Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Learned A New Phrase Today "Envelope Journalism"

Came across this interesting piece of news...

Malaysiakini reports:

Journalists given money
In another development, RM300 cash was distributed to more than a dozen journalists at the state information department’s media centre in Kuala Terengganu.
Journalists were asked to list their names, the organisation they worked for and telephone numbers on a blank piece of paper by a media centre staff before being given a white envelope containing six RM50 notes.
Four Malaysiakini journalists wrote their details on the paper without knowing about the money.
The four later returned the envelopes with a total of RM1,200 to the media centre staff. Several other journalists have done the same.
The media centre staff could not answer when quizzed about the source of the money.
At 6pm, two journalists from Chinese-language online news Merdeka Review lodged a police report on the matter at the Terengganu police headquarters.

Information Ministry denies role

Meanwhile, according to a Bernama report later in the day, the Information Ministry denied making any payment to journalists covering the by-election.
Information Minister’s press secretary Hisham Abdul Hamid said the ministry had never directed any of its officers to do such a thing.
“This has never been the practice of the Information Ministry,” he told Bernama.

Doubtful as to its truth? How about this one from BERNAMA...

Info Ministry Denies Paying Journalists Covering By-election

KUALA TERENGGANU, Jan 16 (Bernama) -- The Information Ministry today denied making any payment to journalists covering the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election, polling for which is tomorrow.

The press secretary to the Information Minister, Hisham Abdul Hamid, said the ministry had never directed any of its officers to do such a thing.

"This has never been the practice of the Information Ministry," he told Bernama here.

The Mandarin version of the Malaysiakini portal today reported that an Information Ministry officer had given envelopes containing money to journalists covering the by-election.

Meanwhile, two journalists of lodged a police report over an allegation that they had received a white envelope containing money from an officer serving at the media centre set up for the by-election.

The report was made at 7.13pm at the Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters.


If even the govt-controlled news agency, there MUST be some truth in that, right?

Now...let's see what the much-vaunted MACC are we gonna do about it...


  1. Since most journalist carry a camera, a photo of the officer involved could easily identify the culprit. He could be charged and made to disclose the source of the money. Since money for politics are never needed to be accounted for, there will never be a record of anything. This is how they escape the scrutiny of the EC.

  2. Ha? Since when has anyone significant has been convicted for corruption? The photographer will likely have his precious camera smashed before the photo sees the light of day...

  3. There are also photos on anilnetto's blog of several Kementerian Penerangan vehicles in Kuala Terengganu, presumably doing the campaign rounds!

    I thought that the rules state that candidates cannot spend more than RM100K (or something like that) on an election? Is this how they get around the ruling? By the "invisible" (and unquestionable) aid provided by the state?