We Release the Documents – Exclusive Proof!

We Release the Documents – Exclusive Proof!

18 Aug 2011

FBC Media's PR Chief/ Executive Programme Editor Alan Friedman

Sarawak Report has received a copy of the actual letter and contract sent by FBC Media Chairman, Alan Friedman, to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, outlining their illegal PR campaign.

The total cost for FBC’s ‘Global Strategic Communications Proposal’ came to $5 million in the first year alone in a campaign designed to last at least 3 years. 

Sources close to BN have told us that the project was first outlined verbally in meetings between Alan Friedman and the Chief Minister, after the FBC Media Chairman was invited to Kuching at the start of the year.

Separate divisions?

In a recent statement issued through lawyers to the UK’s Independent Newspaper FBC Media have attempted to defend their PR activities, claiming that the ‘commercial division’ and ‘production division’ of the company “are and always have been quite separate and distinct”. 

However, we can show that Alan Friedman, who was clearly masterminding the multi-million dollar PR deal, also doubled up as the Executive Editor of the company’s flagship World Business programme, produced weekly for CNBC.

'Happy Penan' who has found a town job featured by World Business

Shortly after the Taib contract was delivered, a major item about Sarawak duly appeared on World Business, raising questions about how separate those divisions are actually kept!

Indeed, the World Business item, called Deforestation in Sarawak, can only be described as falling far beneath the normal standards of objective reporting. 

The show, which provided extensive justification for the Chief Minister, featured a line up of employees and political allies as if they were objective commentators, and even allowed him to suggest that 80% of Sarawak’s jungle has remained untouched!

To add insult to injury, a ‘happy Penan tribesman’ was also featured talking about how he had benefitted from ‘progress’.  However, there was no mention of the years of desperate blockades which have been mounted by his own people against Taib’s corrupt logging, or of the protests by numerous other native groups, who have been shoved out of their lands to make way for logging, dams and oil palm with no compensation or opportunity to profit.

Separate divisions? - Alan Friedman acted as Interviewer and Executive Editor of World Business, as well as the company's negotiator with clients like Taib Mahmud.

In February, BBC World’s One Square Mile, also produced by FBC Media, had again given the impression that Taib was doing the best possible for the indigenous forest people.  Once again the Executive Producer of the Programme was none other than Alan Friedman! 

The reporter, Rian Maelzer, avoided discussing the problems caused by land grabs and corruption, claiming instead that:

“Separate and distinct”? – Sales and Output were headed by the same person for FBC in Sarawak – Alan Friedman.

“For the past 40 years, the Malaysian government has practised an affirmative-action policy aimed at raising the living standards of indigenous groups”

Thus, despite the international condemnation of Taib Mahmud by environmentalists and human rights organisations, viewers of CNBC and BBC would have been left with the impression that Taib Mahmud was a benign governor, beloved of his people.

The BBC has now gone public with a statement acknowledging that it had been misled by Alan Friedman and FBC Media. 

The broadcaster has confirmed that it has suspended all programming commissioned by the company pending a thorough enquiry.  Yesterday in news items and on its website the corporation announced:

“FBC has admitted to the BBC that it has worked for the Malaysian government. That information was not disclosed to the BBC as we believe it should have been when the BBC contracted programming from FBC.

“Given this, the BBC has decided to transmit no more programming from FBC while it reviews its relationship with the company.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14556988

CNBC has likewise suspended FBC Media programmes in the wake of our reports.  We have, of course, further revealed that FBC has publicly stated that its arrangement with the global US-based broadcaster was that it would provide the programmes for free and raise its money from ‘sponsorship’.  If this claim by FBC Media in its own Annual Report is true, then CNBC has serious questions to answer to regulators, such as Ofcom in the UK and the Federal Communications Commission in the USA.

No mention of the rest of the Penan people, still trying to protect their lands and left with no benefit from the millions made out of logging their territories

Given these developments and the fact that the Malaysian Insider news blog has now reported that the Malaysian government has severed its contract with FBC Media, Sarawak Report would like to ask on behalf of Sarawak’s taxpayers whether Taib Mahmud has also severed his own contract (see below)?

