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NEWS UPDATES 27 September 2010

Anwar: Malaysian media blamed for tensions

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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim blames the Malaysian media and ruling party UMNO for increasing the tension between Indonesia and Malaysia.

Anwar addressed a forum in Jakarta on Sunday saying Malaysians' tendency to have a negative perspective on Indonesians was attributable, among others, to negative coverage of the Malaysian media on events occurring in Indonesia or involving Indonesians.

"When we look at Malaysian media, we see negative reports (on Indonesia); the riots, the poor Indonesian migrant workers being dumped… No positive coverage at all," he said

"When they report on (Indonesia's) Constitutional Court and the Corruption Eradication Commission, it's as if all Indonesians were corrupt, although I know Malaysia is very corrupt, too" added Anwar.

He said the negative coverage was part of the reason why "understanding and affection" between the two "one-race" neighbors were degrading compared with when he was young.

Although at that time Indonesia's first president Soekarno just declared the "Destroy Malaysia" campaign, Anwar said he observed that the negative sentiment toward Malaysians had not been shared as widely as it was now among the Indonesian public.

Anwar addressed a general lecture organized by Soegeng Sarjadi School of Government themed "Political Reform and Democratization in Malaysia: Toward Equal Friendship Between Malaysia and Indonesia".

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