Jamaluddin: How can they name me without verifying it first?
KUALA LUMPUR: Questions regarding The Malaysian Insider’s professionalism have arisen as a result of complaints by Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis and the New Straits Times Press that the portal published false information.
On March 23 The Malaysian Insider published an article headlined 'Five issues holding up likely June polls, say sources'. The article reported that Jamaluddin had been named as BN Manifesto Committee chairman and that he had attended a briefing with New Straits Times journalists.
Jamaluddin wrote a letter to the news portal, demanding an apology and the removal of the article.
Subsequently NSTP group managing editor Abdul Jalil Hamid also sent a letter to The Malaysian Insider over the matter, demanding an apology for the report as well as its follow-up article entitled 'Jamaluddin Jarjis denies TMI report -- Jahabar Sadiq'.
Both letters were published by The Malaysian Insider.
In a post published yesterday, blogger Benchmark questioned the professionalism of The Malaysian Insider in light of the complaints by Jamaluddin and New Straits Times Press.
“Both Jamaluddin or JJ as he is popularly known and NSTP may have been clear victims of the Malaysian Insider’s latest fabrication but the real victim is the level of professionalism among Malaysian journalists,” the blogger wrote.
“How else would one view the latest fabrication spun by the Malaysian Insider,” he continued, “that has both JJ and the NSTP all riled up, other than the sorry state of the professionalism of the vocation?”
He added: “If JJ’s letter didn’t do enough to expose Jahabar and The Malaysian Insider’s lack of professionalism, NST’s group managing editor Abdul Jalil Hamid has followed up with a similar demand of apology and retraction over the same article they said was manufactured.”
“While The Malaysian Insider has dutifully published both JJ and Jalil’s letters, the news portal or rather Jahabar’s professionalism continues to be questioned,” he said.
Blogger Freddie Kevin also criticised The Malaysian Insider. He wrote on March 24 that the portal “never learns” and that its follow-up report was nothing but spin.
“What it means is, it was a bald-faced lying report by The Malaysian Insider that only benefits the opposition, stinks to the high heavens and questions the credibility of this news portal, again and again,” Freddie wrote.
Jamaluddin, the MP for Rompin, said when contacted by The Mole that he was shocked by the initial report.
“There is the need for me to set the record straight about the report. Especially when such a position did not exist and I was not in the so-called meeting,” he said.
He further said that people are not easily fooled by fabrications and that this latest incident will only reveal the credibility of the news portal.
“I think at the end of the day people will evaluate what is the truth, and lies,” he said.
While Jamaluddin said he was still considering legal action against The Malaysian Insider and wants to “look at the situation first”, he wondered about the portal’s standard of journalism.
“Is this what professionalism means?” he asked. “I don’t know how they can simply name me in the report, without trying to clarify it with me first.”
“Of course I am not an expert in journalism but I believe any professional news agency would verify the statement made by the source,” he added.