Why 151st ‘relentlessly attacking’ Malaysia?


Why is it that there seems to have so many “negative articles” about Malaysia in the media?

I refer to the article “Malaysian government’s first 100 days: Big moves buy leaders some time, but euphoria won’t last” (Straits Times, Aug 17).

It states that “This is especially as his approval rating sits at 71 per cent, according to the latest survey by the Merdeka Centre pollster that was released on Wednesday, despite not being able to fulfil most of PH’s 100-day promises.

“This has created enough goodwill for the public to brush off the failure to meet other election vows, but as time goes on, the post-election euphoria will start to ebb and the focus will shift onto the progress, or lack thereof, on the government’s policy agenda.”

But the reality that is starting to sink in is that the prices of goods and services have not dropped much, even after the removal of the 6 per cent GST, and fuel prices are static. Additionally, whether or not Najib is put in jail over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, the government is sitting on more than RM1 trillion (S$335 billion) in debt and cannot change things overnight.

Especially not while it is busy unwinding deals worth hundreds of billions of ringgit inked by the previous administration, and figuring out how to sustain growth with weaker global economic conditions on the horizon.

PM Mahathir has repeatedly said a corrupt top brass in the civil service is why his government cannot quickly implement its policies. Again, it is a shrewd tactic that jives with public sentiment.”

I read with some amusement the article “Naughty Straits Times Singapore trying to put China-Malaysia at loggerheads” (financetwitter, Jul 23) which said that “Straits Times news media, the mouthpiece of the Government of Singapore, has suddenly fallen in love with the Malaysian new government. Ever since the collapse of the old Najib regime, the Singapore media has shown unusual fetishes for Mahathir administration. The media has increasingly demonstrated that they are being fed insider information by intelligence agency.

From the exclusive interview inside Bangkok Remand Prison with Mr. Justo (2015) to the sacking of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohamad Fuzi Harun (2018), Straits Times managed to raise eyebrows over some mind-boggling revelations. Of course, after Xavier Andre Justo dropped a bombshell – that the interview he gave to Straits Times 3 years ago was manipulated and scripted, all hell broke loose.

Did Straits Times Singapore play its part together with the “Hidden Hand” and spun and twisted Justo story to protect Najib Razak in the infamous 1MDB scandal? After all, it would be in the interest of Singapore to have a corrupt, lame and dumb Malaysian premier so that he could be controlled. The current cold Malaysia-Singapore relationship is the best proof Mahathir is bad news for Singapore.”

Why is it that arguably, it would appear that the media may have been ‘relentlessly attacking’ Malaysia in the last 100 days or so?

For example, I managed to find the following eight “negative” articles about Malaysia, in just the last one week in just one Singapore newspaper alone:

“Malaysia Q2 GDP growth drops to 4.5%, slowing for third straight quarter” (Straits Times, Aug 17)

Parts of Malaysia hit by unhealthy levels of haze” (Straits Times, Aug 17)

Malaysia to first prove Jho Low jet in Singapore bought with stolen 1MDB money: PM Mahathir” (Straits Times, Aug 16)

Cyber attacks likely as KL govt reviews projects: Security firm”  (Straits Times, Aug 16)

PM Mahathir’s China visit to remove kinks in Malaysia-China ties” (Straits Times, Aug 15)

Too early to tell if Pakatan Harapan will govern Malaysia better: Panel at ST Global Briefing” (Straits Times, Aug 13)

“Focus on Malaysia, not just bumiputera, says Anwar Ibrahim” (Straits Times, Aug 13)

First 100 days of Malaysia’s new government” (Straits Times, Aug 12)

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.