Terlajak perahu boleh diundur, Terlanjur kata buruk padahnya.
This 'peribahasa' is best used to describe the impact of The Malaysian Insider's damning articles on Statesman like Dr Mahathir and the Government.
Social media today, at least in Malaysia, is filled with politics of hate. Once damning but unverified articles go online, they mysteriously get circulated instantly via emails. I don't know if it is 'black bean', 'green bean' or 'red bean'. Of course, on twitter, it will go viral within seconds and "the other side" will be beating the drums.
I can understand if bloggers want to sensationalize issues just to get traffic. But for well established e-media sites like The Malaysian Insider, please, you need to be more professional.
After a sensational headline and controversial article with words like "according to our sources" has been posted up, how many Malaysians will bother to google on the other side's follow up response? How many will bother to read more on the statistics or what actually happened? If any, minimal. Most of the time, none. It will end up as a lunch topic the next day, "eh you know ah, Mukhriz paid money to win UMNO elections" when in fact, he did not.
This is one of the problems especially amongst the Malaysian Chinese community. Recently some joker told me that our Prime Minister went to Singapore to borrow billions because we have no more money and that we have one of the highest debt in the world. 99% of the time, people will just believe and recycle things like this elsewhere but no one bothered to ask
- how did you know?
- why was it PM to PM and not Treasurer General to Treasurer General?
- why borrow in SGD and not from local institutions or our buddy China?
- is our debt really the highest in the world? (FYI Malaysia's debt to GDP is less than 55%, Singapore is over 110% - kalau tak tahu, duduk diam)
Back to the peribahasa "Terlajak perahu boleh diundur, Terlanjur kata buruk padahnya", The Malaysian Insider has issued four apologies in a week on factually wrong articles against Mukhriz, Securities Commission, Khazanah, and Dr Mahathir.
"Buruk padah" kepada mereka yang dinamakan dalam laporan yang tidak tepat, bukan kepada The Malaysian Insider. What's damaging to them? Add in "according to sources", if it was wrong, issue apology that's hardly seen on the main page, then off to mamak for roti canai. No sweat, except from the curry.
Speaking of "according to sources" and before you read TMI's apologies this week, I found another article TMI - Hey Abbott, shame on you for apologising to “corrupt” Malaysian government - Canberra Times. In TMI's article, [The Australian daily slammed Abbott for apologising when his criticisms about the Malaysian government happened to be spot on and correct. "Najib leads a government that gained power through a gerrymander. The Malaysian government is one which is on par with Sri Lanka, corrupt and short on any notion of human rights].
Ask any Malaysian if we are on par with Sri Lanka. Don't laugh please.
I googled and found it. The Canberra Times - Comments Section - by Bruce Haigh - Abbott's tangled policy on Asia. The article began with "According to sources..."
Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, time to wake the Malaysian High Commissioner in Canberra. Someone Down Under owes us an apology. Please make him publish a full page apology on The Australian and The Malaysian Insider.
Back to TMI's apologies again.
Case 1: TMI vs Mukhriz Mahathir
18 October 2013: TMI - Mukhriz raises the stakes in VP race with 1.2 million SMS blast plus 'windfall' for party branches - sources
Extract: Umno vice-president hopeful Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has revved up his campaign by sending out an estimated 1.2 million SMS appealing to Umno delegates to vote for him and, if his critics are to be believed, is handing out the cash too.
19 October 2013 - UMNO Elections
19 October 2013: TMI - Apology to Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir – The Malaysian Insider
Case 2: TMI vs Securities Commission
10 August 2012: SC to order Sime general offer for E&O, say sources
Extract: KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — In a volte face, the Securities Commission (SC) will now order Sime Darby Bhd to make a general offer for Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) shares after buying a 30-per cent stake last year, say government sources
24 October 2013: TMI - The Malaysian Insider retracts a report on the SC over the Sime-E&O case
Extract: With regards to The Malaysian Insider's report on August 10, 2012 headlined "SC to order Sime general offer for E&O, say sources", The Malaysian Insider would like to retract the said report on the Securities Commission (SC) as it is untrue. The statement in the said article that was attributed to the SC was untrue and was published without verification with the SC. The report has now been withdrawn as it is untrue and false.
Case 3: TMI vs Khazanah Nasional Bhd
24 October 2013: TMI - Parliament’s bipartisan oversight panel probes Khazanah’s costly ventures
27 October 2013 : TMI - Apology to Khazanah Nasional – The Malaysian Insider
The Malaysian Insider would like to apologise to Khazanah Nasional Berhad for the reports headlined “Parliament’s bipartisan oversight panel probes Khazanah’s costly ventures” and “PAC siasat perbelanjaan melampau Khazanah” that were published without verification with Khazanah Nasional Berhad on October 24, 2013 in the news portal. It was reported that the Auditor General had sent a letter to Khazanah Nasional Berhad in respect of its operations and investments. This is incorrect and The Malaysian Insider apologises for the mistake.
Case 4: TMI vs Dr Mahathir
18 October 2013: TMI - Dr Mahathir akui ‘salur’ RM200 untuk menang di peringkat bahagian
Extract: Mantan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (gambar) mengakui politik wang masih berleluasa dalam Umno dan mengakui perwakilan yang mengundi pada pemilihan kali ini didalangi dengan kerenah politik wang. Beliau berkata rakyat tidak perlu berharap kerajaan untuk membetulkan sistem sedia ada kerana mereka masih tidak mampu memperbaiki kelemahan dalam Umno.
26 October 2013: TMI - Permohonan maaf kepada Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – The Malaysian Insider
The Malaysian Insider memohon maaf kepada bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berhubung laporan bertajuk “Dr Mahathir akui “salur” RM200 untuk menang di peringkat bahagian.” Kami dimaklumlan laporan tersebut tidak tepat dan ia sudah pun dikeluarkan. Segala kesulitan amat dikesali.
Well, according to sources, Anwar Ibrahim is hungry. Someone feed him please. If he's not hungry, I will apologize.