Wednesday, August 09, 2006


The butchered and the butcher in the newsroom ... Brenda Lim is one pissed off journalist. They gave her a byline for this story datelined Tronoh ("Dr M goes for MBs of Perak, Perlis", NST, Aug 8) but she told friends that the passages in bold were not her work.

"Dr Mahathir, whose three sons and other family members controlled or owned substantial shares in a number of listed companies during his tenure as prime minister, questioned who had lent Khairy the RM9 million to buy a minor interest in financial services company ECM Libra Berhad late last year."

The butcher here is Brendan Pereira, the faithful Singapore-trained disciple of Singapore-trained Kalimullah Hassan, both out to malign Dr M and make sure that the former PM and the PM do not patch up.

Dr M mentioned Brenda's name twice yesterday for the article that carried her byline but he was obviously quite aware of Brendan's butchery:

"The PM did not mention my children (during the TV interview) but Brendan Pereira did ... he thought he should add a little bit more to make things more interesting," Dr M told reporters yesterday.

Brenda Lim is no greenhorn, having been a journalist for the past decade. But this is the first time anyone has blatantly altered her newsreport to suit a political agenda. She is hurt and she is distressed.

Brendan is NST group editor courtesy of Kalimullah Hassan, the group's editorial adviser, who wrote the June 11 column in The Sunday Times which blatantly lied about circumstances surrounding a meeting between the PM and Dr M in Tokyo. Kalimullah has refused to apologise to Dr M.


  1. Anonymous2:53 am

    rocky, brenda lim wasnt born yesterday. she should know that working in an organisation like the nst means you have no say when it comes to the end product. the top editors edit to suit their political masters. i presume you know that. i think dr mahathir is aware of that. censoring or glossing over reporters' stories is the norm rather than the exception. it happened before dr m's time, it happens now, and it will happen when somebody else takes over. that is a FACT. this is a legacy of dr josef goebbels.

  2. Brendan again! phewww! Now im sure our 10 minutes Prime Minister didn't read newspaper.

  3. Will this be considered as 'misquoting' or 'misreporting'?

    With BP, machiavellian's darker principles are alive and definitely being kicked around.

    From elegant to eloquent, back to elegant and perhaps, next, elephantine silence. The carcass is obviously bloating up with hot air-ish verbal semantics. Can a dead jumbo fart? Leave it to BP. Heck, he might just make it dance with a little snip and slot.

    And Zam is still trying to figure out how to skin a cat, I suppose.

  4. nstman: I totally endorse and confirm your observations.

    ALL MSM news clearers do that -- APLIFY, mainly as backgrounding, as for political motive, I leave that to Readers' judgment! -- and when professionally done, enhances the copy. Brenda -- with a decade's experience, should "appreciate" that fact.

    The key point is: is the added "information" like this one "whose three sons and other family members controlled or owned substantial shares in a number of listed companies during his tenure as prime minister" a FACT of Fiction?

    If FACT, then Let It Be. If fiction, then the Reporter should sue the clearing Editor to protect her integrity. Of course her case is better if the "subject/s" himself/themselves also launch a milliuon-ringiit suit. Then all the parties can have another ound of coursthip.

  5. Anonymous12:05 pm

    Rocky, when I saw that report by Brenda, I realised there was some `enhancement' done to it. This is not new. I still remember during the Tun - Anwar days, some of the journalists' report were creatively amended to suit the GE's framing then. So this is normal-lah my friend. Hari ini Brendan's time. Later some else's lah!

