Malaysiakini Letter

Time to counter Najib

Ronnie Liu

LETTER | Because it has taken the authorities so long to prosecute Najib Abdul Razak for his crimes, he has been free to troll Pakatan Harapan and its ministers. He has been free to go about and ingratiate himself with BN supporters by making outlandish statements against Harapan.

Unfortunately, Harapan has been slow and rather unimpressive in responding to Najib's online attacks. This is ironic because prior to GE14, BN was largely seen as being ineffective on social media and Harapan, as the opposition, was seen as having the upper hand in the social media space.

Now that Harapan is in power, many of its leaders seem to have forgotten how important social media and online media are for reaching out to the masses. Granted, running a country or a state is difficult business that takes up a lot of time. 

It is understandable that Harapan leaders are preoccupied with righting many of the perpetuated by decades of BN rule (or should I say, "mis-rule"?) But that doesn't mean they should neglect the very media that allowed them to get their message to the rakyat in the first place.

I call on Harapan leaders to set up a social media task force to counter all the fake news, lies, racist and inflammatory comments by BN leaders. It is said that "a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth". That is the power of perception due to the viral nature of fake news on social media.

If we do not counter the lies and misinformation spread by BN leaders quickly, effectively and with undeniable facts, some people might believe the untruths that is being spread by BN and PAS leaders. We must expose them for their lies and inflammatory comments.

The correct way to do this is not by calling for the use of the Sedition Act or any other draconian laws. The way to do it is to intelligently use the media platform of today's generation, which is online/social media.

Harapan leaders must not be complacent. It would be a fatal mistake to think that only millennials use social media. Even aunties, uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers have Facebook accounts and read messages spread through WhatsApp.

It is time to counter Najib by using social media much better than he does. And we are capable of that. We did it before. It's time to get back to it. 

The writer is the state assemblyperson for Sungai Pelek.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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