Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rocky returns to Malay Mail as CEO?

CEO, as in Chief Editorial Officer?
I'm flattered that the Malaysian Insider, the Malaysian news portal with the Italian Connection, has found it newsworthy to put up a news about my return to the Malay Mail.

The May 6 report headlined "Rocky" returns as Malay Mail CEO contains one fundamental factual error! I have NOT been appointed as the CEO of The Malay Mail.

The error is found on the first paragraph:
Ahirudin ‘Rocky’ Attan, known for his Rockybru weblog that was critical of the Abdullah Administration, has been named as chief executive officer of the 112-year-old The Malay Mail.
When we train cadet journs, we tell them how to avoid such basic mistakes. We must verify the information we get. We can't trust all our informers all the time. In this case, the Insider could have easily avoided the mistake if they had contacted me to verify their info.

Malaysian Insider has also omitted some necessary facts when discussing me and blogging, including the fact that I was the first blogger, together with Jeff Ooi, to be sued by a newspaper company then headed by certain individuals who now lead the Insider. And that the VSS was not really "voluntary". I won't deny the "substantial pay-off"; after all, I was not a small fry.

Usually, when faced with misreporting by a newspaper or online news, you ask for a correction and apology. But I'm cool here.

I spent 21 years as a journalist with the NSTP. I was editor of two of the newspapers - the Business Times in 1998 and the Malay Mail in 2001-2006. Like it or not, I am still attached to that place. It has gone down the gutters lately but it's not beyond redemption.

At a talk organised by a GLC the other night, where a senior editor was a fellow panelist, I was asked by the moderator if I'd go back to the NSTP or the Malay Mail if I was offered to. My answer was, yes. If I know I could bring changes to the profession, I shall return.

But to be able to make any changes, I must go back as an editorial man, NOT as Chief Executive Officer as reported by the Insider.

p.s. The Malaysian Insider did get the spelling for my name right (Ahirudin Attan - single D, double T) so I'm really quite impressed with the quality of their reporting. Honestly.

‘Rocky’ returns as Malay Mail CEO

tmi-n.jpgKUALA LUMPUR, May 6 - A prominent blogger is returning to the mainstream. Ahirudin ‘Rocky’ Attan, known for his Rockybru weblog that was critical of the Abdullah Administration, has been named as chief executive officer of the 112-year-old The Malay Mail.

His appointment as CEO paves the way for the departure of current chief editor Tony Francis. But the afternoon tabloid will remain under Dynahall Sdn Bhd, which is owned equally by Datuk Ibrahim Mohd Noor’s Simpletech and Media Prima’s Gabungan Kesturi Sdn Bhd.

“Rocky was named CEO today and Tony Francis will leave immediately. Malay Mail will remain outside NSTP,” an editorial executive with the tabloid told The Malaysian Insider after being briefed on the matter this evening.

“Morale is a bit low as the staff are shocked,” he added, saying the staff had tried to prevent Francis from resigning.

Ahirudin was acting editor of The Malay Mail from 2001 and was later made the editor. He took a voluntary separation scheme in February 2006 and was said to have received a substantial pay-off.

He began blogging in May 2006 and built up a following by attacking Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the establishment and supporting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Following Abdullah’s retirement and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s appointment as the Prime Minister, he has been less critical of the government.

The Malay Mail, founded in 1896, was part of The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad until it sold its 100 percent interest for RM5 million to Dynahall. The purchase did not include the newspaper’s archives, which is seen as a valuable commodity.

Simpletech’s owner Ibrahim has a stake in BlueInc that owns string of lifestyle magazines. Gabungan Kesturi is a substantial shareholder of public-listed Media Prima Berhad which, in turn, is a major shareholder in NSTP Berhad.

Ahirudin was also president of the National Press Club between 2003 and 2007 and recently re-elected as president again. His former editor Datuk Ahmad A. Talib has just been appointed editorial adviser to the NSTP group, which led to speculation that Ahirudin would return in a senior post.


  1. Yo rock,
    takpa, Najib macam bagus, Omar Ong main belakang. Tak pa, diorang tak kekal lama.

  2. Kalimullah is shit. I'm sorry boss, forgive me for betraying you. I am an Indian and I am a snake...cant help it. But I can change.


    Lionel "Ice" Morais

  3. Congratulations Bru!. Hope you keep to the spirit and honour of your profession. And please no spinning for the political masters. Yah!

