KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — In yet another blow to its journalistic credentials, The Malaysian Insider was forced again this weekend to publish two more apologies — one to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and another to Khazanah Nasional Bhd — making this the fourth time the news portal had to do so in a little over a week.
In a piece published in its Malay-language “Rencana” section yesterday, the portal apologised to Dr Mahathir for misreporting his remarks in a news article titled, “Dr Mahathir akui ‘salur’ RM200 untuk menang di peringkat bahagian”.[Translation: Dr Mahathir admits channelling RM200 to win at divisional level]
“Kami dimaklumkan laporan tersebut tidak tepat dan sudah pun dikeluarkan. Segala kesulitan amat dikesali,” TMI penned in its apology in Malay.[Translation: We were informed that the report was inaccurate and has been removed. Any inconvenience is deeply regretted.]
Today, on request from state sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the news portal agreed to apologise and pull two reports from its website which allegedly portrayed the government-linked firm as uncooperative with national auditors.
In a statement on Thursday, Khazanah Nasional had threatened legal action if the offending articles titled, “Parliament’s bipartisan oversight panel probes Khazanah’s costly ventures” and “PAC siasat perbelanjaan melampau Khazanah”, were not removed from the site.
In its apology titled, “Apology to Khazanah Nasional — The Malaysian Insider” today, the news portal admitted that the October 24, 2013, articles were published without verification from the firm.
“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,” TMI wrote.
On Thursday, the news portal had to apologise to the Securities Commission (SC) and again, pulled an article from its website for being an “untrue report”.
The offending article alleged that the regulator was ordering Sime Darby to conduct a general offer for the remaining shares in E&O that it did not already own, following the former’s acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in the latter firm.
This did not materialise and resulted in the news portal being investigated by the SC last year.
Last week, the news portal was also forced to apologise to Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir over two articles alleging the Kedah mentri besar of engaging in “money politics” in his unsuccessful bid for an Umno vice presidency on Saturday.
“The Malaysian Insider apologises to Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir over its report titled ‘Mukhriz raises the stakes in VP race with 1.2 million SMS blast plus ‘windfall’ for party branches — sources’, and its Bahasa Malaysia version, ‘Jentera kempen Mukhriz agresif, ‘hujan emas’ dijangka turun bermula lewat malam’,” the news portal wrote after being threatened with a lawsuit over the reports.