Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil has slammed Opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin for dredging up an article from an obscure Italian website in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Dec 19).
Fahmi, who is Lembah Pantai MP, questioned the credibility of Agenzia Nova, which he said was not on the list of most-read Italian news sites by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
“What website is Agenzia Nova (from Italy) which Hamzah Zainudin cited? Is it credible?
“The institute has a compilation of the most-read news sites by Italians. Guess what? Agenzia Nova isn’t even on this list,” the minister said in a Facebook post Tuesday (Dec 20).
Fahmi added that he thought Hamzah would cite news sources as well-known as BBC, the New York Times or Bernama.
“It turned out to be a dubious website.
In a follow-up post later on Tuesday morning, Fahmi shared a screenshot of what appeared to be a chat with someone in Italy who said they had never heard of Agenzia Nova in their 33 years in that country.
“Hati-hati Hamzah nak scam (Beware, Hamzah is pulling a scam),” Fahmi wrote in the second post.
In the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, Hamzah cited an article by Agenzia Nova claiming that Anwar Ibrahim was Malaysia’s first “full-blown homosexual” prime minister.
During the debate on the vote of confidence in Anwar’s government, Hamzah had goaded the Prime Minister to act sternly against international media companies who spread “disrespectful” news about him.
Checks found most local Internet users unable to access the Italian site’s articles without using a virtual private network.
It was found that the article to which Hamzah referred was published on Nov 24 after Anwar assumed office.