What we can do for $5 million – Friedman’s grovelling letter to Taib Mahmud on January 20th


We have been sent a scanned copy of the letter sent to Taib Mahmud. Insiders have confided that the main aim of the media campaign was to attack and discredit Sarawak Report

The text of the letter in full says:

“Dear Pehin Sri,

It was a great honour and a personal pleasure to meet you in Kuching last week.

I am grateful for the generous amount of time you devoted to our meeting and for the talk we had about how we can assist you promote your important achievements in bringing Sarawak steadily toward your goal of fully developed nation status, and to assist in countering false and negative perceptions that have been spread at home and abroad.

In the attached Proposal we have tried to capture the key elements of our discussion, and to provide our advice on the strategy and deliverables we believe can achieve a truly impactful result, both in the first 90-day phase, and during the rest of the year.

We hope that 2011 can be the start of a long-term relationship, and generally this kind of work is reinforced and maintained over a three-year period, but we do wish to prove ourselves first, show our strength, our loyalty and our passion.  We wish to be tested first, and so what you will find would cover only the period of 12 months beginning February 1, 2011.

There is much to do, but we sincerely believe we have the tools and international experience to make a genuine and visible difference for you and for the people of Sarawak.

You will find an Executive Summary in the first two pages of the document that describes the main elements of the campaign, which would aim to illustrate to the most prestige international television, online, and print media platforms in a convincing and editorially credible manner your own leadership, the way you have transformed Sarawak, the benefits for the people of Sarawak, and your commitment to further growth, progress and sustainable development.

In the first 90 days we will use television reporting and an interview with yourself, plus press tours and online sites and special blogging that should provide a blanket of positive messaging about you and Sarawak to the Western media.

We would during the same period work between February and April to bounce back into the local press in Sarawak this international recognition, this bringing positive results as well for the people of Sarawak to see.

In the second phase of our work, from May through the start of next year, we would work both on the positive messages and to counter negative perceptions and falsehoods that have been spread unfairly about environmental matters ranging from the Bakun Dam to timber, mining and palm oil.  We would also counter false allegations about corruption.

In the same period we would also work to develop greater international investor interest in the economy of Sarawak, with particular focus on the Gulf emirates and Middle East, China and India.

Sir, I sincerely hope you will be pleased with our International Strategic Communications Proposal, and I promise you my own personal commitment to lead this effort and to be at your service.  With your blessing, we can make a difference, and begin the work on February 1st.

Thank you very much for your consideration, and I hope to see you in February to begin our work and bring my top team to Kuching to interview you and to begin broadcasting to elite audiences in 100 countries the real story, the positive story, about your leadership of Sarawak.

Yours sincerely

Alan Friedman, Chairman & Founder, FBC Media”


The FBC treatment - Alan Friedman was not only the top sales guy and the Executive Editor - he did some of the big interviews himself!

The Global Strategic Communications Proposal:

Sarawak Report can also now exclusively reveal a copy of the full proposal with costs that accompanied Friedman’s letter to Taib Mahmud. Entitled “International Strategic Communications Campaign by FBC for Sarawak, February 2011-January 2012″, it provides a full budget breakdown for its services, many of which are highly questionable.

The document is priced in Euros, but translates into a total of USD$5 million – around RM 15 million a year.

Friedman is offering blogging campaigns and TV programme slots, as well as strange purchasing of airline programming.  Since Taib only travels in a taxpayer-funded private jet, he perhaps does not realise that there are hundreds of video items that you can view on airlines, so the roughly million dollar price tag for this service alone is unlikely to provide value for money! 

In fact, auditors might like to investigate why FBC are charging at all for airline slots?  Because, according to Spafax, who manage airline programming, it is the airlines who purchase the shows rather than taking payment!

Page 1 - Blogging, TV slots on BBC, CNBC or CNA...

Page 2 - Total cost USD $5 million (RM 15 million)



The international Forum circuit is another area of PR where FBC have clearly utilised their media activities to showcase clients like Taib Mahmud. Five such events are suggested in the above proposal to Taib.  They include the World Economic Forum, which is the highly reputed Swiss organisation that meets annually in Davos.

