Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 16th July 2012:
Najib’s 1Malaysia Social Media Conventions to raise an army of over 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers most anti-national
In November last year, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched the 1Malaysia Social Media Convention at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, anointing 2,000 social media practitioners who attended it as the new army of UMNO/Barisan Nasional cyber-warriors.
Since then, about 10 social media conventions had been held in different states as part of the programme to raise an army of over 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers in advance of the 13th General Election.
As the Minister for Information, Communication and Culture, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim exhorted at the launch of the Selangor edition last month, the Umno/BN cybertroopers should “counter all the slander that has been happening on line”.
He continued: "If people keep tweeting that 'Bersih is bersih', people will believe that the movement is genuine. Tweet back and start saying that Bersih is 'kotor' (dirty)."
Najib should explain why public funds should be spent to help raise an army of over 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers in advance of the 13th General Election, whether through the Biro Tatanegara (BTN) or the 1Malaysia Secretariat.
Malaysians taxpayers are also entitled to know how much public money had been spent on each of the 1Malaysia Social Media Conventions since November last year to help raise the army of over 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers, particularly under the guise of the Prime Minister’s Jelajah Janji Di-Tepati programme.
Malaysians are equally concerned that Najib’s 1Malaysia Social Media Conventions to raise an army of over 10,000 UMNO/BN cybertroopers have proven to be most anti-national as they are held in utter disregard of the 1Malaysia objective to create an united, harmonious and ethical Malaysian society.
This was amply illustrated by the social media convention organized by BTN and 1Malaysia Social Media Convention Secretariat on Saturday where the Utusan Malaysia deputy chief editor Mohd Zaini Hassan openly propagated the dishonest and unethical journalistic practice of spinning lies and even blatant lies as fact and truth!
This is what Utusan had been most guilty of in the past three years of Najib premiership, blatantly and unrepentantly disseminating lies and falsehoods as facts and truth, whether in the recent case front-paging the baseless report that DAP would contest 90 of the 222 parliamentary seats in the 13GE to dominate Pakatan Rakyat and appoint the Prime Minister in the 13th general election as part of an insidious and diabolical campaign to stoke racial suspicion, distrust and fear or the earlier instances when alleging that the DAP wanted to establish a Christian Malaysia and appoint a Christian Prime Minister or establish a republic and abolish the monarchical system.
Although the Malaysiakini reporter, Ahmad Fadli Kc who reported Zaini’s speech was subsequently chased out of the Social Media Convention, it was for truthfully reporting what the Utusan deputy chief editor said and not because of any misreporting.
This is why neither Zaini, BTN or 1Malaysia Social Media Convention Secretariat had denied the accuracy of Zaini’s message, that “Spinning to attack the opposition is okay” with Utusan’s example of “spinning” to include the dissemination of the most blatant and downright lies and falsehoods.
I have heard the recording of Zaini’s speech at the 1Malaysia Social Media Convention and I can confirm that what Ahmad Fadli Kc reported is true and accurate reporting.
In this connection, Rais should explain why the so-called 1Malaysia Social Media Convention had at times taken on the character of being 1Malay - totally against the 1Malaysia objective.
At the Selangor Social Media Convention last month, for instance, Rais said that Malays must unite for a Barisan Nasional (BN) win in the upcoming general election to ensure their rights are not taken away by the opposition.
Rais said Malays “must understand who they are” and “know their rights”.
He said: “The reason we lost so many seats in the 2008 election is because the Malays have forgotten themselves.
“For a community to stay in power, they must understand politics of numbers, which states when many come together, we can determine something.”
Nobody would be surprised if Rais had said this at an UMNO event where UMNO leaders take inspiration from the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyhiddin Yassin instead of the Prime Minister, in rubbishing the 1Malaysia signature policy, in particular Muhyiddin’s example in declaring that he is Malay first and Malaysian second!
Isn’t the 1Malaysia Social Media Convention a misnomer when Rais used the occasion to virtually declare his allegiance to Muhyiddin’s “Malay first, Malaysian second” stand and dissociate from the 1Malaysia policy?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor