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Gaffe of the Day: ABC News reports on Malaysian minister named 'Kenyataan Akhbar'

Something was terribly lost in translation when US news agency, ABC News, attributed a quote to a Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister named Kenyataan Akhbar.

The agency had picked up on a wire report produced by The Associated Press, and of course, it turns out that Malaysia did not recently appoint a new minister for foreign affairs without us knowing about it.

AP had mistakenly attributed a statement in a press release by Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to an actual person.

"Kenyataan Akhbar" is the Malay phrase for press release.

Even Malaysian Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin retweeted the news.

 

ABC has since fixed the error, although some other sites, Including the Washington Post had the wrong name up at the time of the publication of this report (1 pm Oct 28).

If you are wondering who the Minister for Foreign Affairs is, it is Anifah Aman.​


Malaysia's real Minister for Foreign Affairs Anifah Aman. Photo: Reuters

And if you're wondering what the report was about?

A Malaysian military officer to the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand, who is accused of sexual assaulting a 21-year-old woman, had returned to face charges.

He had left New Zealand under the protection of diplomatic immunity which created a controversy.

The alleged victim was outraged and even to reveal her identity and tell her story to the New Zealand media.  

Related report:  New Zealand wants M'sian diplomat accused of sexual assault to be tried in NZ

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