Bernama and The Star’s credibility is being questioned again for falsifying or doctoring pictures to massage the minds of Malaysians that there was a massive gathering of well wishers had gathered to greet the Prime Minister at his Hari Raya Open House.

The Bernama picture on the front page of The Star, 21st August, 2012, is a blatant lie and shows youths in the picture who were surprise and next questioned the picture’s credibility. One youth in the picture said: “I don’t remember seeing such a big crowd and didn’t see tens of thousands of people with me at the open house.

“Bernama’s accomplice, The Star’s photo editors should have seen the doctoring of the picture and not used it,” the youth called me stating that there was no professional in reporting and categorised it as blatant lies to deceive the public.

It is increasingly easy to alter photographs in ways that the public may never know without checking in detail that figures of differing sizes and shapes of faces when critically comparing the foreground and background the crowd.

Bernama in its overzealousness to portray the people’s support for PM Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak altered images, cropping, copying and pasting scenes from other crowded scenes so much so the true image appeared doctored.

It was downright alteration and manipulation which the Barisan Nasional has employed several times and this time on a Holy Day of Ramadan Festival.

Like most religions, Islam in general, forbids lying. The Quran says, “Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies.” Surah 40:28. In the Hadith, Mohammed was also quoted as saying, “Be honest because honesty leads to goodness, and goodness leads to Paradise. Beware of falsehood because it leads to immorality, and immorality leads to Hell.”

The Prime Minister’s Department should get down to investigate as to who, why and how such doctored pictures were planned to fool the masses, especially those who bought The Star.

Obviously, the picture on the front page is a composite of several images and this is what an expert media photographer who examined the picture in detail commented:

1 Sri Perdana cannot hold such a large crowd (tens of thousands as indicated in The Star’s caption line) as there picture portrays a crowd of tens of thousands.

2. Hari Raya open house is usually compose of the young, old and disabled on wheel chairs and this is not evident.

3. The venue of the crowd is the same.

4. Here is a sea of people’s an impossible crowd on Hari Raya day.

5. Most of the youths are with cameras, there must be something more exciting than Najib.

6 The pictures are doctored, primarily because some of the people in the background appear larger.

 7. Different pictures have been juxtaposed and superimposed in the doctoring process to create an impression of a large crowd.

8. This picture does not show Najib and it is a total let down in the public relations campaign to gain supporters for the Barisan.

9 Hari Raya event would usually show Najib shaking hands and meeting the people and this is lost in this picture which The Star decided to use on the front page.

10 The picture has been doctored by an amateur graphic artist.


Today, a child can apply Photoshop and easily manipulate photographs and this is an abuse of technology as it poses a serious threat to photojournalism’s credibility.

Malaysians are losing faith in such blatant lies by a Government agency like Bernama. Without credibility, we have nothing and it is a shameful act.

With new technology, faking or doctoring photographs has never been simpler, faster or more difficult to detect. Breaking news sometimes brings out people who want to fool the public with doctored images, so every journalist should know how to verify the authenticity of photos and videos.

Explore posts in the same categories: From the desk of Senator S Ramakrishnan

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  1. […] DAP itu mempertikaikan profesionalisme agensi-agensi media yang terbabit: “Bernama and The Star’s credibility is being questioned […]

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