  4. Was told that the senior Umno/BN officials are unhappy with Malaysian Insider's sarcasm, subtle instigation and ridicule, particularly concerning the Perak fiasco. Letrs keep tab bro, we might be able to 'break the story' if certain tiny-red-dot operatives are picked up for sabotage/espionage.
    I think you should know the Ghfr Baba-boy better.


  5. "But to be able to make any changes, I must go back as an editorial man, NOT as Chief Executive Officer"

    This is what u said, however I disagree, as the damage done is deeper than just editorial, both at NSTP & MM. The pillars of newspaper, i.e. editorial, production, circulation and advertisement has been severely damaged with the wrong people heading each departments and lost of passion therein. There is no innovation and creativity to competitive. People there still believe that NST and its publication and MM has no competitors,and that the Govt will always bail it out in times of difficulties. To be honest, there must be radical changes, without the consideration to race, to sustain in the long term. Both NSTP & MM are only surviving through its brand and the Govt.Best of luck.

  6. Brader Rocky,

    that is why you are the target for the insider people! You put them in their proper place! Anyone who is better than them will be subject to their treatment. It's all part of the conspiracy led-managed by K and BP (oops, sorry I'm not spelling out their name cos I know everyone knows who they are).

    And no, I'm not putting my real name. These people know me well but I'm disillusioned with their so-called work ethics. Putting my real name will make them send their goons over.

    As for you brader, just keep it up. But don't stray and be sucked in by all the physical trappings. All the best!

    K for Kepo.

  7. Yalah all those at Malaysian Insider fucked up journalists. i heard it is closing down because not making money. is that true? the quality is so poor, how to make money?


  8. Congratulations Kalimullah Maseerul Hassan/Brenden Perera/Khairy Jamaluddin!
    You guys have time and again proven to be a thorn in new PM Najib’s administration.
    The three of you should be proud now that Umno diehard Ahmad Talib’s proposed appointment at NSTP have been halted through the systematic clandestine operations of your operatives in the PM’s Office and the NSTP.
    Umno and maybe, Mahathir Mohamad will never forget how the three of you made used of one operative ‘Jo’ - showering the person with cash and promises - to access information to tarnish the image of the former premier.
    Definitely you guys remember, how the Tun was portrayed on the front cover of FEER!
    Well, again Umno allowed the three of you a free hand to penetrate the heart of the Govt and media etc – controlling and destroying the entire system and security of the country for your masters in the Republic.
    The end result – you guys did a terrific job! - Barisan Nasional lost two-thirds majority and is on the verge of being wiped out in the very near future.
    The three of you together with your other running dogs – one almost made it to the DPM office – were worried about Ahmad Talib’s role at sniffing out your stinking operations went all out to stop his appointment at all cost borne by your spy masters.
    Hey, you guys did very well and must be applauded for the job well done! It’s a double whammy for you trios – you guys fixed and removed Ahmad Talib in the early years of your puppet’s reign – and now again dealing him and Najib Razak the embarassment of succumbing to your well planned dirty tactics through your operatives in the NSTP and Malaysian Insider.
    You guys knew very well Ahmad Talib would be Umno’s diehard point-man and terminator to weed out the venomous operatives planted in the PM set-up including Pasquale and Hardy girl – just like Jo – as well as Hishamuddin Aun, Syed Nazri, Lionel Morais, Chandra Segar, MaChai, Manja and Zainul Ariffin to continue doing your bidding to undermine Najib and BN.
    You guys have succeeded and now have the upper hand in determining Najib, Umno and BN’s future. Congratulations!


  9. Bro Rocky,

    Congrats on your return to mainstream. I hope you can bring some 'life' to MM.

    I'll restart my MM subscription, if I some positive changes in the content and direction of the paper.

    It was not long ago, where I would hunt for MM, to look at every page of the advertisement for job-hunting.

    once again.. congrats bro.


  11. Permission to republish please, so our readers know about this.


  12. maklumat ini amat berguna untuk menunjukan bahawa Dtk Najib bukan-lah PM Flip-Flop. timakacih

