Sunday, January 27, 2008

Umno' s campaigns of character-assassination

Just about three days before polling in the 1990 general election, the government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) and the many Umno-controlled newspapers like the Utusan Malaysia launched a last-minute, very focussed and simply overwhelming blitzkrieg of target-specific character- assassination against ex-Finance Minister and a then opposition leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah by depicting with a controversial picture taken in Sabah and accusing him with words of being either a "secret Christian" or "Christian sympathiser". There was no time and space then for rebutting against the uncontrollable spread of the Big Lie and Ku Li's party lost badly as the result of it. Of course, ten years after the outbreak of Reformasi, many Malaysians are now very contemptuously familiar with Umno's arsenal of bogeys such as the so-called "International Jewry", "Western agents", "Global Chinese chauvinism" and "Hindu extremism" but it still worries me that, according to newspaper vendor Uncle Murugiah, Mastika is still the best-selling Malay-language monthly even among youths in towns.

Propaganda and its unintended consequences


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