  6. Anonymous12:36 pm

    Dear Rocky Bru,
    It has been brought to my attention that we r looking for a new PM to replace AAB.Lest everyone forget about me ,let me introduce my self in more personal level.Eversince retiring from movie industry i am freer to indulge myself in my
    Since politic is not a serious matter in Mlaysia i think my partial involvement would be adequate what more with elegance,eloquent silence is in vogue at the moment.I dont have any kids with my Malaysian wife,bless her,for Malaysian to worry about nepotism .
    Neither do i have any skeleton in my trunk like homosexuality,mistresses,previous corruption charges like TSMTyson ,good for nothing character like KKangsar MP,too many machai or wives and i never act with Maya Karim.Qualification wise ,i did some filming in Oxford and Cambridge thus it look quite presntable .Appearance wise my hair is still fulland dyed black,thicker than RPetra, though to some my bat ear still too displeasing but thats too minor to argue.
    If hereditary is a problem my wife is a good lineage...though not married to PM daughter or thing like that(i feel that is too chekai,my wife agree with me)my wife is is great7 granddaughter of Parameswara ,yes the great Parmeswara the Malaysian founding father,not that she brag about it ,just that i found out that her greatmother surname is Parameswari ...therefore by default though not related to TAR,THO,TDM,TAR or DSV(Dato Samy Velu)am all qualified for all to see.
    Money is not a problem thus i wont take ppl's money'for my personal wealth rest assured.
    Oh yes am looking for this chap called Al Ghazali too,it seems that it is very very important for me to know him before i become PM.(.please fwd his email or blog space if happen to know this chap)If i get to him first it would be a coup coz apparently The PM is still looking for him.
    Am fully neutered,sorry naturalised malay , my certificate which was signed by a Surgeon proved that i bled my self for my new race .Thus not many can claim that i give my blood to my Bangsa..for all intent and purposes i am a malay.Just imagine the impact of campaign poster stating that "The Future PM who has spilled the blood for the people" need to verify this with my wife first because i told i only did that for my love for her but...she is the people too!!The subtle point u must take note in the last point is that i can find my way in tight situation which will be in good use if u r a PM.
    I made my own decision all my life(except that potong bit because my wife insisted that it must go...thats the only time she influence my decision in my life) and sometimes i doi write my own script in my film which can really moved the audience,i saw them crying hearing me in my film.Normally they would give standing ovation so am quite used to adulation you see
    So Rocky Bru, for u i reserve something special..NST chief editor post amacam? Garu2 me and you as usual

    Thank you
    ps can u email me UMNO membership form?

  7. Anonymous12:39 pm

    Bro, I don't think re-orientation of a story should come as a surprise to any editors (past and present) including you, Kadir, Hardev Kaur, Nazri, Brendan, Kali etc...etc.

    Hardev Kaur was known to change a storyline after everybody in BT went back home to make her look good in the eyes of Putrajaya and her buddy-buddy friends from the corporate world. The next day, the story was so much different (complete with grammatical errors) that the reporter had to shoot himself/herself in the head (figuratively).

    Kadir also did the same especially when it involved his good buddies in the corporate world and Putrajaya. But the consolation to the reporter was that the English was much better and the facts presented were more believable. No need to "shoot in the head" here".

    I don't know about you. Maybe you did the same while at BT and Malay Mail. Maybe not.

    So the morale of the story is.....(please continue, anybody)

