Source: The Heat, Malaysia
When we ran an opinion piece wondering ‘What is Rafizi’s skeleton?’ for refusing to allow the Prime Minister’s wife’s aide into his press conference, the PKR Pandan MP went on a tweet rampage.
In a reply to The Heat Malaysia’s article, Rafizi wrote on Twitter:
@rafiziramli: While I respect her right to opine the article is factually wrong. Rizal brought gangsters to wreck havoc @TheHeatMY https://t.co/vOkTyEYTQ0
@rafiziramli: What kind of journalism is this | @TheHeatMY wasn’t there, didn’t contact me 4 comment & insinuate I hv skeletons? https://t.co/vOkTyEYTQ0
@rafiziramli: It is one thing for @TheHeatMY to get readership but don’t resort to cheapskate sensationalism https://t.co/vOkTyEYTQ0
@rafiziramli: Non-media attendance to any PC is subject to considerations of safety etc. Takkan journalist @TheHeatMY tak tahu? https://t.co/vOkTyEYTQ0
Thus, to appease him, The Heat Malaysia tried to contact him and left messages, but none were replied to. As a matter of fact, Rafizi even blocked The Heat Malaysia on his twitter handle.
Rafizi, also PKR’s secretary general, is one politician whose social media presence has garnered him many followers, for he never fails to keep his social media presence. All his exposes and what-will-be is hinted on in his tweets, Facebook account and Whatsapp groups, before the real thing takes place.
Maybe, we were not relentless enough in pursuing Rafizi, but we are not a newshound portal and therefore, we called Rafizi to give him his right of reply. Alas, no taker.
Rafizi is not the only one who blocked followers on Twitter, but his Opposition colleagues who include DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng have done so before – but they were kind enough not to block the media from their social media accounts.
Rafizi, it seems, is not only taking on voters, whom his career depends on, but also the media, on whom he will finally have to answer to.
(He had called the voters of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar as berpenyakit (diseased) after the loss of the opposition to Barisan Nasional. )
So, the questions again to Rafizi, is: Do you have skeletons? Or is it just some bones?
As an opinion portal, the report was a comment piece written based on previous news reports that were published, which he did not refute.
In most situations where a follow-up is done by a reporter or journalist, phone calls are made to relevant quarters for comments, but not every call is entertained.
Calls and text are not entertained could be due to several reasons which include the subject seemingly not wanting to reveal the truth, only wants to speak to publications that matter to them or is keeping to an agenda and worried that by speaking to the press it would ruin the objectives in the agenda.
Surely fellow media personnel can agree to this – where more often than not your phone calls are ignored, or questions are dodged due to reasons unknown. And in worse case scenarios, you are blocked from the press conferences.
We have even gotten politicians or ministers yelling at us on the phone without allowing us a chance to respond or rebut an argument.
Does it stop the media from doing their jobs? No, it just makes us more creative in getting to the truth.
Rafizi had been one of the main takers of freedom of information, which includes freedom of the press – what with he being the expose-man – but it seems that of all the sounds he has been making, the one on freedom of the press is definitely hollow indeed.
And in line with the rule of right to reply, we invite Rafizi to write in his story. 500 words will do.