COMMUNICATIONS and Digital minister Fahmi Fadzil has taken Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin to task for citing the headline of a “report” by an Italian news agency in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday (Dec 19).
Raising questions about Agenzia Nova, Fahmi pointed out in a Facebook post last night that the website was not even on a Reuters list of the most-read news portals in Italy.
“Guess what? Agenzia Nova isn’t even in the list! What is this (Italian) Agenzia Nova website that Hamzah Zainudin was citing? Does it even have any credibility?” the Lembah Pantai MP asked.
“I thought the website Hamzah cited shares the same level as Bernama, BBC or New York Times but turns out it’s just an insignificant website.
“They didn’t even include the name of the journalist that wrote the article. Don’t try to scam us, Hamzah!”
Yesterday a shouting match erupted in the Dewan Rakyat following Hamzah’s disclosure that an Agenzia Nova report had referred to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s “first full-blown homosexual elected prime minister in an Islamic country”.
This had prompted Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs to urge Hamzah to retract his statement.
Dismissing their calls, the Larut MP had told the MPs to allow him to finish his sentence, pointing out that he had simply wanted to ask Anwar if he was going to take stern action against international media companies who spread “disrespectful” news about the latter’s sexual orientation.
Hamzah went on to criticise the Government for policing content on video-sharing platform TikTok over allegedly racially-tinged content that had implicated Perikatan Nasional (PN) supporters as the main culprits.
He added that the Government’s actions went against Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) election pledge to guarantee media freedom.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the Agenzia Nova news portal is strangely inaccessible to many netizens in Malaysia.
A quick check by FocusM revealed that the website cannot be reached and the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error is displayed on the screen.
According to The Vibes, the article titled “Malaysia: First full-blown Homosexual Elected Prime Minister in an Islamic Country” published on Nov 24 after Anwar assumed office could be viewed with the use of a virtual private network, an online service that helps protect user privacy and circumvent website blockades.
Anwar was imprisoned over sodomy charges in 1998 and again in 2015. He was subsequently granted a royal pardon and released from prison in 2018. – Dec 20, 2022
Main pic credit: Bernama