  8. Anonymous12:52 pm

    The dandiprat & the solipsist’s idiotic indignation to protect the cabal

    The dandiprat has a ruthless streak that borders on the psychotic. He will use reporters earnest work as collateral damage to push the callow cabal's agenda the same way A. Gunasegaram has been used to shield the cabal.
    Reporters know that they simply cannot refuse an assignment to cover Dr Mahathir Mohamad so there's little protection for them against Brendan's malignant spin. They can refuse to cover Dr M but it would be tough.
    But Brendan's handiwork is a well-known maneuvre endorsed by the Sith Lord: lies, half-truths, misinformation and misdirection are outlandishly seeded in anything that protects the cabal, shield Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and demonise Dr Mahathir. I won't dwell too much on Brendan's predictable pontificating.
    But here’s something for the ages that I want to elaborate: an extremely common figure of speech to describe a poster’s repugnancy of Gunasegaram’s fetid commentator’s assault against Dr Mahathir farcically twisted into a violent threat of gunning down The Edge’s editor.
    Editors and investigative journalists have previously received real threats of bullets in the mail and telephone calls from nefarious-sounding strangers. Gunasegaram’s threat comes from a line written by a garden-variety blog poster and on any other day, the farce would have been trifling except that it is rooted in a self-inflicted, malignant force sweeping the Malaysian politico-corporate landscape.
    Never for a moment could anyone, Gunasegaram included if his marbles are still knocking, imagine that the phrase has to have a deadly fait accompli, a practical consequence, that somebody would actually brandish a gun, fill it with live bullets and pull the trigger in the direction of Gunasegaram. Does he or any writer in Malaysia know how rabidly absurd it sounds?
    In America, perhaps the shooting of a journalist is plausibly in the same realm as assassinating Presidents and FBI mob witnesses, due to the derangement that generally infects Americans. But in Malaysia, to get a journalist shot is a fakery, a wild fantasy. If Malaysians do kill, it is only against gruesome characters in the brutishly feral video games like Doom or Quake.
    Perhaps Gunasegaram has this solipsist delusion that his critics want to “take him down” to stop his “heroic” critiques. He may be Dr Mahathir’s nastiest critic but he is not worth the rigor mortis arising from the phoney belief that he is an assassin’s target.
    Nobody, but nobody, is going to slay Gunasegaram with a bullet though a few ill-disposed antagonists may want him figuratively dead – from CHOKING on his own loathsome, red herring, anti-Mahathir rhetoric. I sincerely want him alive and animated so that everything he writes from now on can be kicked around like the football Dr Mahathir detests.
    That police report stunt must have been flattering merit points for Gunasegaram’s near-future editorial sainthood. The Edge’s editor-in-chief’s post beckons perhaps?
    Oh, I know what Gunasegaram fears more: that the gun won’t shoot real bullets but pepper spray. That would be more realistic. Or a water pistol loaded with dog piss. That would be more articulate, especially after lodging that inane police report, which should justify shooting him! I will laboriously explicate here that “shooting” is a figure of speech in case Gunasegaram is idiotic enough to believe that I meant “shot with a Smith & Wesson.” Shot with dog piss is more than he deserves.
    Now, how could a writer of Gunasegaram’s stature amplify a trivial phrase used for eons by writers more respectable and famous than he is to mean chastised/chided/thrashed? Or did he “fall for it” with a cynical smile and a wink before lodging the police report?
    It would only mean a significant return to the recurring theme that I have expounded: the police report is one of many diversions and deflections to protect the cabal shielding the wheedle-prone Prime Minister and demonising Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his temerity to bombard questions that Abdullah or the cabal can’t or refuse to answer.
    Gunasegaram’s police report stunt qualifies as a deflection tactic that played into the cabal’s clamour for public approval of the mass sell-out underway now. The normally reticent Ho Kay Tat, a chief ally to Kalimullah Hassan, our resident unrepentant fact cribber/fudger, made himself available for a show of contrived outrage. Whether Gunasegaram lodged the report with the cabal’s subtle prodding is a vexing poser.
    The stunt, which merely wastes police resources to arrest more right lane huggers and jaywalkers, exposes the premier cabal weakness: abject desperation, one that bloggers and posters alike have scraped raw. For that, the cabal will now resort to a bagful of dirty tricks that seems to have a bearing on a slew of socio-political/economic upheavals reverberating the national landscape that may be visualised through the common theme of manipulation:
    Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s goes ballistic against the cabal wheedling the Abdullah administration and the Malaysian media and all he has to show for it is a reactionary but dubious pepper spray whodunit;
    Pas and its horde of Taliban-like zealots try to crush a civilised discussion on multi-religious bearings vis-à-vis the Constitution;
    Two rivals of contrasting ideological persuasions – Barisan and Pas – massing the streets to stage a comically haphazard and rancorous but rhetorically calibrated anti-US/Israel (but not anti-Singapore) rant against the Israeli military bombardment of Lebanon, using dramatically overblown if not epileptic battle cry (see SIL’s antics);
    the latest but seasonal threat to clamp down media practitioners that now encompass feisty but very knowledgeable (very reliable too it would seem) bloggers and websites that won’t play ball with the Establishment;
    an economic morass that the Abdullah administration is just beginning to arrest with the so-called Johor Super Corridor, a not-so-subtle return to mega projects, except that its dubbed BIG, BIGGEST, HUGE, MASSIVE; and,
    security problems and the perception that crime is escalating but the cops still deal with shrugging nonchalance.
    Toss the usual political soap opera, both foul and engaging, and these are, again, deliriously giddy times for the political and, yes, for my justification for being, journalistic animals. Toss a bit more economical and religious permutations and it may soon be 1969, 1987 and 1998 all over again, hopefully without the violence.
    Any time these elements collide, we get to view a first class show of Malaysian mettle and dross. After a while, mettle and dross appear indistinguishable.
    Like the abhorred Indonesian-generated haze that ghosts in annually, bands of politicians and gaggles of journalists, and a battalion of security types dive into the trenches of human will, insecurity, recalcitrance, greed and malice, adding volatility to an already trenchant stratosphere. It’s a spectacle we are only too familiar with.
    It doesn’t matter if it is in Kota Baru, Kuala Lumpur or Johor Baru: the confrontational forces that power the Malaysian democratic fibre become machinations of frustration and anger, but for our sakes, also of hope and enlightenment.
    It is Malaysia at its most dumbfounding desirability.

