The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) clarified that its report on the selection of Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister, to receive the ‘Lead by Example’ award was based on a statement from Malaysian National Commission for Unesco vice-president Alias Ahmad.
Bernama editor-in-chief Zakaria Abdul Wahab said the statement by Alias, who is the Education Ministry secretary-general, stated that the award was from Unesco and would be given on Sept 22.
Zakaria was commenting on a Malaysiakini news portal report which said that Bernama claimed that the award was from Unesco.
“Bernama only reported the statement which said that the award was from Unesco,” the newswire reported him as saying.
The award presentation ceremony was scheduled to be held at the ‘A Tribute to Heroes in the Global Campaign Against Violent Extremism’ event at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York.
When contacted, Alias declined comment.
"Sorry, I'm not speaking to any reporters," Alias told Malaysiakini.
In a statement published on its website on Sept 16, Unesco said its director general Irina Bokova will participate in the True Hero Awards, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"The 'Lead by Example' Award will be present to President Macky Sall of Senegal and Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, First Lady of Malaysia," Unesco said.
Rosmah, however, has been dropped from the list of honourees following queries on Permata's funding.
Award organisers Antiquities Coalition also clarified that the award is not from Unesco, nor is Unesco the host.