CNN anchor, John Defterios, is a World Economic Forum ‘Media Leader’, according to his personal CV.  Yet, until the end of July FBC Media’s website also said: 

“Defterios….. serves as President of the group.  In this capacity he oversees FBC’s factual programming and media services work” [FBC Website, July 25th 2011]

CNN's John Defterios (also President of FBC Media) at the World Economic Forum

Defterios has long been President of FBC Media and is a Director and Shareholder of the parent company FBC Group.  He also acted as a Managing Editor of the World Business programme for CNBC, according to a recent version of the company’s website.

The CNN anchor has also acted as Chairman of the Business Week European Leadership Forum, which featured a spokesman from Malaysia’s Iskandar project in 2009, another client of FBC Media. 

Likewise, Defterios has been linked to a number of other forums including the Malaysia sponsored World Islamic Economic Forum and the Global Agenda Council of the Middle East.

These events regularly featured in FBC Media programmes and individuals who are FBC Media clients have regularly attended these forums and appeared on those programmes. One client is Malaysia, however our sources have also told us that Indonesia and Kazakhstan are further clients and that the leaders of these countries have indeed been heavily promoted in CNBC’s Davos coverage and in other media outlets by Alan Friedman.

Wow! The top event at Davos this year, according to Friedman

It was not just Indonesia who got the top billing from FBC at Davos.  The Kazakh Premier, Karim Massimov, also got a major plug. 

Friedman and Massimov - client relationship?

He was interviewed this year at Davos by none other than FBC Media’s John Defterios in his role as anchorman for CNN.  CNN, however has dismissed any potential impropriety in the provenance of its programming owing to its relationship with Defterios and FBC Media.  This is because CNN claims Defterios left FBC Media in March.

Sarawak Report disputes the relevance of this claim and we also dispute the evidence that Defterios left FBC Media before journalists began to enquire about the subject in late July and the company removed its original website, which can be viewed here.

John Defterios interviews Khazakh Premiere Karim Massimov at Davos this year for CNN!

Sarawak Report has already investigated the vicious blogging campaigns that are clearly linked to this proposal – see our Dirty Tricks section.  Both Anwar Ibrahim and Sarawak Report have been singled out for sustained attacks by specially commissioned websites organised by the US blogger and founder of Rogue Strategic Services, Josh Trevino.

Texas blogger in gallon hat - Trevino

We have established clear links between FBC Media and Josh Trevino, who have both attended Malaysian government sponsored events together.

Given that Taib’s plan for wowing the world’s media with his highly expensive Global Strategic Communications plan has now been well and truly brought out into the open, we ask once again if the Chief Minister could please confirm whether he plans to save his poverty-stricken people some of their money and cancel his contract with FBC Media?

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  • Titan Sarawak

    Thank you SR, CB and team for the hard work.

    And thank you BBC and CNBC for taking corrective measures to stop all false reporting.



      • http://whatsaysyou.wordpress.com whatsaysyou

        Serigala Baram, I don't know what "paloi" means but I can tell that you have no manners at all and you do not respect people's right to opinion.


          bulak nuan ndak nemu 'paloi''. paloi meh nuan nyak.

    • http://whatsaysyou.wordpress.com whatsaysyou

      I agree, TS.

    • hot


      native sarawakians are to be blamed for all these.

      they were the ones giving mandates to white hair to do as he pleases and for 32 years.

      they gave white hair the rights and now stabbed his back. traitor.


      • http://[email protected] sembayung

        That include serigala baram.

  • Orang Iban

    Good jobs


      so what, paloi !

      • Pala lasak Srigala a

        SRIGALA BARAM, SR paloi or NUAN EMPU MAPAP, DADAK, KENA SUMPAH, patut nama nuan SRI Gala Baram sigi betul amat nuan ukoi kampong Baram NILAT BURIT tm.

        Merinsa meh orang nadai untak neh. Timbal ulih nuan.


          palak lasak… apoi nyelaik amat jako nuan nya .. nuan bisik nilat taik aku suba. anang jako baka nyak. aku stuju amat enggau Antu Baram nya. ya sigi manah..kaban kitai nyak. anang piak wai.

