Datuk Chua Jui Meng
BERNAMA’s admission that its pictures were doctored has shamed Malaysia globally in the most unethical manner.
It is the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s national news agency and therefore the ministers linked to media affairs, namely Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim, must apologise to Malaysians for the national shame.
They must start thinking out of the box and not resort to looking for scapegoats to cover up what was committed intentionally.
I guess that would be too much for the ministers and the BN to stomach.
After 55 years of Merdeka (Independence), Malaysians cannot continue to rely on a government that is unable to think out of the box to do the right thing.
BN resorts to cover-ups and sweeping everything under the carpet whenever blunders and scandals erupt.
Admitting that its photographs of prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in Pekan, Pahang (an east coast state of the peninsula), were doctored to reflect huge crowds is not enough.
Finding a scapegoat to take the rap is also deplorable as it will further shame Malaysia.
Very few Malaysians, save for loyal BN supporters who are always giving blind support, believe that the doctoring of pictures was the act of an individual out to sabotage the national news agency.
The delayed admission by Bernama that its pictures were doctored raises doubts of sincerity.
The admission came only after a series of pictures were posted on the internet that clearly showed the visuals were fakes.
Bernama’s editor-in-chief Yong Soo Heong was quick to deny the pictures were fake and that the news agency had no time to engage in such unethical work.
When more of such pictures were posted in the internet, Bernama buckled under mounting pressure and admitted guilt.
Suddenly, Yong says “Bernama has conducted an initial investigation into allegations that one of its recent photographs was manipulated and found the flawed picture was discovered at the source from where it was sent”.
Do you expect Malaysians to believe Yong who was quick to dismiss the allegations when the picture was clearly doctored and then admitted guilt when pressure for the truth continued to mount.
I doubt the doctoring was done by the photographer who would not be so stupid to put his job on the line because such doctoring can be easily detected. But he could have been pressured by his superiors to do so.
Whatever, this is going to be another case of going after the ikan bilis (anchovy or small fish) instead of the big fish.