KUALA LUMPUR – The UMNO Information bureau has drawn up strategy to counter false news and perception spread by the opposition through the social media in facing the 14th general election (GE14).
UMNO Information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musam when met by Bernama, said issues facing the bureau now were no longer “stereotype” and “predictable”, hence the need for a special strategy to handle GE14, which is regarded the “mother of all elections”.
“The challenges facing us are more complex, we cannot predict in terms of time and tales they (opposition) are going to come up with, sometimes using foreign sources and agencies or quarters which are seen credible,” he said.
He cited a local news portal as an example.
The news portal, he said, was actually a foreign-base international media agent with its own intention and agenda.
“They are expert in making fake news, they buy and pay to get half-truth news and then they spin. They are very high level media player with mission, they have a certain mission and not just a media that wants to report news only,” he added.
Annuar said it was no longer a game at the local level, but had become global and the government would be at their mercy if it did not have the resilience and suitable approach to counter the fake and half-truth news.
“We cannot reveal what we are doing, but, for certain, we do not want the people to be deceived… the people should get verified information, although it takes a longer time, because now, building perception has become a strategy which is fully-used by those wanting to topple the government,” he said.
He said among the approaches used by the UMNO Information bureau to counter the fake and half-truth news was through the “Perjuangan For All’ programme and an online programme “Anda Tanya, Kita Jawab” , through the UMNO portal.
“Outside, there are various information being circulated, such as through Facebook, instagram, twitter. We focus on how to get them to receive the right information.
“However, we are not too pessimistic, outside, there is also the silent majority, they don’t go facebooking day and night and whose job is to circulate news. They are still many people who are wise and able to evaluate what they read in WhatsApp and FB. They are people who cannot be easily influenced,
“They can think for themselves and look for information. Now, many understand that when they get or receive news, they have to check to verify the news, to ascertain whether it is true or false,” said Annuar, who confirmed that he would be defending his Ketereh parliamentary seat in GE14.
With all the preparations made until now, Annuar said UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) were targeting to win with a two-third majority in GE14.
“Our aim is to win the maximum possible because we want to form a strong government. The people need a government that is strong.
“If we are to choose a government that waits until after the election to decide on the PM (prime minister) post, to take turn, you take two years and then my turn for two years, then we are heading for destruction,” he added. – BERNAMA