What a revelation! Blogger Lim Sian See explains how we may have been conned to think otherwise.
IT seems the Malaysian Home Ministry’s directive to suspend the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27 has caused a big reaction and hue and cry from the public, fellow media companies, politicians and, of course, all those self-proclaimed defenders of “Freedom of Speech/Press/Expression”, truth, justice and the American way.
In my opinion, I think many may have fallen into a clever and pre-planned scheme by The Edge to project itself as a whistle-blower, as the victim and generally to garner lots of sympathy from less alert people.
When you look at the timeline, you will understand why.
- June 22, 2015: Ex-PetroSaudi executive Xavier Justo is arrested in Thailand on suspicions of blackmailing, possession and selling stolen data. At this point in time, all the fingers pointed to Sarawak Report and Clare Rewcastle-Brown made a big hue and cry about protecting Xavier Justo and even wrote an open letter slamming the Switzerland government for not protecting its citizen. At this point in time, no one suspected The Edge of colluding with Clare and being a part of the dealings with Xavier Justo. The Edge also kept silent about the arrest of Justo and passed no commentary on it.
- June 24, 2015: Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says they will investigate The Edge for publishing what it deems to be unverified news.
- June 27, 2015: The Edge said that it will no longer refer to the emails it had published on dealings between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and PetroSaudi International (PSI) amid doubt over the authenticity of the documents after a former top PSI executive was arrested.
- July 1, 2015: Home Ministry issues show-cause letter to The Edge over using unverified PetroSaudi news in their 1MDB coverage stating why they should not be suspended.
The Home Minister said after receiving a report on the arrest from their Thai counterparts that included forensic analysis of the leaked data, that the Malaysian authorities concluded the documents had been tampered with in a bid to tarnish the joint venture.
“We found from the forensic aspect that the leaked data downloaded by the former executive with malicious intent… to distort facts about the transaction between 1MDB and PetroSaudi and the leaked data was published in Sarawak Report and The Edge.
- July 1, 2015: Home Ministry issues show-cause letter to The Edge over using unverified PetroSaudi news in their 1MDB coverage, stating why they should not be suspended .
- July 17, 2015: Shock! Horror! Thai police suddenly held a press conference in Thailand on the Justo arrests. Both the the Bangkok Times and Singapore’s Straits Times reported reported that Justo had met key Opposition leaders, Sarawak Report and a Malaysian media mogul in Singapore and these people were part of the group that dealt with Xavier Justo.
At the same press conference, the Thai police also confirmed that the data was tampered in small but important ways in a bid to undermine the government and overthrow the government. And worst, Thai police say it has all the proof given by Justo on who and how these people were involved..
For the first time, Thai police essentially hinted that The Edge had become a key suspect.
Ever sceptical, Malaysiakini probably did not believe those crony-crony newspapers (such as Straits Times and Bangkok Post from and later on the same day, Malaysiakini decided to personally contact Thailand police spokesperson Major-General Prawut Tavornsiri only to be told by the Major General the following:
“Asked whether the tampering was extensive, Thai police spokesperson major-general Prawut Tavornsiri told Malaysiakini: “The changes are small, but important”.
He said Thai police had made this deduction after interviewing Justo, who insisted to them that only the original documents from PSI were passed on to others.
- July 20, 2015: A mere 3 days later after Thai police had exposed their name, despite keeping quiet for almost a month and saying they will no longer use the documents and email, The Edge went for broke and came out with the article “How Jho Low & PetroSaudi schemed to steal money from the people of Malaysia via 1MDB”.
“We are surprised that these old and unproven allegations are being recycled yet again, when in fact there are multiple ongoing investigations being conducted by the lawful authorities on the issues raised previously.” said 1MDB
Note: Much of the summary article that The Edge is factually incorrect which 1MDB had pointed out in their press statements multiple times.
I have also pointed out the errors many times before on my FaceBook page and also in the following blog posts since I started this blog two months ago:
- The Edge’s “crusade” against Jho Low this week backfires
- You still trust The Edge? The USD260m so-called Jho Low money
- Reply to Sat D’s July 2nd long post on 1MDB (part 1)
- Thailand and Abu Dhabi govt are possible “cronys”, plots to blacken face and auditors should NOT be trusted.
- Jho Low, Prince Turki and Najib photos: Sarawak Report confirms PetroSaudi-1MDB is a G2G Joint Venture
- The “Final Kopek” of Tong and The Edge?
And this was despite having received a show-cause letter from the Home Ministry and the The Edge’s own commitment not to use those documents any more.
Should the Home Ministry just twiddle their thumbs and pretend nothing happened or just issue a “please don’t do it again” letter?Of course the Home Minister was left with NO CHOICE but to suspend the Edge.
- The Edge had offered US$2 million to buy the stolen data and had indeed taken possession of the data
- Various attempts had been made to launder this US$2 million although it was not eventually all paid to Xavier Justo — perhaps some have and as Justo hinted, perhaps some of the money may have landed with a middle-person
- Justo says he has all the proof and has passed all to Thai police and that the Singapore Straits Times have read the full 22-page confession by Justo.
- Xavier said The Edge had mentioned they had planned to modify the documents and bring down the Malaysian government. Treason and conspiracy working with foreign interests.
“I gave the original documents without any kind of alteration,” he claimed. “I can say that I gave those documents to two groups of people,” he added. One was Ms Rewcastle-Brown and “her IT guy” and the other was the Malaysian businessman and his colleague.
He alleged that those he met had talked about using the documents “to try to bring down the Malaysian government”, adding that they also referred to plans to “modify the documents”.
Vary serious charges of treason, falsifying documents, possession of stolen data and money laundering.
Conviction of any of the above crimes in any of the various affected jurisdictions would mean lengthy jail sentences and all the proof is there and a signed confession from a key witness, too.
Note:, If you are thinking that the bunch of bankrupts accusing Sarawak Report of forging documents are not credible,. please read this one and you will realize how easily your attention is diverted and how easily your perceptions are being manipulated.