Putrajaya terminates contract with FBC Media
Malaysia - Following an exposé by Sarawak Report with allegations that Malaysian leaders regularly appeared in paid-for interviews on global television programmes, Putrajaya has ended its contract with British publicity firm FBC Media.
In a report by The Malaysian Insider, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) terminated FBC Media's contract in the past week, with a source telling the online news portal: "The contract with FBC Media is over. PMO has enough people to handle publicity locally and abroad."
The termination of its contract with FBC Media comes just months after Putrajaya ended its contract with US-based public relations firm, APCO over alleged links to Israel.
This latest development in the ongoing controversy comes after CNBC canned its flagship weekend international business show titled World Business late last week. The BBC too is understood to have ceased running FBC content with an investigation currently underway.
The issue has shed unwanted attention on the relationship between the British publicity firm led by media giant Alan Friedman with media personality John Defterios (still listed as its group president) and broadcasters such as CNBC, CNN and the BBC.
These allegations were first brought to light by the Sarawak Report on 1 August, in an article which claimed the London-based television production-company, had a contract with Sarawak's Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, to improve his international image.
It also listed ruling coalition politicians Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as amongst the politicians who had arrangements with the company.
According to the report, the federal government through the Prime Minister's Department had given as much as RM57.68 million to FBC Media between 2008 and 2009.
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