“Oops, My Bad,” says Chegubard on 1Malaysia exercise book article

(Malaysian Digest) – Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Rembau division chief Badrul Hisham Shahrin has admitted that he made a mistake in lambasting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the alleged distribution of 1Malaysia school exercise books bearing the PM’s image on its cover.

Badrul Hisham, better known as Chegubard, yesterday issued a statement on his blog (chegubard.blogspot.com) explaining his error.

He said he has since withdrawn the comments he made concerning an article published in the Keadilan Daily website on Sept 24, in which it was claimed that the ‘1Malaysia exercise books’ were being distributed in schools.

In his blog, Chegubard said he took full responsibility for the comment. He said the statement was made in his own personal capacity, and was not representative if any party or organization he is involved with.

“As a people’s activist, I have always been taught to stand up for the truth. But when you’ve realize that you have committed a wrong, don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong and assume responsibility,” he said.

The apology, he said, was made was after he had discovered the facts behind the existence of the exercise book via a report made by Malaysian Digest on Friday. Malaysian Digest’s report had clarified that the exercise book was part of an independent art project.

“After realizing the truth, I withdraw the statement I previously made for the news portal (Keadilan Daily). I confess to the mistakes I’ve made as a people’s activist and I value the creative effort the artists have made for the art project,” he wrote.

Referring to the Keadilan Daily report, Chegubard said he had received a call from a reporter who sought his comments regarding school exercise books with Najib’s face on the cover, the images of which had gone viral especially on Facebook.

The Keadilan Daily report had claimed that the exercise books were being widely distributed in schools.

In the article, which was subsequently taken down from the Keadilan Daily website on Sept 25, Chegubard had compared Barisan Nasional and Umno’s move to that of former Egyptian prime minister Hosni Mubarak, whom he claimed had circulated his pictures across Egypt before he was overthrown by his people.

Chegubard was further quoted as saying that Umno BN’s effort would prove fruitless as school students are not old enough to vote in the general election.

Apart from Chegubard, Keadilan Daily had also highlighted remarks from PKR central leadership committee member Fariz Musa, who had claimed that Najib’s attempt in manipulating school and students showed how desperate the BN regime was.

In an interview with Malaysian Digest, the creators of the exercise book had stepped forward to explain their side of the story.

June Low, 27, and her partner, graphic artist Adila Abdul Malik, 25, were infuriated when they learnt that the exercise book, meant for an art event, had been spun into political propaganda.

The ‘Art for Grabs’ event was held from Sept 22 to Sept 23 at the Annex Gallery at Central Market, where Low and Adila had set up a booth called ‘Gerai 1Malaysia’ and displayed a range of comedic art merchandise to suit the theme.

The theme of the event was ‘Janji Ditutupi’, a play of words on the government’s recent Merdeka Day theme, Janji Ditepati.

Low has demanded an apology for the article and retraction from Keadilan Daily.

Low has also asked Keadilan Daily to apologize not only to them, but also to the public for its misleading report, which she had labelled as “irresponsible journalism”.