Attempts to clampdown on the media futile in digital age

It’s the digital age, award-winning US journalist tells Najib over media blockage

An award-winning American investigative journalist today said Putrajaya cannot hide from the world the fact that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received a “questionable” donation in his personal bank accounts.

David Kaplan, who heads the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), said attempts to clampdown on the media were useless as people would turn to the Internet and continue questioning Najib over the RM2.6 billion issue.

“You can’t close off a country anymore, these people are living in another era if they think they can hide US$700 million going through their bank account,” said Kaplan.

“This is a digital age, people in the power are going to have to be accountable, that’s why you have to have watchdog media,” he told reporters after speaking at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya today.

Kaplan said Putrajaya was now trying to “criminalise” journalism with its suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily over the papers’ coverage of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.

But he said the public would continue pushing for answers because they were not satisfied with the government’s “trust us” response.

“There are legitimate questions, of accountability, of responsibility. There was a famous question asked at the heart of the Watergate scandal, at a White House press conferences: ‘What did the president know, and when did he know it’.

“These questions aren’t going away,” said Kaplan, a four-time winner of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award.

It’s the digital age, award-winning US journalist tells Najib over media blockage
4 September 2015 – TMI


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