Marina was fuming over news reports on The Malaysian Insider on Tuesday. (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar/ The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: Daughter of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir is furious with The Malaysian Insider for linking her in the news report regarding Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) receiving funds from George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI).
The news report headlined: “Apart from democracy groups, Malaysian AIDS Council admits getting Soros funds” stated OSI had funded the council which was once led by Marina.
Marina's angry retorts on Tuesday caught the attention of online social media users and blogger Apanama had published, tweet exchanges between Marina, The Malaysian Insider and its editor Jahabar Sadiq, on his latest blog post.
Apparently angry and upset with the news report, Marina on her Twitter post to the news portal and its editor Jahabar, wrote: “pls (please) clarify that I was President of MAC fm (from) 1994-2005. During my time we nvr (never) rcvd (received) OSI nor Global Fund money."
In another post Marina wrote: “what sort(s) of journalism do u practise that u link me to something I hv (have) nothing to do with just 4 (for) sensationalism?”
On her Facebook status Marina continued to express her displeasure with the state of journalism in Malaysia, describing it as abysmal.
“Spurious claims and linkages are made just to be sensational. That goes for online as well as mainstream media,” she wrote.
When asked by one her Facebook friends whether her status was made in relation to the news report, Marina said:“Vijay, yes. Simple fact checking (is) not done. In their enthusiasm to link me somehow, they neglected to mention that I left in 2005 and we never received OSI money in my time. The editor says his colleague ' was supposed to call me'. Such crap. Why publish if you haven't checked with me?”
Meanwhile in responding to Marina’s posts Jahabar on his Twitter had apologised and said: “my apologies. My colleague was to contact you. We'll put up your response.”
Her response was published in another news report headlined “Marina says no OSI funds during her MAC presidency.”
Furious with the follow up article, Marina wrote on her Facebook post: “I am also furious about them saying that I 'denied' receiving money from the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. When I was there, MAC, along with the Ministry of Health, applied to the GFATM for money but we were rejected because they prioritised countries which did not have domestic resources for funding programmes.
'Denied' is their word, not mine. And if they'd checked what the GFATM is, they'd realise that the M'sian government is one of the governments that contribute to the fund. So no need to make it sound as if it's something that the government would disapprove of.”
In one of her comments Marina pointed out that this is the second misreporting from the news portal, with the previous report involving Bridget Welsh.
Welsh was one of the speakers in a forum called “New Political Activism and Realignment: Implications for Malaysia’s GE13, ″ wrote to The Malaysian Insider on Monday saying its news report had a number of factual errors and that its headline is misleading.
Apanama who in his previous post published Welsh’s article asked : “and now the million dollar question, WHO is the Malaysian Insider 'journalist' who cooked that controversial piece?”