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Western media reports on Najib - remember Iraq?

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Many believed that Iraq was producing weapons of mass destruction because the western media had reported as such, said Multimedia and Communication Minister Salleh Keruak.

In time, he pointed out people began to realise they were duped and the reports were meant to discredit Iraq and rally world support for the US war against that nation.

"In time, too, many are going to find out that not all of what the western media is reporting about (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak) is true as well.

"But then, just like in the case of Iraq, they will find out too late and only after the damage has been done," he added in a blog posting today.

Salleh said what can be regarded as the Internet war in Malaysia has been given a new twist with the involvement of foreign blogs and media.

"Malaysians have this perception that anything foreign or imported has to be better than local grown. This is not only as far as consumer goods is concerned but for news as well.

"That is why foreign publications such as Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal are regarded as the bastions of truth.

"Since they are foreign-based and western-run then what they say can only be true. No one doubts the veracity of the reports because they are foreign and western based," he added.

However, Salleh described this as a "very clever strategy" by those who want to discredit Najib to turn to foreign publications to conduct their campaign.

"If the story came from overseas then it must be true because foreigners only dabble in the truth," he added.

The minister also noted how the Internet and social media are playing a crucial role in Malaysian politics since the 2008 general election.

"The adage 'do not believe everything you read on the Internet' has been replaced with 'whatever is reported on the Internet is the absolute truth'.

"And what used to be called the alternative media - the Internet and social media - is now regarded as the mainstream media by many," he said.

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