Friday, November 21, 2014


The quality of media reporting continues to amaze ... or perhaps not.    Take the case of  Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail who appeared in court today to plead on charges of burglary and assault with intent to rape.

In various reports he is referred to as a "Malaysian Diplomat" and a "Defence Attache".    He was neither.    He was a serving Warrant Officer working in the office of the Malaysian Defence Attache as an administrative assistant.  

Rizalman was not a diplomat.  My advice is that he did not hold a Diplomatic (Red) Passport.   He was however afforded the protection set out in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.   But that does not make him a diplomat.    Equally, he was not their Defence Attache.   The Malaysian Defence Attache (DA) is Lieutenant Colonel Shaari bin Baba.

I know 'Diplomat' and 'Defence Attache' makes good copy but is it too much to hope for that the media might indulge in a modicum of research in order to ascertain the facts?     Sadly I suspect the answer is 'yes' given the state of journalism in New Zealand.

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