Memory loss and the media

Kapil Sethi

In either case, it is the people at the other end of the stories that benefit.

Kapil Sethi, MMO

With 1MDB, missing official jets and the shenanigans of K-pop stars hogging the headlines at the beginning of 2015, it feels like time to look back at how some of the previous hot button issues of the past were resolved.

As far back as 2000, there were stories of an alleged RM200 million bailout of Indah Water. Was it true or not? Canny Ong’s murderer was sentenced to hang in 2009, but there seems to be no news story on when he was actually hanged. But that might be going too far back so let’s take a look at stories from the last five years.

Does anybody remember the massive criticism against the proposed 100-storey, RM5 billion Warisan Merdeka supertower, back in 2010? Or the firestorm over the alleged RM1.8 million Facebook page of the Tourism Ministry in 2011 or the more recent award by the same ministry of their advertising tender to allegedly unqualified firms? Who was finally responsible for the PKFZ saga?

In 2011, who finally benefited from the Khazanah brokered AirAsia-MAS deal? Did the Tajudin Ramli-Danaharta out-of-court settlement, actually cause a loss to the exchequer to the tune of RM589 million as alleged? Was Datuk T’s expose of Anwar real or doctored? Is APCO still in charge of PR for the PMO? Is the Lynas story resolved to everybody’s satisfaction? Do the Rawang-based Obedient Wives Club and Polygamists club still exist?

In 2012 the Putrajaya Consultative Council of Parents and Teachers Associations and Yayasan Guru Malaysia Bhd. issued guidelines according to which the wearing of tight V-neck T-shirts in light colours accessorised with man bags were a sure sign of homosexuality, as was hanging out with other men. Do they still exist, and more importantly, do they still stand by their guidelines?

In the same year, after hounding Suaram for receiving foreign funding, the prime minister simply stated that he was not obligated to disclose the source of approximately RM40 million donated to Sabah Umno in cash across national borders. Did anybody follow up? Who was Anwar Ibrahim’s mysterious friend who loaned him his private jet for free? How did the transfer of shares of Felda settlers in the profit-making Felda Holdings into the allegedly loss-making Felda Global Ventures pan out? Is the situation with Indonesian maids finally resolved? How are the two young men let off from a custodial sentence after being convicted of statutory rape doing?

Even in the last two years there are stories that should have been followed up on, like Saiful Bukhari’s dad calling the sodomy charges against Anwar an evil conspiracy. Does he still feel that way? Is the 1 Malaysia e-mail project still on? Was the BTN course material changed at all? Is the RM1 million fine for civil servants and journalists for revealing anything about the workings of the government to the public still in force? Are new newspaper licences still beng refused because too much information can confuse people?

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