    'Kallymullah and Brandan are openly instigating a rebellion against Ahmad Talib in NSTP. The no.1 GEIC told friends over tea that he 'tak berani nak ikut cakap Kaly' but 'editors dari NST' have had a few meetings with the cospirators in Bangsar Village and Briekfields. Mereka ini juga menggunakan MalaysianInsyderr untuk berbohong konon-nya Perdana Menteri tidak bersutuju debngan perlantikan Ahmad Talip.
    MI berani berbohong kerana jika Pm ambil tindakan itu akan ditohmah sebagai sekatan kebebasan.
    Sebenarnya MI adalah umpama racun dlm masyarakat kita sekarang.
    Kalymullah even cuba prevent Najib from becoming the PM, apatah lagi bersubahat dan berbohong demi mengekalkan kepentingan dia dan kuncu-nya dalam NST/BH.
    Harap2 Dtk Johan Jaafar dan yang lain2 tak terpengaruh dgn mainan Kalymullah yang tgh takut akan bayang2 sendiri.
    These conspirators won't stop at anything bcoz they have everything to lose if NST/BH is purged of foreign operatives and anti-Malay/pro-Malaysian Malaysia elements.
    if ecah and every 'editor' has to endorse any incoming Editorial Advisor/GE/GEIC or Chairman, then Kalymullah wouldnt have made it even to the bus stop along jln maarof.
    p/s Datk Najib should take action against anonymous articles in MI that is attributed to him. If you don't stop it now, these guys are not going stop either.

    Semambu Striker

    10 May 2009 19:49


  13. Din, if it's true and I hope it will be, congratulations, bekoo

  14. Congrat Brader Rocky.

    I didn't realize that the K gangs are still powerful in the NSTP/Media Prima!

    Fair-minded Umno loyalist like Brader Ahmad A Talib also couldn't get in....In that case. Johan may end up controlling the Board only instead of the media.

    Takkan DSN diamkan diri saja?

    His "hands are full" at the moment. Please give DSN more time to settle the scorelah!


    Tehtarik 2gelas

  15. Rocky,

    Malaysian Insider, backed by Kalimullah and Brenden Pereira, also wrote that Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has put a stop to the appointment of Datuk Ahmad A Talib as the Head Honcho of NST. They think that Najib is a flip-flop Prime Minister like his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi whom they were sucking up to.

    Najib has agreed to Ahmad's appointment and I am sure, he will stick by it.

    Sorry Pereira and Kali! Don't embarass Najib by putting him in the same league as Abdullah.

    Let's not forget that Kalimullah and Brenden Pereira brought NST's circulation down to 90,000 copies/day. That's not all, they also caused Barisan Nasional to lose its two-third majority in Parliament. That's a first.

    My suspicion is that they did it on purpose to weaken the Malaysian Government. That was their brief from the Singaporean Government.




  17. Rocky, This is your kuncu in NST. Can I lick your shoes and carry your balls sir?

  18. This is the latest - tony francis remains in the hot seat until the new group comes in and that may never happen.
    Rocky and his team must show they have the financial ability to barge in like this. its akin to pulling tony francis out of his chair just like speaker sivakumar.
    actually its very much like the perak crisis where a non-elected person becomes a speaker and politicial rejects come back into the government. rocky was VSSed from the malay mail and collected a huge sum of money. now this same person is coming back as the boss. makes sense? what's the logic?
    indeed, johnson fernandez who also VSSed came back to malay mail after collecting and leaving the paper in the cold. dont these people have any shame at all?
    i am wondering why dato ibrahim is succumbing to pressure by smashing a winning formula. lets admit that the paper is looking good now and credit must go to tony francis and his machais.i feel ibrahim has been targetted by the political masters for succeeding in bringing out a alternative paper. you see, under the BN papers cannot be successful in editorial terms. the political masters must be in control.
    even if, as rumour goes, rocky brings in shamsul akmar and nuraina samad to assist him, i dont see malay mail working out under them.
    today, we learned that yushaimi yahaya will be one of the victims when the new team comes in. he is not the old yushaimi and this guy has improved in all terms well and we are happy thar he is the editor. his approach to stories is what makes the difference to the paper.
    however yushaimi should not said today that he has a new team in mind when tony leaves and that frankie is not on his list. how he can boast of his new list when he is not in rocky's list is baffling. all smacks of a power struggle or clutching on to the straw in the case of tony and yushaimi.

  19. There is celebratory mood on the news desk these few days. Hishamuddin Aun, Lionel Morais, Lee Ah Chai & Chandra back in their element. Obviously this is due to the recent move by Najib to stop Ahmad Talib from being reappointed to NSTP.

    They deserve to celebrate because until a few days ago, they were dead scared of losing their position since Kalimullah and Brendan's departure.

    At least, Hishamuddin, Lionel, Ah Chai and Chandra have Malaysian Insider to be their voice to defend their posts.

    In these days, we need external support. If you need news portal like Malaysian Insider to defend you in any case.

  20. Kalimullah, we know what you did, have been doing and are doing....

    Sutuley Oosi!

