Yes, it’s true: KINIBIZ will shut down on 1 Feb 2016




The Malaysian Government has over the past few days taken further draconian steps to silence free media from exposing corruption at the highest levels.

On Thursday, Malaysia’s Multimedia and Communication’s body announced that amendments will be made to the Communications and Multimedia Act allowing the Government to block websites that are seen to ‘slander’ the country’s leadership. The authorities are also reported to be attempting to force new ownership on key free internet news portals.

The government has already singled out British-based Sarawak Report by uniquely banning and blocking the site, after it exposed multi-million dollar transfers into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s accounts last year, a matter he has proved unable to refute.

Also last week, there were further unannounced measures taken to simply shut down platforms being used by Malaysian citizens to access the information provided by Sarawak Report. Medium, a popular website, used by thousands of publishers, including Sarawak Report is also now arbitrarily blocked obstructing Malaysians from access to the entire website.

Likewise, an unannounced blackout was also applied against the Hong Kong based Asia Sentinel, which has also doggedly covered Malaysian corruption issues and reported on a number of the investigations conducted by Sarawak Report.

The issue which the Prime Minister plainly wants to censor in these ways is Sarawak Report’s latest coverage of further massive dollar payments into his personal accounts and the links between those payments with kickbacks to the former Abu Dhabi fund manager Khadem Al Qubaisi. Al Qubaisi was involved in huge loss making deals with Malaysia’s development fund 1MDB, from which hundreds of millions of dollars have gone missing and unaccounted for.

Other stories carried by Sarawak Report over the past week, which have caused shock waves through Malaysia, included the news that Najib has been attempting to negotiate his exit (together with a safe passage and access to all his billion dollar accounts) as well as further details on the death of one of the whistleblowers on the 1MDB scandal, Kevin Morais. Morais was brutally suffocated in a barrel of cement and for weeks the authorities attempted to deny that he had been involved in the investigations into Najib’s accounts.

We suggest that, instead of these strong arm tactics against legitimate media coverage, Najib Razak should move to restore his credibility by simply suing Sarawak Report in an independent court of law, in order that the evidence can be scrutinised and witnesses crossed examined. If Sarawak Report and other media are “lying”, as is being suggested by Najib and his supports, then it would be the simplest thing for them to demonstrate that his reputation has been abused.

If the Prime Minister is unable to take these steps and sue Sarawak Report then it is an acknowledgement that our allegations are correct and this is the time for him to resign. Currently, his actions are those of a desperate criminal regime which is abusing the fundamental rights of its people, in order to continue its criminal activities and remain in power.


Window of independent news steadily closing


YOURSAY | ‘After funding cybertroopers, the next logical step is to buy over critical media sites.’

Shake-up in the media industry looms

Kim Quek: It would be a sad day when The Malaysian Insider – one of the few remaining respected web portals – is turned into another mouthpiece of the Umno juggernaut, following the reported surrender of The Edge Media Group owner Tong Kooi Ong to its pressure.

Thus, the window of independent news (on this corrupt regime) that have been filtering through the Internet to this country is steadily closing, following a series of clampdowns by the Malaysian authorities.

Such a drastic bent towards totalitarianism as exemplified by the National Security Council (NSC) Bill is attributed to the determination of one man to stay in power – despite overwhelming incriminating evidence against him, as exposed in the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion scandals.

Hence, it is of utmost importance that these scandals be resolved quickly in accordance with the rule of law, if Malaysia is to avoid eventually morphing into a dictatorship like North Korea, or a failed state like Zimbabwe.

Odin Tajué: Kim Quek, I fear the scandals will not be resolved — at least not in the appropriate manner.

As you are doubtless aware, even the circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly points to PM Najib Razak allegedly benefiting billions, but he is there wielding unassailable power, and most involved in the probes are all ‘cari-ing makan’.

And haven’t some people been saying Malaysia was turning to be a North Korea or a Zimbabwe? It is not turning to be. In fact, it is already worse than either one.

It is Oceania realised. Umno is the Party. The plundering, cowardly, silvery-tongued Bugis warrior wannabe is Big Brother.

Non-Umnoputras are Winston Smiths. They are not supposed to enjoy the dignity of having their own name, see? So, everyone is Winston Smith. They all live in the Prole district.

You have the Ministry of Truth in Putar Jaya, the new capital of Oceania. Portals such as The Malaysian Insider all make up the Fiction Department in that ministry.

Go buy your diary, Winston Smith, but watch your move. Because Big Brother is watching you 24/7 wherever you are.

Wybie: I have all along thought that Tong Kooi Ong would yield to pressure. He is, first and foremost, a businessman.

The way he allegedly played out former PetroSaudi International executive Xavier Andre Justo speaks volumes of his ethics, or the lack of them.

Vijay47: Changing the ownership of a well-patronised news portal need not mean its popularity will continue, since what the people want is a news provider where the reports can be relied on, not propaganda drivel.

So if The Malaysian Insider falls into the hands of pro-Najib Abdul Razak forces, it will simply result in another portal biting the dust.

With its unlimited – and even growing – funds, Umno can keep buying over news sites not in its favour and administer the coup de grace.

But that would not result in the public flocking to the New Straits Times, The Star, or Utusan Malaysia, not even if they were given away free of charge.

Who will be the last man standing? Malaysiakini?

Isana: With their bunch of cybertroopers and paid spinners not doing a good job in winning the cyber warfare, the next logical step is to intimidate and buy over critical media sites.

Well, that’s the power of RM2.6 billion.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.


Malaysiakini not for sale, say co-founders

Malaysiakini is not for sale, said the website co-founders in responding to claims that Umno allies plan to buy out a number of popular news sites, including the country’s No. 1 news portal.

Chief executive officer Premesh Chandran said Malaysiakini has not been approached by such investors nor will the co-founders entertain them.

“We thank our subscribers for supporting us all these years. With their support, we are able to remain financially viable and independent,” said Premesh.

Subscribers pay RM150 per year, or RM388 for three years, to access Malaysiakini.

“We believe asking readers to subscribe is not a big ask,” he said. “In return, we will make sure Malaysiakini remains independent from outside influencers, and continue to report without fear or favour.”

Premesh (photo) said that those who have worked with Malaysiakini would be aware that all editorial decisions are made by the website’s journalists and editors.

Meanwhile, editor-in-chief Steven Gan said the co-founders knew from the get-go 16 years ago that for Malaysiakini to remain independent, it has to be financially independent.

Malaysiakini will not be where we are today without our supporters, each of whom contributes a small sum of money to ensure that our journalists can carry out the website’s mission of holding power to account.”

Gan stressed that it was the intention of the co-founders for Malaysiakini to be led by its team of journalists and editors.

Malaysiakini belongs to them, and to all our readers and supporters.”

Jan 22

The Malaysian Insider Is Up For Sale, KiniBiz To Close Down

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Insider (TMI) news portal has reportedly been put up for sale after its head company, The Edge is currently downsizing, a local English news daily reports.

Citing an internal memo sighted, it states that The Edge is retrenching its staff due to the current economic situation as well as the after-effects of the Home Ministry’s 2-month suspension which negatively impacted its financial position.

The report also said The Edge will re-evaluate its plan to go into broadcast news.

Meanwhile, KiniBiz owned by MalaysiaKini will shut down its print and online business by 1 February.

The official announcement for KiniBiz’s closure will reportedly be made next week.

Jan 22, 2016

The Edge Media Group downsizing; The Malaysian Insider for sale: Report

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The Edge Media Group is downsizing in efforts to focus on its core business.

An internal memo sighted by The Star revealed that the group will be retrenching some staff from various companies, with others assigned new roles within the organisation.

With the two-month suspension of their weekly and daily publications significantly impacting their financials, the downsizing could be the group’s way of weathering weak business and economic conditions in 2016 and 2017.

The Home Ministry had suspended the group’s publishing permit for three months from July 27 last year, and the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Sept 21 quashed the Home Ministry’s decision to suspend its two publications.

With plans to have their own TV news program on a broadcaster falling through, the group’s video content will be reconfigured away from spot news coverage due to a lack of competitive advantage.

According to a source, The Malaysian Insider, which is also owned by The Edge, is also up for sale, while both print and online editions of Kinibiz will shut down on Feb 1.

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  1. Pingback: Yes, it’s true: KINIBIZ to shut down on 1 Feb 2016 | weehingthong

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