  • MagnisPhyricon

    Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

    Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

  • http://n/a Watch Dog

    WELL DONE SARAWAK REPORT. Where are you Wetsemenet,Serigala Baram..can't you read English? Please see if this is fake according to you..

    What more can we say? It's real and true..many many many more to come.

    May GOD bless you all SR.!!

  • Blunt Speaker

    Kudos to SR! A Great Job indeed! Alan Friedman, you will be a fried man indeed, if you keep associating yourself with the king of lies, for all your lies! You and your gang, including Tahi and his gang, will burn in hell and fried alive, till each and everyone of you are a fried man to repay your sins! Start repenting now before it's too late! DON'T SAY THAT I DIDN'T WARN YOU!

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    fakes not facts ! Paloi bodo !

    • http://www.sarawakcorruption.com Watch Dog

      SERIGALA BARAM..I am sad because you are bodoh,paloi,stupid,bakuong,and all you and your family are paloi and bodoh like you said but I bless you SB..Grow up so that you don't have brain dead family..do NOT know what is right and wrong..

      I am sad because you are paloi and bodo as you always admitted..living on craps and crumbs from your thief master…

      Lord..please forgive this man,SB as he does NOT know what he says as he is paloi and bodo..stupid never finish..

  • =87-

    Brilliant! Carry on your marvelous work to expose the corruptions that have been tolerated for far too long by the people of Sarawak. Enough is enough! We smirked at Philippine for allowing Marcos to ruin their country of which they are still struggling to regain its past glory. Little did we know we have our own Marcos. When and what will make the people of Sarawak wake up to reality? The government should be for the people and by the people. In reality it is run like a business enterprise to enrich oneself without the slightest care for the citizens who elected the so called ministers to represent and speak for them in the House.

  • http://whatsaysyou.wordpress.com whatsaysyou

    Bravo, Sarawak Report. You have done an excellent job once again. At the same time, I cannot help but be in awe at the courage you have getting that piece of evidence to expose what state's corrupted Chief Minister had been doing right here in the internet world. Keep up the fight and good work.

  • http://- khairul

    good job SR for exposing the sickening activities by tok uban and cronies.

    serigala baram.. the word paloi backfires yourself because it reflects who ur really are. i was in baram and i know what happen. if u say u r from baram and still defend tok uban..i can honestly say..you are the paloi one..tq i rest my case.

    • Kenyalang

      It is really a good job and more and more people and vessel blower are digging the dirty things made. We rakyat should know more and read more from credible sources. Sarawak report and other website that are not control by the regime. Well, Serigala Baram, you have no brain and you are paloi … All the generation of serigala Baram paloi is paloi forever …….. paloi serigala Baram nyak, nang paloi

  • tigarasa

    Excellent report, good job!!

  • http://oldfart50.blogspot.com Paul Warren

    Thanks SR for pulling this one from under the carpet. As you know there are still a lot of other rubbish sitting smugly under the carpet and inconveniencing a lot of us.

    You think you can now move on and pull out the Altantuya mysteries out? Am sure justice to her is long over due!!

  • Dharma

    I remember listening to the BBC report on Sarawak, Taib and logging and was dismayed to think that BBC, which I used to respect as a credible source of news, could be so naive as to produce such a fawning report. I'm glad to see here that SR has dragged out the agency that cooked up the report and exposed it.


    Sorry guys. I am being paid by my master to spew nonsense here. Cari makan bah…



    • Pala lasak Srigala B

      Really that's all you know and the reflection is very laud and clear picture of yourself.

      Perfect SR our generations need Sarawak our forefathers bloody land not TM regime's land.

    • pen4

      Serigala Baram,

      Agi enda chukop kena mayar sentubong nuan pia?

  • Blunt Speaker

    Cheap people like fried man, Trevino, wetsemenet, serigala baram, etc are everywhere! These people won't mind to sell their souls with pieces of crumbs, scraps or handouts from thieves and liars. How pathetic!

  • Keling Langit

    Syabas SR. There should be more accountablitity with regards to the use of Public Fund….RM 15 Mil for PR campaign is a huge sum. Thanks SR for bringing this matter to the people of Sarawak.

