Sarawak Report expose sends shock-waves in media world

Sarawak Report expose sends shock-waves in media world

A Sarawak Report expose that top BN politicians had allegedly paid RM15m annually to buy positive publicity on shows like CNBC’s World Business has sent shock-waves in the media industry.

The Sarawak Report expose can be found here.

CNBC has since withdrawn the World Business show. The BBC has taken similar action, Malaysian Insider reports.

The Insider also reported: “According to Politico, FBC Media is listed in lobbying reports as having paid tens of thousands of dollars to Washington-based lobbying firm APCO in recent years to lobby on behalf of the Malaysian government…

The Insider also reported that records showed that between 2008 and 2009, RM57.7 million was paid by the Prime Minister’s office to FBC Media for the campaign.

When the Sarawak Report expose was first published, I contacted a UK-based media analyst, John Hilley, who is familiar with Malaysian affairs and global media power play. He responded, “You can just see how readily … the big revenue-seeking media are embracing the kind of power-client stuff being put out by FBC, all serving the political-corporate narrative of ‘development’.”

So much for the ‘objectivity’, ‘professionalism’ and ‘balanced journalism’ propounded by these big global media stations.

It just goes to show the extent the global media will go to churn out unquestioning, uncritical propaganda that fits within the framework of corporate media propaganda. It’s a framework that often furthers the interests of MNCs while paying lip service to the people’s struggle for real democracy and economic and environmental justice.

While budget cuts result in spending on real journalistic work being slashed, the production of programmes is increasingly farmed out to private media outfits, whose sources of funding and sponsorship are beneath the public radar (as in the case of FBC).

As a result, it is sometimes hard to figure out whether what you are reading or watching is really news or stuff churned out by some company or public relations outfit. The line between real journalism and advertorials/public relations trash was blurred a long time ago, not just overseas but in some of our local media as well.

And what do the Malaysian leaders implicated by Sarawak Report have to say?



  1. The journalists at Sarawak Report used old-fashioned, excellent investigative reporting to uncover how Taib Mahmud and Najib paid Malaysians’ hard-earned money to FBC, PR company to the wealthy, to improve their battered images.

    Anil should be inspired to do the same to expose such misdeeds. Else our poor rural folks are continued to be conned.

  2. Western principles fly out of the window…morality is just a word. Money
    can buy anything if we are still naive to believe Westerners are the savior of the world….

    • Yes, we Asians are fool to pay the debt of the Westerners who are living off our earnings! This is modern day wealth colonisation must stop.

      Asians should use our money for self consumption to drive our economy and be less dependent on Europe/USA. The Western baby boomers do not deserve our money to enjoy their twilight years, so that they can blame Bush Snr & Jr for wasting their retirement funds on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  3. Those stupid politicians can spend RM15million for publicity. If those money are invested on waste compost, not only they get better reputation out of it, it also solve our landfill problem. Wrong priority!

  4. Anil, don’t twist.

    What is the specific positive publicity ??? Highlight of Malaysia’s local businesses like ‘keropok lekur’, ‘lemang’, ‘durian dodol’, etc are bad ??? That were promoting works for Malaysia to the entire world….

  5. Like how some kiddies used to taunt each other…

    Self praise is INTERNATIONAL disgrace!

    Najib has certainly outdone his self-glorifying stunt at the Vatican when he presented the Pope with a copy of “Najib:Beginning of a Legacy”.

    Legacy indeed. How could he have been so thick-skinned. Now lagi legacy no?

    Allow me a moment to laugh my guts out!


  6. Dear Anil,

    Off topic…

    Malaysiakini news at 4:18pm – Penang voters increase by 32,000 in three months.

    Being a Penang guy, perhaps you could delve into more details ?


    • A staggering 1,400 postal votes were inserted into Batu Maung state constituency i.e. 1,400 soldiers and their families are added to the two military camps there, namely Sungai Ara and Bukit Gedong. Bukit Gedung is only an administrative centre with two or three bungalows for general level officers. The standard of living for the army personnel there must be very poor with so many people squeezing in a such a dense area?

      BN is using undemocratic methods to win the elections, and mobilise phantom voters to deny the rights of genuine voters?

  7. Shock wave? This is exaggerate. Many government are known to practice product placement, part of the political propaganda. For example, the recent main stream media playing card of demonise Bersih 2.0; make tons of bwahaha rubbish about jibjb ETP without any solid facts,etc.

    Bare in mind that, documentary program also become are major target of government product placement. Few people able to notice those are one sided story, since they choose to be fed by TV programme.

  8. BN used rakyat’s money to polish its image while asking the rakyat to ubah gaya hidup to cope with the barang naik it created.

    Removing food subsidy to pay the foreign consultants?
    First APCO, now FBC, what’s next?

    BN knew that rakyat no longer believe in RTM and TV3.
    So it is now using CNBC and CNN?

    Please ask your BN MPs these questions the next time he/she tell you about subsidy removal!

    • Even Astro are now asking for price increase to pay for its Astro Awani’s sudut pandang that is so one-sided to suit BN agenda? Ever more reasons to read alternative news like Anil’s blog.


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