  21. Aku pelik betul la dengan satu portal yang bernama Malaysian Insider! Mana taknya mereka akan meletakkan berita ikut suka hati mereka, contohnya, apabila Dato Seri Dr Zambry telah mengambil sedikit ayat dari Nelson Mandela dan Gandhi, terus MI menuduh Zambry menganggap dirinya adalah seperti dua pemimpin yang terkenal itu! Baca di BLOG SAYA

    Grow up la MI, kalau nak buat berita buat la yang betul, jangan lah jadi macam RPK yang kuat belit dan sedia menerima upah anytime untuk jadi machai! Hidup mesti ada maruah! Buat apa nak putar-belit cerita, tak ada faedahnya.

    Aku pun pelik la dengan Malaysian Insider ni, hmm, kenapa depa ni anti Dato Seri Dr Zambry ya? Bukankah akhbar itu dimiliki oleh Kalimullah dan Brendan Paria, pelik kan? Aku tengok dari hari persidangan DUN 7 Mei yang lalu sampai sekarang mereka dok serang Dr Zambry, kenapa ya?

  22. bru,

    and Malaysian Insider was Abdullah Badawi's asslicker, obtained information about AAB's administration's policies and decisions because the 4th floor boys were the MI's sources.

    MI was doing AAb's bidding, Khairy's bidding. It was never critical of AAB but now is very critical of Najhib and the adminsitration of Najib.
    It now serves to bring Najib down and works hand-in-glove with Pakatan Rakyat.

    EVERYBODY klknows Kalimullah and Khairy are the people behind Malaysian Insider.

    Malaysian Insider exists to bring Najib down.

    The spin is so Kali and Brendan.

  23. Rocky,

    You didn't go for the job b'coz you can't do things your way right? I heard that you will take it if you had 100% control and they agreed at 1st but later it was no go for them. So MI was not all that wrong. It was only later that they didn't agree to give 100% control of the editorial that you decline. NSTP instead?

  24. Rocky, Malay Mail has done gone into the gutters.

    That would describe shoddy journalism, with clear politica bias.

    MM has remained independent, with front page news on crime, local councils and human interest stories.

    It is the mgmt that has curtailed the growth of the paper, refusing to hire journalists. I hope you will bring in more journalists and editors passionate abt the job, instead of those who are just there to makan gaji. Good luck , though. Your best bet would be to bring back the team that worked with you, who have MM spirit in them.


  25. I am pretty confident that our PM can make up his own mind and not listen to snakes who are out merely for their own interets. In the first place, I think the PM should realise that these snakes were the ones who brought the country and the NSTP to its knees like what it is today. We have morons in the NST who do not even know the meaning of thwe words "pride" and "dignity". Its such a shame that all these snakes carrying out their evil deeds forget to realise that the Man up there sees all and knows all. All the money and power in this world cannot buy a person eternal life. It is sad that many people have no choice but to sit back and observe the atrocities thats going on now. However, I strongly believe in the boomerang effect - what goes around, comes around. Hang in there all those true Malaysians, justice will be served ... its just a matter of time. Being a non-Malay, I must admit that I received the most fair treatment during the time AAT helmed the NST. Many may say that during the great Kali and BP's reign, many Indians got promoted etc.. Let me set the records straight here. It was only those "ulars" who knew how to give a good BJ and ass-lick, as well as being damn stupid, with no knowledge of news reporting at all that got promoted. There are still a number of good hardcore journalists who are still neglected. The simple reason is these bunch know their job well, better than even most of the fools on the desk. Secondly, this lot do not do BJs or neither do they know how to lick ass. It is my sincere hope that whoever comes into the NST pays attention to this lot who have practically sacrificed their lives for the NST. Like the saying goes, every dog has its day, I hope these dogs will have theirs also. It saddens me each day to think that so many good journalists in the NST have to take orders from Idiots who were promoted by the great BP who himself did not know the difference between an MP and ADUN!! I hope the country and NST does not come down to the point that only expert BJ givers and ass-likers who were born deformed and without brains get the goodies and those hard-working, intelligent ones have to wait for the next life to be rewarded. Cheers!

    Bald & Beautiful

  26. Tony Francis, Yushaimi, a winning formula?

    You must be joking Stone Sub! If Tony Francis and Yushaimi have transformed the paper, then where did the talk about Ibrahim Nor throwing in the towel came about?

    Ibrahim's fingers are burning and it feels and smells like hell. Who are burning Ibrahim's bills? Let me give you the answer.

