Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan today questioned the motives behind the individuals who sensationalised the national sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.
In his blog posting, the former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officer-turned-politician scrutinised whistleblower website Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, local business daily The Edge owner Datuk Tong Kooi Ong and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.
Citing a report by London Evening Standard, Huan said the 55-year-old Rewcastle-Brown, was “born in Sarawak to British parents in the days before the former British colony was handed over to Malaysia and lived in the region until the age of eight”.
As such, Huan asked why a British citizen, who only spent eight years of her childhood in Malaysia, would spend so much time on a website focused on Malaysian politics.
“As the sister-in-law of Gordon Brown (former British Prime Minister), surely her time, resources and networking can be better used for the British political landscape.
“So why Malaysia, in particular, Sarawak and now 1MDB?” he quizzed in his blog named Huan’s Thoughts (datukhuan.blogspot.com).
Huan also quoted news magazine Foreign Policy, which reported that “The funding for her radio, she says, comes primarily from a single ‘European philanthropist’, who wishes to remain anonymous; listeners also send donations through the website.”
He questioned why a European philanthropist would want to fund a station campaigning for Sarawak when there were so many problems plaguing Europe.
“Can donations alone sustain that website? What about her expenses incurred for traipsing across the globe to meet the likes of (Petaling Jaya Utara MP) Tony Pua, etc? Can donations alone sustain the website, the radio station, her activities, etc?
“Who is funding all her activities and why?”
Huan also pointed out reports by local dailies where Tong, The Edge owner, and Ho Kay Tat, its publisher, admitted meeting former PetroSaudi employee Xavier Andre Justo to negotiate for the documents related to 1MDB’s venture with PetroSaudi.
Slamming Tong following the admission, Huan asked whether or not it made sense for a tycoon, who published financial dailies with a relatively small circulation and readership, to be able to offer US$2 million (RM7.61 million) for one scoop on 1MDB that could offset a series of other stories and have negative effects, regardless of whether they were true or false.
“Is it ethical to pay for information in investigative journalism?
“Is it morally right to renege on an offer and to mislead a prospective source of ‘illegally’ acquired information?”
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Huan said, clearly stated how it operated and how it worked hand-in-hand with other media agencies to pursue research, investigations, reporting and analysis.
These coordinated efforts, he said, were of public benefit by undertaking in-depth research into the governance of public, private and third sector organisations and their influence.
“Why did The Edge have to stoop to such steps just to get information ? Does it make sense to you?”
He also slammed Pua, who he said was elected to serve the 85,401 constituents of Petaling Jaya Utara and not elected to meet Rewcastle-Brown to discuss the 1MDB issue.
“If he is into investigative journalism, he should rethink his position as MP of Petaling Jaya Utara.”
Huan said constituents must question Pua as to why he was “running around Southeast Asia, from Indonesia to Singapore” instead of looking after their interests.
Datuk Huan Cheng Guan
Vice President, Parti Cinta Malaysia
July 26, 2015