  9. Anonymous2:24 pm

    Hey Zam, apa dah jadi dengan kamu punya cakap besar. Kamu kata kamu kenal baik Pak Lah. Kamu kata Pak Lah akan buang Kali dan gengnya dari NST. Mana ada. Brendan kasi tau sama semua orang Pak Lah suruh dia stay back.
    Ada member jumpa Kali di rumah Francis Yeoh. Dia kata mayat lagi cantik dari Kali. Dia kata kali stressed. Itulah jadi, kalau banyak-banyak spin. Lama-lama kepla naik pining. Zam lagi angan-angan ka? Boleh mimpi la jang, Pak Lah haram tak buang Kali punya.
    But who's this Brenda Lim? SYT ka? Not there when I was there. She's a Kali gang too?
    Read Star today? Scomi and Umno and PM company MRCB are bidding for Penang Monorail project. Pak Lah lying or what. He said Kamal does business abroad only.

  10. Anonymous5:39 pm

    We are all have the right to support or not to support, to read and not to read NST and other publications in the group - BH, HM and MM. We can choose to buy or not to buy NST and other publications. As far as I am concerned, many staffs in the group are looking for new jobs. They want to leave NSTP, even with a lower pay. I don't know.

    Anak Lima

  11. Anonymous7:49 pm

    He is no Malaysian and has no business medelling in the Malaysian problem. Sent him home to where he belongs or he may be very damaging towards malaysian unity. He cannot be patrotic to Malaysia because he is no Malaysian. He may be working for a grand Agenda to see a weaker malaysian nation. Send him home where he belongs before he destroy our beloved country, Malaysia

  12. Anonymous7:52 pm

    rocky's bru( print my message pls )

    turely malaysian

  13. Anonymous12:33 pm

    Mr Rock,

    I am a liporter, and I have had stuff 'sunat-ed' from my article before.

    That one I understand lah... my boss took me one side and said, "eh, boy ah... you can only handle one defamation case at the time".

    Fair enough loh...

    But this Brenda... her article kena forced breast implants... really not professional of Breandan loh...

    Not good journalism loh...

  14. Anonymous4:39 pm

    To Herman Harianto, U think Malaysiakini has integrity!!!come on man, grow up!!!putting the blame on the police for that pepper-sprayed incident involving TDM in Kota Bharu was in bad taste, again displaying the police bashing agenda by Malaysiakini, ultimately undermining the public's confidence on the PDRM. True, Malaysiakini retracted the report and apologised, but the damage has been done. Again, this also reflects negative journalism practiced by Malaysiakini i.e. anti-Mahathir stand, demonising, and the endless assault on TDM. I think this is grossly unfair to someone who has devoted almost his entire life in pushing Malaysia to greater heights.

    Remember the familiar saying " Ask an enemy and you will hear all the bad things of a person, ask a friend and you will hear all the good things in him". I hope Malaysiakini do not fall into this category, and that goes to the Kali controlled newspapers as well.

  15. Anonymous6:53 pm

    No big issue here any way.editors working in companies owned by political parties, will have to edit the paper as per the whims and fancies of the political master or the flavour the current times.Are NSTP or even the Star truly independent of their political owners and their agenda! So Rocky what is different from the times when you were the editor?

  16. Anon, interesting observation but not true. Editors must never hide behind reporters' bylines.

    In Brenda's case, Brendan should have dropped her byline from the story. What he did was not fair - even damaging - on the reporter. If I were Brenda, I would file a complaint against the butcher. Professionals don't have to tolerate such unprofessional and unethical behaviour.

    I have never butchered a reporter's news story to score political points. But that's because 1/ I never felt any need to suck up to the so-called political masters 2/ I had editors who backed me up and put their necks on the line for me.

    As Business Times editor, I was accused as anti-government by the government and "summoned' by several ministers (Dr Ling and Lim Ah Lek were two) for BT's critical pieces. The PM then made unkind remarks about the paper's stand and editors. Kamal Badawi had asked Kalimullah (who was then not in the NST) for help to stop the stories, but we kept on writing. When Kalimullah became the NSTP boss, Kamal insisted on filing a suit against the BT and its editor over those stories (or at least that was what Kalimullah told me then).

    The Malay Mail had always been a gung-ho tabloid; under my editorship it just go gung-ho my way. Yushaimi, Lional, Yusri and many others at the tabloid were journalists who get their hard-ons only from coming out with great page 1 stories. I incurred the wrath of MBs, Ministers, councillors, corporate leaders. The PM was not happy, he accused me of not supporting his government; and the DPM (Pak Lah) was not happy with me (for blowing up a story on a potential Singapore military threat).

    After three years editing BT (98-01), they told me they wanted to collapse the BT into NST. The move would push up the circulation of NST to 180,000 copies, they said.

