Abdul Rahman: Shukri did not accuse anybody
KUALA LUMPUR: The integrity of online journalism was questioned in the Dewan Rakyat over a news report by online news portal Malaysiakini on Malaysia Anti Corruption Comission (MACC) and the Attorney-General's Chambers.
Barisan Nasional lawmaker Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan criticised the news report in the parliament for taking the statement out of context.
In the news report dated March 29, headlined “MACC accuses DPPs of refusing to charge cases” the news portal quoted MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Datuk Shukri Abdull as saying: “We suggested many cases to the DPP. To us, they are valid cases (to be charged in court), but to the deputy public prosecutor, there is insufficient evidence, so what can we do?”
Speaking to The Mole Abdul Rahman said the report by Malaysiakini is a misrepresentation of facts as Shukri was only explaining the procedures in prosecuting corruption cases.
Abdul Rahman said: “Firstly, Datuk Shukri did not accuse the AG's Chambers. He only explained why some cases were not prosecuted after it was sent to the AG's Chambers,” he said.
“I was seated on stage with Rafizi and him. I know what he said,” Abdul Rahman explained.
“Malaysiakini should not spin his words. He did not accuse anybody. It is not right to misrepresent someone’s words.”
Shukri reportedly made the statement during a talk on corruption organised by a local Malay newspaper together with Abdul Rahman and Parti Keadilan Rakyat strategic director Rafizi Ramli.
Abdul Rahman who is also a panel member of MACC's anti-corruption committee added that it is the prerogative of the AG's Chambers to decide whether some cases are strong enough to be prosecuted or to be sent back to MACC for further investigation.
“People need to know that it is more detrimental for MACC to lose a case once it is brought to court. That is why both agencies need to work together to ensure that they have strong case for prosecution,” he said.
Blogger Apanama had posted Shukri’s exact quote on his blog.
It read: “Banyak kes-kes yang kita cadangkan kepada DPP, pada pandangan kita ada kes, tapi pada dia, tak cukup bukti. So, what can we do? Itu pada dia, dia lebih arif, the final say tetap pada timbalan pendakwaraya, macam mana? Kita tak ada kuasa." (There are a lot of cases we suggested to the DPP (Deputy Public Prosecutor) which is valid to us but to him (DPP), there’s not enough evidence. He is the expert and the final say is with him, so what can we do? We don’t have the power)
Apanama pointed as the result of the initial report by Malaysiakini, it was further spun out of context, leading to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz to criticise Shukri by calling him ‘weak’.
Independent MP Wee Choo Keong also criticised the journalism ethics of the news portal, calling it gutter journalism.
“They (Malaysiakini) will spin everything out of context to suit their fancy. That is their type of “independent journalism,” the Wangsa Maju MP said.
“Their practice does not help nation-building at all. They keep publishing unsubstantiated stories, quoting unconfirmed sources and keep misleading the public.“
Meanwhile Shukri when contacted by The Mole said he is more focused on curbing corruption and would prefer to be silent on the matter.
“I have too much work to do in fighting corruption and I have to focus on my work. Sorry if my answer is not satisfactory,” he said in a text message.
Asked whether he will consider taking legal action over the news report, Shukri further replied: “Sometimes silence is better than saying anything.”