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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spending your money to lie to you

By Abdul Samad Sulaiman | TMI

How would you react if someone used your money to put together a plan to deceive you? I repeat used your money.

Well, that is what the Najib administration did when it paid millions of ringgit in taxpayers’ money to right-wing bloggers in the United States to write articles damaging to Anwar Ibrahim on sites such as Huffington Post, etc. Essentially, the government used OUR money to plant fictitious reports about the opposition leader.

There is something very disturbing when leaders who swear to respect law and order and whom we hope would have the moral spine to navigate this country on the path of what is right would agree to promoting falsehood and slander. And use government funds at that!

But for me even more upsetting is the fact that this tactic of funding the factory of lies and deceit is happening on our shores and now targetted at the Malaysian audience — you and me.

What government would stoop so low and use taxpayers’ funds to pay bloggers, cybertroopers, set up websites such as The Choice and Malaysian Review and lie to its own people? Can we trust a government, which has embraced lies and deceit, with governing with integrity?

Many of us have been receiving “articles” directly through our emails, written by “eunice the, etc”. A couple of days ago, a “Steve Roads” wrote an “article”, quoting Philippine intelligence sources, alleging that Anwar Ibrahim was behind the Sultan of Sulu’s invaders.

For good measure, the article was accompanied by a Philippine Inquirer logo, giving the impression this was an Inquirer article.

It appears that the government believes that controlling the Internet means dumping fake articles written by fake writers. Isn’t it enough that we have to put up with the fiction written by the mainstream media (Utusan Malaysia’s 100 per cent record of losing all defamation suits shows that I am not overstating the claim) that we have to be sent fictional reports on the Internet.

But that this government chooses this approach to propaganda speaks volumes of the morality of the people at the top. How can we trust these people when they don’t trust us to make a good choice on who should govern Malaysia based on facts?

And really grating is that my money and yours is being given to intellectually-challenged and morally-bankrupt cybertroopers to spin.

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