Monday, June 07, 2010

Of Malaysia's first lady position and NYT's flip flop explanation...

I guess by the time this posting hits the waves, the Malaysian parliament would have endorsed a strong worded statement condemning the Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla. Najib can't afford to lose face on this issue, not when PR managed to gather thousands of marchers to US embassy in protest of the said Israel attack.

Let the rest comment on the Israel-Gaza issue. For this writer, life is getting much better now with NYT (New York Times) admitting mistakes on the "First Lady of Malaysia" issue.

The Nut Graph, in its byeline "New York Times admits mistakes" dated 7th June 2010, reportedly mentioned that NYT retracted its earlier statement that an ad placed in the paper was placed by Malaysian government. Can you believe that? NYT, one of the leading papers in USA and certainly in New York make the mistakes! If it happens to Berita Harian or Utusan, that it's quite forgiving es[pecially if it matters UMNO and UMNO-linked personalities. NYT? It's downright baffling...

Consider other statements by NYT regarding the same issue :-

  1. In NYT internal system, the ad was reserved as Government of Malaysia but in fact the ad was not placed by Government of Malaysia. The ad was signed by "Family and friends in the USA and Malaysia";
  2. NYT can tell that the ad was not paid by Government of Malaysia but it is not NYT's practise to release the names of who placed the ad;
  3. It took NYT 18 days to realise that they make a mistake and the mistake is made by one Diane McNulty who is the Executive Director (Community Affairs and Media Relations). The person who corrected the mistake is one Abbe Serphos who is Director (Public Relations);
  4. Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) President regrettted that BCIU's well intended gesture became something of a political issue;
Is something cooking here? Why the protracted reply? It is simply fishy here.... Whilst the Government has taken a "silent elegance" approach to the issue, The Nut Graph should be commended for their continuity in tracking the issue.

NYT and BCIU's response needs further explanation such as :-
  1. How can NYT being one of the foremost papers in USA make a simple "internal system" blunder? Is it a genuine mistake or is this another of those corporate exercise to "make up" the real story? Why is NYT holding back the information? And why does it take them 18 days to correct an "internal system" mistake? Is NYT fiddling on how much they face to "lose" if the "actual story" surfaces?

    NYT would do us a good community service if they could identify the person(s) who placed the ad. Who are they? It is almost sure that the person(s) are not just an average Joe or those from the streets. Malaysian average Joes can't afford to splash over RM 600,000 to place an ad in NYT! And nobody in his right frame of mind would placed that particular ad proclaiming Rosmah as the "First Lady of Malaysia"!

    Who is"Family and Friends in the USA and Malaysia"? If these person(s) are titled with Tun, Tan Sri, Datuk or whatever, then it is the Government's onus to take actions to advise DYMM Agung or the state rulers to revoke the title from these person(s) for "mis-informing" US public on who is the real "First lady of Malaysia"! And who else if not Najib to take the lead as these person(s) who uses "Family and Friends in the USA and Malaysia" had created an issue, be it on "purpose" or by "accidental" mistake.

  2. NYT should be firm in their stand. Is the ad ordered and placed by Malaysian Government but paid for by third parties? Is JJ, our roving ambassador involved? Is Wisma Putra involved? Is Sarawak government involved?

    Was the ad ordered by Malaysian government, designed by Malaysian advertising agency and paid by "Family and Friends in the USA and Malaysia"? Who is the advertising agency? Are they Malaysians? If they are, is the ad done on purpose or a "genuine" mistake has occurred?

    Why is JJ quiet on this? Why is Malaysian Foreign Ministry quiet on this? Why is the PM's department quiet on this? Were they praying for the issue to be blown over and surpassed by other immediate issues like Gaza-bound aid, Perkasa, independent consensus, GAS and the rest?

  3. How is it possible for a much junior staff of NYT corrected her superior? Why didn't Diane corrected the mistake herself? Is this NYT's PR exercise to minimise damage? Something for everybody?
  4. BCIU painted it as a political issue. What BCIU failed to understand or conveniently refused to understand is - Rosmah is NOT the "First lady of Malaysia"! There is nothing political about it.

    As it is, the general consensus amongst Malaysians is - Raja Permaisur Agung IS the "First lady of Malaysia"! If BCIU failed to understand this, then it is questionable on how BCIU chose Rosmah as their recipient for "humanitarian and charity work" award when BCIU could not correctly identify who is the real "First lady of Malaysia"!

    Worse still - if BCIU chose Rosmah as its inaugural recipient of its award based on write-ups provided by Rosmah's "groupies". It will be disgraceful if BCIU did not do it's homework thoroughly and read the recipient's accomplishment based on the recipient's own write-up. Is this not a case of "masuk bakul, angkat sendiri"? Or is BCIU adapting - the anything goes strategy to award Rosmah?

For the time being, let's wait for the next installment of NYT explanation and "memanti buah tak luruh" from our Malaysian government on the said issue...

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...


kluangman said...

Segalanya bukannya duit tetapi duit boleh 'bayar' untuk iklan 'minta maaf'.

Jati Diri said...

Kadang-kadang kita punyalah taksub sehingga orang putih "mengaku salah" pun kita masih tidak mahu menerima kenyataan. Bagi kita orang putih BETUL selalu. Punyalah taksub.

Lepas tu kalau orang melayu pula, belum mengaku salah lagi sudah dikatakan salah.

Itulah taksub tahap gaban!

Anonymous said...

What if someone were to make a police report on the person(s) who place the ad for disgracing the Raja Permaisuri Agong. (Naming Rosmah as the first lady) Will NYT have to reveal who paid for the ad?

nightcaller said...


Betul, kerana Duit...NYT "Do it" :)


Bukan soal taksub tetapi apabila kwailo yang dianggap mempunyai pendirian bebas bersifat demikian, ia menimbulkan kecurigaan...

Lain pula dengan Melayu - terlalu syiok dengan "berahi" sehingga apa yang berlaku didalam kain pun dihuraikan dalam mahkamah...wallahualam.

Anon 8:34

I believe that if our "roving" ambvassador do his job, NYT will reveal who paid the ad. The problem is - the government is completely silent on this and the MSM do not cover the news.

Basic arithmetics of 2 + 2 = 4 implies that there is something not correct regarding the ad. I am glad Nut Graph is pursuing the matter and I, for one, definitely wants to know who paid the ad :)

Anonymous said...

Permaisuri Agong adalah Queen of Malaysia.. Isteri Perdana Menteri is the First Lady..

Itu pun nak politik kan ke??

Kenapa diorang tak marah bini PM Britain guna First Lady sedangkan Queen elizabeth itu ketua negara??

Kenapa Queen Rania Jordan org tak panggil First Lady?

Pasal diorang itu QUEEN la bongok!!

nightcaller said...


Pls read Malaysian constitution before you get all riled up :)

Anonymous said...

Jangan gunakan bahasa yang kurang ajar tanpa usul periksa. Anda mengaibkan diri sendiri...

FC said...

Liar! there are no general consensus amongst us who is the first lady of malaysia. people are divided between 2 groups in this area.

1)who gives a fuck!
2)people who have too much time in their hands to care about a stupid title.

nightcaller said...

Anon 12:00pm

Thks for reminding


Consensus or not, it's time to face the issue and resolve on who is the "first lady".

Profanities is not the way to discuss an issue. On point 2, if everybody is chasing for time because "Time is gold", then why are people still addressing the Tuns, Tan Sris, Datuks, YBs and all sorts of titles before they can go to the main speech?

The answer is respect. If we do not care to respect others, then how do we expect others to respect us? What goes around comes around...and one day you will find that out :)

Prodemo said...


you are humiliating yourself. please understand M'sia constitution before you post. The fat rosmah is definitely not first lady, nor she deserves it.