* Photo above of beloved 90s popstar Zainal Abidin. We dunno if this is THE Zainal Abidin from CAGM (most likely not), but we dunno who the real Zainal Abidin is any more. 🙁 IT’S NOT YOU RIGHT? 🙁
So about a month ago, we published an article about a certain Md. Zainal Abidin heading a group called CAGM that was offering RM1 million for anyone with dirt on Tun M. A few days ago, they published another statement from some guy admitting that he was sacked from AmBank for some 1MDB reason. How did we know? Cos everyone covered it – including the Malaysian Insider, Mkini etc.
And then they revealed…
…CAGM (Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia) and this Zainal dude were faking it the whole time. On Wednesday, 15 July 2015, the group dropped the bomb on everyone when they revealed there was NO such thing as CAGM, NO such lawyer by the name Md. Zainal Abidin and NO RM1 million prize to give to whistleblowers.
Unfortunately, whoever wrote the post also forgot how to spell their Chairman’s own name. It’s Abidin with an ‘i’… like our beloved singer… the spelling of which we made sure we clarified properly when we spoke to him over the phone for our original article. Incidentally, he deserves an Oscar Award for his convincing on-the-phone(y) speech and SMS-es. (D’you supposed he memorised his lines or made it up as he went along like Jack Sparrow?)
OMG. Just as we were talking about other media being trolled by Emil, then we also kena!
But in our defense….we never really trusted you anyway
Mentioned a few times in our article, we had our doubts. Not that we didn’t believe they EXISTED. We totally admit, we fell for that. At the back of our minds though we always wondered: what’s your game, CAGM?
- Like when we pointed out that Lim Kit Siang didn’t buy their story.
- Like when we offlink-ed to people’s suspicions about them.
- Like when we questioned, why NOW when Mahathir was just starting to pressure Najib; why NOT all those 20 years he was PM, or 12 years after he retired?
Aaaand, don’t forget our biggest question (aside from WHO was funding them):
WHY NOT GO AFTER NAJIB FIRST?
Y’ know, the current PM, currently in governance? After all, CAGM was all about – albeit falsely – “Accountable Governance” was it not, and Dr. M had quit office a loooong time ago. Oh yeahhh, now we remember the answer ‘Zainal’ gave us on the phone! Here’s an excerpt:
“The sequence has to start with Mahathir because he is the base of the current organisation … 1MDB is more damaging. Najib created 1MDB and Mahathir is calling the shots despite retiring 12 years ago.
If you want to go after Najib, fine.” – ‘Zainal’, in our first article … [Click to read full answer]
*Disclaimer: Errr, so in order to play his game, ‘Zainal’ had to fake allude that Najib got scandal also…?? So, those ‘Zainal’s’ words ya, not ours, kthnx.
Looking back at our old poll, ugaiz answered:
HMMM. Speaking of which…
Why are they only blaming alternative media?
These guys were having a field day mocking alternative media in their blog confession, even though mainstream had also reported about them before. But if CAGM claims to be an ‘experiment’ on the ‘great days of journalism’ in Malaysia, why only mention alternative media? Are they saying mainstream guys don’t deserve to be called ‘journalists’?
Curiously, mainstream media didn’t cover their latest statement (the fake AmBank SD), except to report that it was fake (CILISOS didn’t report on that one either. Sorry, but we were too busy with 1MDB). HMMMM. Conspiracy anyone?
Then, they asked why nobody bothered to check if CAGM was registered with the Registrar of Societies.
But if you don’t mind us asking, as a secret group trying to expose Mahathir, Najib and Abdullah, er… WHY would you have registered your organisation with ROS? More on this later.
They also claimed WSJ fell for their trick (see above and below)…
Tom Wright? Now where have we heard that name before?
Oraite, he’s the one who wrote WSJ’s expose that $700 million from 1MDB was allegedly banked into Najib’s personal accounts. HAH, what a small world. What a small world indeed!
We tried contacting Tom Wright, but no response. We’ll update this part as it develops.
CAGM also not responding anymore
Well, apparently they’re off the radar now. Media people have been trying to contact them to no avail. We SMS also no reply. Well, maybe they really were just a group that wanted to conduct a social experiment. But it sure seems like they had a very clear agenda in mind la, which is to troll alternative media.
Read their conversations with Tom Wright again and let us know in the comments if ugaiz believe CAGM can claim that WSJ “fell for their tricks”. The language, while trolly, also doesn’t really incriminate Tom Wright, since he never published anything about CAGM.
Are Malaysian media being trolled?
CILISOS posts average between 200 to a kabillion shares, so this one actually underperformed. In other words, at least on our site – Your troll failed. Unfortunately, they did fare better elsewhere – 20.3k shares on TMI, 825 shares on FMT, 74 shares on Malaysiakini (haha, actually they failed here too). Meanwhile The Star doesn’t show shares.
Speaking of which… TMI, FASTER FIX YOUR ARTICLE WEI IT STILL SAYS THEY ARE LEGIT!
But seriously, it kinda makes us wonder… is it troll season for the Malaysian media or something?? First this… then some guy named Lester Melanyi claims he was paid to fake stuff by Sarawak Report… then there are claims that Xavier Justo is also a fake. Unlike what Emil did (that targeted everyone), the other trolling seem to be in one specific direction.
Could it be a concerted effort to paint Malaysian media (of one particular side) as people just looking for a good story, even if it’s a fake?
Or maybe even to cause editors to think twice before covering anything?
Can local media be improved?
We have our own gripes with local media. Sometimes it seems we’re all super hungry for pageviews (sorry, couldn’t resist bringing up this old issue of the Rakyat Post ripping off our stuff).
And we sacrifice accuracy sometimes to be the first to break the story. Sure, every organisation has a different view on this. We believe in taking a ‘short period’ of a coupla days to add value to a story. Some news organisations don’t have that luxury. Regardless of who their working for tho, most journalists work very hard to bring news to our readers. Things were not easy, even in the old days when newspapers printed once a day. Now with news being churned out by the second…. So when stuff like this cheapens our efforts to keep the public informed, we’re sad. But here’s a callout to all other media outlets for a lesson from this incident.
- ALWAYS tell your readers the credibility of your source.
- Even if they’re anonymous, mention if they’re trusted or not.
We dunno how much the public hates the media for this, but we’re truly glad there are readers who condemned the NGO for their actions. Some love (and hate) here, here, here, and here. But we were uplifted when we saw readers who analysed it intelligently and talked about the deeper elements to CAGM’s ploy.
Still we gotta ask, at a time like this, when people are being threatened with sedition and all, what makes CAGM so brave? You were trumpeting you had proof on Mahathir’s ‘hidden millions’. Why would you want to put yourself at risk?
Once in a while, some reporter will be made to wear a Hat of Shame by his editor for such mistakes as this.
But editor has said I don’t have to wear it next week.
“To be honest, we stand by our coverage. We called, and we researched it as much as we could in the typical two days it takes to go to print. We won’t be checking the damn ROS for every NGO we cover cos most of them aren’t cowards hiding behind a fake name and an agenda. Also, within the article, we do write that our sources are somewhat dubious. Jo-Lyn, don’t worry you still got your job.” – Chak, Editor-in-chief, CILISOS
You, CAGM on the other hand, are going to be investigated by AmBank for the fake statement that you made. We sure as heck hope you don’t get off as easy as this writer did.