Friday, January 21, 2011

Sarawak Report fails the standard

Article From Sarawak Watch

I respect Julian Assange and admire his WikiLeaks. They don’t throw out opinions or make public pronouncements of guilt. They do not hide behind a wall of anonymity. The transparency of democracy they profess in is found within the way they work

Not so with our local version of Wikileaks – Sarawak Report.

Who is Sarawak Report anyway? No one knows – except the man (or woman) behind it and the people supporting it with illicitly obtained or doctored documents which are published with malicious intent.

A basic search on the internet revealed that the website is registered in the UK under Christian Nolle Enterprises in London while technical management is handled by Webfusion Limited based in Uxbridge, Middlesex.

Christian Nolle is a high end web design company which also designs for the Kofi Annan Foundation, Oxford Research Group, Oxford’s Sustainable Security and Nelson Mandela’s The Elders, among others. They offer not only excellent website designs but also a very strict confidentiality policy and none of this comes cheap, with prices beginning at an estimated £3000 on designs alone, according to a web analyst I talked to recently, unless he said, foreigners were sponsoring it.

Which brings us back to our original question: who is behind Sarawak Report?

This is an important question to answer because of what Sarawak Report claims to stand for – “an alternative vision of justice, transparency and a fairer future in Sarawak”. Alternative, yes but justice, transparency and a fairer future? Definitely NOT if the way they operate is anything for us to go by. The alternative vision they are promulgating seems to be of only destroying the Chief Minister and… Wait a minute, there’s nothing else!

What happens then when the Chief Minister decides to step down on his own accord? Sarawak Report will of course blow its own horn saying to the world,”We made him quit!” ? Which of course isn’t true.

A great many people I talked to have said that Sarawak Report is nothing more than sensationalism par excellence. When it came out, it took the state by storm with its hot issues, which ruffled some feathers at the time but stopped at just that.

Its lack of credible follow-up and usage of the same old images give you an idea of how fast their resources are drying up. So much so that recently, a raid on SADIA by the Police and the Home Ministry for printing offences was blown out of proportions and splashed atop its header as “Taib Strikes Back”, alluding to the image of Taib Mahmud as the Evil Emperor in charge of a kingdom of lackeys who can’t shoot straight.

Sarawak Report, we Sarawakians are no lackeys, and Sarawak is far from being the Evil Empire. We do not need self appointed “Jedi Knights” slashing away at the fabric of our society, disturbing the delicate balance which we have fought so hard to achieve.

Instead of wasting money on the website, use it for the rakyat. Just in case you forgot, we can’t eat bits, bytes or bandwidth

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