  • bonyoi

    well done SR!enough said…my fellow sarawakians.now its time to throw this blood sucking mr white hair crook to the deepest hole he has ever seen.jail him inside and throw the key into berring sea so that he will never escape.to serigala baram.very bold of you to confess!

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  • TUAI

    Anang ninga jako paloi sidak urang putih ditok .

    • http://www.sarawakcorruption.com Watch Dog

      TUAI..Y Tuai? Y? I am sad as you are one of the corruoted Dayaks around feeding your family with corrupted money and you are protecting your THIEF master,for WHAT??

      May GOD bless you TUAI..Repent before it is TOO late TUAI..Sad,sad,sad..sob sob sob.,.please wise up

  • MalaysianTino

    Excellent report.

    Clearly it shows how low one can get to stay on top.

  • Antu Lapar

    Good, shit, paloi, or what so ever just matter of emotion and perception. Why should we shout out obscene words just because not happy with SR revealation, in quest of balancing what happening in Sarawak/Malaysia. Why not study the comments whether true or false!! Educated group should not easily swayed, be conscientious!!. Do some researches!! Look at ourselves and others. The answers to revealations need cautious outlooks. Why exist differences and discriminations, while gov,t propagrating very good policies , – politics of development, people first, performance now and so for. Evaluate the outcomes and significance!! Look at every ethnic group / corner of Sarawak/Malaysia. Who benefit and get most?? Any project transparency or marginalization happening?? Who to blame rakyat or gov't?? How much u get? Any violation legal rights or privileges? As primate keens of impersonating , overseeing thrills could irritating others. We feel guilty to speaking the truth of selfness. Like sceptic "SERIGALA BARAM", may not Iban, Orang Ulu nor Dayak that quest to violate the legacy of other races, virtuely not representing them at all in reality in salvage for profit and intergrity. Self moderating is appreciated without creating violent, scare and guilty of revealing truths. Berani kerana benar takut kerana salah!! Everyone should strive for legal rights and truths for survival of prosperous and harmonous society and nation building. No corruption, cronism and nepotism occur, because social-economic trample & condemnation will make everything collapse at the end of day.

  • Taufique

    Thank you for the brilliant investigative work. you guys have opened up a can of worms for these pathetic scums :)!

  • BBC sarawak

    Bravo….good job SR ,despite PJJ was arrested and introgated by police intelligent in …………(not to mentioned which country.keep up the good investigation Clare and Pjj

  • Anti-Kleptocrats

    But the problem is the natives still supporting corrupted Taib Mahmud and his cronies.

    If in Western countries corrupted leader already gone long time, but here in Malaysia is reverse.

    I can't wait to see the fall of BN in Malaysia.

  • http://www.sarawakreport.com ME & ME

    Emmm…Sarawak own by Pehin Sri…good for him…bad for us…we're struggling to get $$…he just sit & laugh…and get $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. What shall we do? Nothing…sit & wait. SR got a lot of evidence, so why not report to SPRM? Cannot do anything right? SPRM influence by politician…right? Nobody dare to bring this issues/evidences to SPRM? Including SR. So why SR exist? To educate rakyat? How many Sarawakian do know existing of SR?

    Emmm…i wonder why SR exist and yet Sarawak still own by BN even after a few elections.

    Emmm…actually nobody even DARE to REPORT.

  • http://www.sarawakreport.com Sungai Igan

    Hahahahahha….hidup PBB….hidup BN…..bruppppp…..kenyang…………

  • http://www.sarawakreport.com Sungai Igan

    Hidup SR….can get lot of evidence. DARE to REPORT? No right? Expose yourself…ur identity…DARE? Hahahahhaha…DARE NOT.

    • Sherlock Holmes

      Sarawak Report and The Bruno Foundation is under heavy investigation by the Scotland Yard and also by the French Police. It's about money laundering and political expionage !

  • bucklynn rimbar

    if only s.r bloggers jus com out wit real name,sure sarawakians wil com out n make positive comments…..come on guys nothing to hidelah….d more the merrier….readers takes u seriously.increase readers for s.r as not jus some unknow bloggers but real people with feelings n heart for sarawak.