What lessons the Philippines Presidential Election tomorrow has for Malaysia with regard to the impending 15GE for the country?
What lessons the Philippines Presidential Election tomorrow has for Malaysia with regard to the impending 15th General Election?
I have just read an AFP report that Marcos Jr “appears on the cusp of victory in the presidential polls, with his seemingly unassailable lead fuelled by a decades-long misinformation campaign to revamp the family brand”.
The AFP report said:
“The clan's comeback from pariahs in exile to the peak of political power has been built on a relentless barrage of fake and misleading posts on social media.
“Pro-Marcos pages have sought to rewrite the family's history, spreading fallacies about everything from the patriarch's dictatorship to court rulings about the billions of dollars stolen from state coffers.
“AFP's Fact Check team has debunked many of the myths swirling around the Marcoses.”
The AFP report cited five instances of disinformation to whitewash the Macos clan:
- Assassination attempt - An alleged attempt to kill Marcos Jr ignited social media at the beginning of February, days before the presidential election campaign season kicked off, based on a video which was more than six years old which was viewed more than three million times.
- Ignored by the media – In actual act, on the presidential campaign trail, Marcos Jr has shunned most media interviews and largely ignored journalist questions at rallies.
- Golden age - Pro-Marcos pages have long sought to portray Ferdinand Marcos's dictatorship as a "golden age" of peace and prosperity, rather than a violent and corrupt regime that left the country impoverished.
- No plunder - The Philippines' highest court said in 2003 that the legitimate income of Marcos and his flamboyant wife Imelda during their 20 years in power was $304,372.43.
- Abuses downplayed - -A misleading video posted on Facebook during the 2022 election campaign sought to downplay human rights abuses committed during the Marcos years.
One claim that the Philippines was the second-richest country after Japan during the Marcos regime. AFP fact-checkers consulted experts who said the economic data from the Marcos years told a very different story. Philippine gross domestic product actually went from being fifth in Asia at the start of the dictator's rule to sixth by 1985, as the country languished in a deep recession.
Yet more than $658 million was found in their Swiss bank accounts, which the court ordered to be handed back to the government. It was a fraction of the $10 billion estimated to have been plundered from state coffer during the regime.
Amnesty International estimates Marcos's security forces either killed, tortured, sexually abused, mutilated or arbitrarily detained about 70,000 opponents.
For democracy’s sake in Malaysia, Malaysians should ponder what lessons the Philippines Presidential Election tomorrow has for Malaysia with regard to the impending 15th General Election for the country!