News portal TMI tenders second apology in a week

A screenshot taken from The Malaysian Insider website.
A screenshot taken from The Malaysian Insider website.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — The Malaysian Insider (TMI) yesterday issued an apology to the Securities Commission (SC) and a retraction over a related news article, making it the second time the news portal has done so in under a week.

In a piece published in its “Side Views” section yesterday, the note by the news portal described its report “SC to order Sime general offer for E&O, say sources” published in August 2012 to be “untrue”.

“The statement in the said article that was attributed to the SC was untrue and was published without verification with the SC. The report has now been withdrawn as it is untrue and false.

“We apologise to the Securities Commission for the said untrue report,” said the unsigned statement.

The offending article alleged that the regulator was ordering Sime Darby to conduct a general offer for the remaining shares in E&O that it did not already own, following the former’s acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in the latter firm.

This did not materialise and resulted in the news portal being investigated by the SC last year.

Last week, the news portal was also forced to apologise to Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir over two articles alleging the Kedah mentri besar of engaging in “money politics” in his unsuccessful bid for an Umno vice presidency on Saturday.

“The Malaysian Insider apologises to Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir over its report titled ‘Mukhriz raises the stakes in VP race with 1.2 million SMS blast plus ‘windfall’ for party branches — sources’, and its Bahasa Malaysia version, ‘Jentera kempen Mukhriz agresif, ‘hujan emas’ dijangka turun bermula lewat malam’,” the news portal wrote after being threatened with a laswuit over the reports.

Yesterday, state sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional also took aim at the news portal for what it described as “irresponsible reporting”, alleging that two articles published on the site portrayed the government-linked firm as uncooperative with national auditors.

It demanded both an apology and retraction for two articles, “Parliament’s bipartisan oversight panel probes Khazanah’s costly ventures” and “PAC siasat perbelanjaan melampau Khazanah”, saying it will consider legal action if this was not forthcoming.

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