    And, as you know, they decided to make MM a funky teeny paper early this year. The MM's editorial & journalistic b.lls got too big for some people's liking. Almost every other day I was told the PM (Pak Lah) was not happy with the MM.

    Right to the end, I never let the butchers into my newsroom.

  17. Anonymous11:57 am

    hey rocky,

    u wanna know something... actually you writing about brenda lim in your blog caused more stress to her than her reading the mutilated story by her editor, mr brenda "pariah" pereira.

    how do i know... well u tahu tahulah brother. anyway to say brenda lim is an experienced writer is soooo wrong. she has hardly spent more than seven years in the company.

    but, of course, the issue is her magnum opus on mahathir... well, she is not exactly pissed with her editor. she is just afraid that mahathir will sue her. she actually fancies brendan and really doesn't like people hitting at the nst bosses... surprised me.

    don't beleive me, ask her yourself, bru. i think the direct number of the ipoh office is 05-2549022.

  18. Anonymous12:45 pm

    dear rocky (and all the rest of you,)

    kudos for you, rocky. I was in the MM. I was also in the NST.
    I know you, though not as a friend but as a boss, an editor.
    I remember very well how kalimulllah wanted to get rid of you. We talkd about this in the canteen, warong, mutiara.
    We know how he would only walk into the MM newsroom when you were NOT around.
    we know what he said about you to destroy your credibility -- that you were never in, that you work only 3 hours a day. It is so easy to spread these things. But we know you didnt work 3 hours a day. you were probably in the office less than 8 hours but that did NOT mean you were not working.
    How could you not be working when the MM got bigger when u took over. The Malays have a word for Kalimullah's feelings towards you. It is plain and simple DENGKI. We knew how inexperienced he was. We knew you were BIGGER a jounralist than he could ever hope to be. You easily outlclassed/outleagued brendan. These people had never fought battles as a journalist, much less WARS.
    Some people may hv been intimidated by your style of leadership, yr guts. But there were more who appreciated wht u did for the MM. who respected you.
    This is not a bodek comment. Everyone has faults and imperfections. So do you. But the bigger picture is that you delivered and you wr a professional. You pissed (off) Kalimullah. We hv seen how he was when he talked to you. And how you were when you talked to him.
    We know one thing --- you listened to yr reporters. You may hv had yr own view and finally yr decision, but you were willing to hear us out.
    I think you were too too hot for Kalimullah and the NST under Kalimullah.
    That is why he has paid off some people to write dirt on you and your friends. Cowardly too, because they dare not reveal their identities.
    Know the leader and you'd know their machai. Know the machai and you'd know their leader.
    Works (out right) everytime.

  19. Anonymous12:53 pm

    editors clean up reporters' spties all the time. spinning is as old as journalism.
    it is just that the people -- such as kalimula and brendan -- are so amateurish. They spin so bad that they are kill the person they are supposed to be helping.
    Kalimula was hot shot in the Star back when he was with the paper. But he was neither trusted nor respected by his peers or his bosses. He would feed information to different parties/people/leaders. I think most politicians "know him".
    As for Brendan...he is just an orang suruhan. A well paid orang suruhan.
    Between them, they hv no idea how to handle their "gasing" job. This aint Singapore, man.

  20. Anonymous1:15 pm

    that's exactly my point Rocky ! if you edit your paper according to journalistic ethics,and are impartial to the agenda of the owners of the paper ( in M'sia - the political parties ) then you fall out of favour.You apparently fell out of favour in BT & MM, Kadir & Dollah,in NST.Even pak Samad was a victim. He too was shuffled out. That's one of the main reasons, why the the general perception that papers like NST & Star are govt. mouth pieces and only report what is pleasing to the political masters. Why do you think blogs like rocky bru's, kadir's,RPK & others are so widely read. 1) Just to obtain the alternative views on happenings within the country & With these views the man in the street is able to decide, where is the spin and what are the facts reported!An editor should have the guts to give his opinion / comments on events effecting the general public, without fear or favour.If he needs to critize the govt i.e. the PM, or mmembers of the ruling party, he should do so without any second thoughts.Like wise he has anything good to say about them he should say so. But then again how many such editors do we really have!

  21. Anonymous11:20 am

    well, if that is the kind of NST reporter Brenda is... good. She is defensive of her NST bosses. Good for her.
    she likes brendan. goood-lah. we dont want to teach people to dislike other people.
    you cannot expect everyone to know brendan for what he really is.
    for every one brenda there are 10 others who who are not like her.
    and that is okay, i say.