    It's Tony Francis, Frankie D Cruz and Yushaimi who had duped Ibrahim into believing that they had the quality to turn around the paper.

    Let me tell you Stone Sub. At the end of the day it was about money. It was about the balance sheet.

    It was red and full of reds in the balance sheet and it is not Tony, Frankie and Yushaimi's money. It's ibrahim's.

    Monthly, Tony, Frankie and Yushaimi drew out handsome pay check and what do Ibrahim get? Holes in his pockets, my friend.

    Today I saw Malay Mail boasting about it's the numero uno investigative newspaper in the country.

    Let me tell you the story. It just two people who submitted their entries for the award and Malay Mail got it. So Malay Mail is the best among the two and not the country.

    If I am Ibrahim, I shall not waste my times with these con men. Tony, Frankie and Yushaimi should be sacked.

    It has been a year and what do Ibrahim get? Burning fingers, I guess and I cannot believe Ibrahim still has faith in them.

    In any company which gives priority to corporate governance, the trio should be gone months ago.

    Now we hear Rocky will take over. Tony and Frankie will be back retiring at the Commonwealth Club running down the likes of Rocky as they drowns their sorrows with jugs of acohol and in the same breath running down the Government and Najib Razak.

    As for Yushaimi, he will be back in his element. Remember his antics of abandoning Rocky the moment he heard his boss had fallen out of favour and about to be removed?

    He ran to M Zulkifli and after the guy was sacked he went running to Ibrahim and the guy fell in love with him.

    Well, Rocky and Yushaimi are old flames. They will be back in love and Rocky is the most beautiful lover in the eyes of Yushaimi when Rocky returns to his love nest.

    Good luck Rocky

  27. THE truth from an elder says:
    Credit must be given to Tony and Frankie to keep this young dude who goes by the initals of YY. Just collects a fat pay check for doing nothing. All becoz these two are scared of reprimanding him as he belongs to a particular type of people here.
    For those who have some IQ they know there weren't enough intelligent and capable news editors/editors especially back then and worse from 2006 to give them paper the right direction.
    YY what happened to MM Big Walk when you were the editor?? Why did the sponsors lari?????
    Those who trust this young chiku are buncho of fools.
    Enough said

  28. Dear Rocky AAT will not be running NST on a daily basis. That job goes to Zainul Ariffin after he does his daily jogs near SKBD. Zainul is bright enough to run the paper but he has to be wary of the booby traps laid out by the various subversive elements within.

    One wonders whether he would be able to entice some of the top Malay editors to come back to Balai Berita and help get the paper regain its footing without sidelining the best brains from the non Bumi group.

    Although Les Sonje suggested Azam Aris and othman abu bakar to make a comeback, Azam is doing well at the Edge while Othman is with Sime Darby and not likely to leave their cushy jobs.

    It is also unprecedented for an individual to be given carte blanche on the news slant from TV to the newspapers under the Media Prima stable.

    Though I hold both JJ and AAT in high esteem, the PM's inner circle's decision to appoint JJ as executive chairman renders Media Prima's outgoing Group MD and CEO Abdul Rahman Ahmad virtually powerless and hence Amrin Awaluddin's appointment as COO, not CEO. with due respect the powers that be should have considered rahman's turnaround expertise and demerging exercise which led to the group's expansion and thus helped an ailing company back to its profiitable days, making all private free to air TV stations to be stationed under one roof, embracing the new media with he did not get himself involved with the editorial politics but acts as the messenger when dollah kok lanas, pak samad, mazlan noordin, aat, hishamaun were given the sack. If rahman had been given the chance to pick his man for the GE post at BH, he would have surely opted for Zian Johari, who impressed both Rahman and Shahril Ridza ridzuan for making HM what it is today. Zian would have then be in line to become the GEIC but God works in mysterious ways. The only blemish in Rahman's glowing CV is his failure to revive Malay Mail.

    Business wise JJ should leave the business aspects of the company to the professionals and not let the political masters dictate terms.

    AAT replaces Kamarulzaman Zainal, Pak Lah's former Press sec and that means TV3 will no longer demonise Khir Toyo but instead advocate fair reporting.

  29. I've tried to post comment 3 times on Malaysia Insider. None of it were published. Now tell me what kind of shit is this Malaysia Insider blog? Bias slimey chingkies. That's their kind, dwelling in the gutters. I wish the rulers back in 50's would reject their citizenship application and sent them en-mass back to wherever they came crawling from.....
    WARIS 50an