severus Snape says:

    Many Indonesian People would have given their way to criticize many things Malaysian had done or should/not have done. But, objectively all sides must have interests to write (even a newspaper) and people who commented or wrote (even a journalists) must have personal biases and interest. So,, we do not need to exaggerate what have happened,,:)
    In the end, both Kompas and Najin might merely have boomed the journalistic area, with unpredicted consequences.

    “As truth is relative”

    Like

  7. Alan Newman. NZ says:

    PM Najib, we demand an answer! Why are you pretending all the massive multi-billion corruption & plundering are non-existent? Despite a registered letter from some 15 NGOs on Taib Mamhud after 31 years! & sarawkreport.org Where is your integrity, sense of shame and legitimacy to lead? You should be impeached for treason – deceiving & undermining Malaysia! I speak from NZ, rated among the top in the world for democracy & transparency.

    Like

  8. Alan Newman. NZ says:

    A registered letter, which we sent in December 2011 and was signed by 15 NGOs from eight countries calling on Malaysia’s authorities to arrest Taib and 13 family members, has been left unanswered. Has the PM got any trace of moral, dignity and sense of shame left? Watching from NZ, rated top for democracy, and transparency, this is despicable, this is a disgrace to the whole Country Malaysia. Why are Sarawakians & Malaysian tolerating this rot & stench?

    Political leaders should never think and behave like they own the country. They were only elected to serve the electorates! The likes of Mubarak, Gaddafi & Ashad weren’t even elected. UMNO, BN, PBB & their cronies’ Pillaging, plundering and preying on the people with gerrymandering, vote-rigging, controlled deceptive media and muti-billion thefts are crime and evil of the highest degree, because these destroy the livelihood of many, or millions. These criminals must be severely punished.

    Like

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