Bernama must apologise or  prove that it has not perpetrated the biggest hoax in the history of Malaysian journalism with its international “scoop” of the report  on Malaysia by a phantom  “influential American group”, the Washington-based American Defence Council

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Sunday): On Friday, Bername scored its  second international “scoop” in three weeks, when its office in Washington  “obtained” an exclusive copy of a report on Malaysia by “an influential American group”, the American Defence Council,  entitled “Special Report for Foreign Policy LAs”  alleged to have been distributed to all aides of the United States Congressmen in Capitol Hill.

Does the “influential American group”, the American Defence Council, exist or is it a pure concoction/figment of the imagination and the second international scoop by Bernama in three weeks the biggest hoax ever perpetrated in the history of Malaysian journalism using a phantom organisation?

The journalistic honour, credibility and reputation of Bernama, national and international, are  at stake and Bernama must prove that it has not perpetrated the biggest hoax in the history of Malaysian journalism using a non-existent, phantom organisation.

It is significant and no coincidence  that Bernama did not carry or advert to my media statement yesterday, which pointed  out that nobody in Washington seems to have heard or known of the existence the American Defence Council and that it does not even have a website, although Bernama had described it as “an influential American group”.

I said yesterday that an American lobby group which does not even maintain a website cannot but be a very fringe outfit, and in this connection, I should make a correction as I was being unfair as  in the United States, even the “very fringe outfits”  also have their websites - which would relegate  the American Defence Council to the most remote outer fringes of the “very fringe outfits” in the US if it is not a phantom organisation altogether.

Bernama should give Malaysians all the relevant details of the “influential American group”, its history, influence, galaxy of personalities and moving lights, why it hailed the American Defence Council as “an influential American group” or it should apologise to Malaysians for perpetrating the biggest hoax in the history of Malaysian journalism.

If the American Defence Council is a phantom creature, Bernama should  reveal the true identity of the writer of the so-called “Special Report for Foreign Policy LAs” on Malaysia.

Is the Bernama correspondent in Washington or some other Malaysian source the author of this report which described Malaysia as "the most politically and democratically stable nation in Asia" in spite of the country's heterogeneous society and warned of the danger posed by PAS to the Malaysian democracy and the  “inseparable” hope and political future of both countries  “for the promotion and spread of peace, democracy and tolerance throughout all of the Asian region" currently  “endangered by the growing threat to Malaysia's democratic institutions by religious fundamentalists, militants and extremists"?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman