On Tuesday (Oct 3), local site The Coverage published an article which claimed that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim possesses millions of foreign wealth. In the brief article, it reported that Liang Teck Meng claimed WikiLeaks had published 20 transactions Anwar made to foreign banks for fix deposit safekeepings. The transactions were made with Singapore and the US dollar, which added up to about RM500 million.
Liang is the secretary-general of Gerakan, a former party from Barisan Nasional coalition that runs independently now.
The story had since got the attention of PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil. Fahmi refuted the claims, saying that they were baseless news which could be traced all the way back to 2003. He warned that the party would take action against any individual who tried to discredit Anwar in running the upcoming Port Dickson parliamentary by-election, Malay Mail reported two days ago.
The article in question credited two links, one to a UMNO blog while another to a broken link by The Star which is believed to be intended for this article by the daily on July 3, 2013. Interestingly, the old report was a story of the same matter where Anwar refuted the similar claim that was made by Liang. Anwar said at the time that Liang read it from a UMNO blog and the exposé entry couldn’t be found on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks. In other words, The Coverage was trying to recycle old news without covering the full scope of the issue
Claims spread in Malaysia that @WikiLeaks published @anwaribrahim's bank account details are false. Liang Tech Meng is pushing a fabrication. WikiLeaks has published significant information about Malaysian politicians but not Mr. Ibrahim's bank accounts. https://t.co/BNyPvdTvuE pic.twitter.com/7tQzhJuo1R
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 4, 2018
With its name being misused, WikiLeaks took to Twitter yesterday to set the record straight. It said that the claims spread in Malaysia were false, citing that it was Liang who was trying to push for a fabrication. The tweet was eventually picked up by local media today, such as Malaysiakini, NST and Malay Mail, and they all pointed towards The Coverage as the fake news messenger.
“The Coverage article had no indications as to when the claim was made,” Malaysiakini wrote.
When contacted by Malaysiakini, Liang admitted his claim was not new and The Coverage had recycled his claim made inside the Dewan Rakyat in 2013 when he was serving as the Simpang Renggam MP.
“I am happy to see Wikileaks clarifying.
“Right is right, wrong is wrong. That is my principle,” said Liang but questioned why WikiLeaks took five years to respond to the “fabrication”.
The Coverage had never shied away from controversies which they often copy-pasted news from other sites with credit mentions come only at the very end of the articles. Take this story about the Altantuya murder case for example, The Coverage copy-pasted word by word from The Guardian.
“Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong loved Najib simply because such corrupted Malaysian leader can be easily manipulated and controlled. As a financial centre, Singapore does not discriminate against dirty or laundered money.”
Be careful what you read online, peeps!
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