News Strait Times and coverage on Budgie Nine arrested in Malaysia for Public Indecency

Written by Nasihah Hamid

The Budgie Nine refers to the Australian men whose arrested in Malaysia for stripping down to their undies of swimming trunks emblazoned with Malaysian flag and drinking beer from their shoes at 2016 F1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix. This group action has caused outrage among the local citizen especially for Muslim society where they claim that the men have significantly embarrassed the country hosting them (Paterson, Gusmaroli, Hansen, & Gleeson, 2016). The Budgie Nine were charged for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace and public indecency after celebrating Australian Daniel Ricciardo’s race win by strip off to their swimming trunks at the event in Sepang.

The ‘Budgie Nine’ – source:


News Strait Times

The News Strait Times is an English newspaper that owned by the ruling government, Barisan National. In fact, it once reinforced public perception that this media merely serve as propaganda mouthpieces for the government. It is Malaysian’s oldest newspaper that originally known as The Straits Times but reestablished as the New Strait Times. Its vision includes to become the provider of news, information, and entertainment as well as to achieve readers satisfaction through their professional and highly regarded organisation that value quality, integrity and innovations in their services. is owned by private organisation News Corp Australia, and this news portal delivers extensive breaking news and national interest stories with a timely news update. It balances both of Australian and international news in various sections. News stories present on is informed by their values which are faith and truthfulness. They make sure that the validation of information is done before publishing to the readers. In fact, they focused on getting the information first with the right facts and significantly committed to providing open, fair and balanced coverage.


After going through all the news article and headlines, there is an element of “sensationalism” in reporting this case. They report issues that can provide a massive over-hyped reaction by readers and shall benefit them in return. By providing this kind of headline, they will encourage readers to read the article further and possibly can shape their perception towards the Australian. NST Online article is noticed to slam the nine Australians directly. In the article titled “deport and ban the Aussies”, it openly criticises the impolite action by stating that these men are mocking Malaysian sensitiveness and unforgivable.

Based on the news reporting, takes this controversy of Budgie Nine seriously as they keep updating and publish follow up the article from various dimensions. However, it can be seen that emphasise on the Malaysian perception and opinion of this issue. Their article consists of the negative opinion of Malaysian citizen and media towards Budgie Nine action. For example, one of the articles indicates that New Straits Times reflected the stunt as “stupid” and local authorities were enraged over the controversial act.


NST Online significantly provides the reader with evidence such as pictures, video, sources of information and quotes from the individual involved. Since this issue considered as international news, NST online also take the article from other news agency like Reuters and AFP, but they make attribution and give credit to the original owner. This can be seen in several articles such as “Chastened ‘Budgie Nine’ back in Sydney after F1 stunt” and “Government adviser among nine Australians arrested in Malaysia”.

As for, the news articles are more open and free in writing as they include both local and international perspective. Since the incident happens in Malaysia, thus they also provided the Malaysian views of the obscure action taken by the nine Australian at Sepang. Therefore, this shows that this portal is balance in reporting this issue by providing the information on both sides.


Paterson, I., Gusmaroli, D., Hansen, N., & Gleeson, A. (2016, October 4). Budgie Nine: Australian men arrested in Malaysia for ‘public indecency’ call in top lawyers to avoid jail. Retrieved April 24, 2017, from The Daily Telegraph: