Sensational news sells. That is the reality of the world we live in. There’s no two ways about it. As human beings we are inquisitive creatures by nature. Thus, when a shocking headline appears it of course pique our interest. A recent case in point – Sarawak Report headline-grabbing article “Ten Billion In Bonds Looted From EPF To Raise Four Billion Dollars For Najib – Explosive Exclusive!” In the article the online blog claims that billions of ringgit are being siphoned from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) by unscrupulous individuals.
Millions of Malaysians are regular contributors to the fund so one can only imagine what kind of ruckus this will cause. Moreover the timing of this exposé is impeccable given that Malaysia will be heading to the polls in the near future.
The EPF has of course vehemently denied the allegations asserting that “any schemes in such nature would not pass its strong and robust governance framework.” In fact, the fund did so well last year that it announced a 6.9 percent dividend payout. This was attributed to sound investment decisions and most importantly good management. It is the highest dividend payout since 1997.
Now Sarawak Report is no stranger to stirring up the hornet’s nest. If one did not know any better one would think that its very existence was merely to create havoc and nurture distrust in the rakyat. It is conniving and unfortunately has negative repercussions for our country. Yes, Malaysia has a whole host of problems. There is no denying this but so do all the other countries in the world. Yet for Sarawak Report to spew lies and speculation in a bid to cause political instability is unbecoming of a credible news portal.
Interestingly enough there is currently a civil case in the UK brought by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang against Sarawak Report. The portal had published an article alleging Abdul Hadi had received bribes from the prime minister. He chose to fight the matter in court. Thus far the London court ruled in Abdul Hadi‘s favor in the case management suit. This will undoubtedly be a lengthy and costly affair but he felt necessary given that it is a blatant lie. Should EPF waste needless fund by engaging in a court case against a notorious and questionable news blog too? No, it should avoid doing so. Malaysians should have faith in the fund. EPF has always had the interests of its contributors first and foremost since its inception and will continue to do so into the future.