Wednesday, 2 August 2017

cakap cakap...Mustapha Kamil ex Editor NST on 1MDB

Slowly but surely, the underlying issues afflicting 1MDB rears its ugly head.
Looking back, I can't help but recall those days in the newsroom where we took, or were rather instructed to take, every effort to keep the problems at 1MDB under the radar.
Stories regarding the fund must be kept straightforward, not to veer from the official lines, without any additional comments to add perspectives.
I recall that all 1MDB stories were more or less straight publication of its often short press releases. And since very few government official said anything of substance about the fund, little else were told about 1MDB to the public.
Since I left slightly more than a year ago, things had not changed. The mainstream press remain reluctant in pursuing balanced coverage on 1MDB. Worse, they too entered the fray with politicians in saying the issue was politicised.
But numbers do not lie and even then, some were quietly concerned that it was only a matter of time before the truth comes out.
Today, 1MDB, now under mounting pressure both financially and operationally, has put Malaysia under bad light.
It has missed the first RM2.58 billion payment due to the Abu Dhabi-based IPIC. Another of the same amount is due on December 31st, and there are several other equally huge financial obligations.
The press cannot hide this anymore. These are numbers, complete with documentary support in the form of notifications to the London Stock Exchange.
1MDB has failed. There is no other way of telling its story.
And like I had told some of my former colleagues in the newsroom once, it will drag down all other vital institutions, including the press, and the nation, with it.
All because these institutions did not stay true to their purpose of existence.

Mustapha Kamil
Ex editor, NST.