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Lessons from US election: Disinformation must be exposed and countered

Media Statement by Member of Parliament for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang in Parliament 6 November 2020:

One thing Malaysians must learn from the US Presidential Election cliffhanger if Malaysia is not to end up as a basket case – the power of disinformation especially from top political leaders must be countered and exposed

One thing Malaysians must learn from the United States Presidential Election cliffhanger if Malaysia is not to end up as a basket case – the need to counter and expose the power of disinformation especially from top political leaders.

One Minister of the Najib government, for instance, had said before the 14th General Election that the 1MDB financial scandal was “fake news”.

Did this Minister ever apologise for such a lie and falsehood?

In fact, many Malaysians today still believe that the 1MDB financial scandal is “fake news”.

DAP had been the target of a highly-funded long-term misinformation special operation to paint the party as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty, although these UMNO propagandists and cybertroopers have not been able to cite a single instance of the DAP being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty in over five decades of DAP history.

It is time that Malaysians return to honest, decent and civil politics about policies and programmes instead of the dishonest, indecent and uncivil politics of lies, hate and fear arousing primordial racial and religious sentiments. 

I have never accused UMNO of being anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Buddhism, anti-Christianity or anti-Hinduism but it is the stock-in-trade of  UMNO leaders and UMNO propaganda apparatus to make wild and false allegations that DAP is  anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Royalty.

The trouble with UMNO is that after half a century of nationhood UMNO leaders have forgotten that they are servants of the Malay race and the Malaysian people, and are acting as the masters not only of the Malay race but the Malaysian people as well.

I do not believe there is any race, religion or culture which will want their leaders to come from the ranks of the kleptocrats and for the country to be regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

The United States presidential election should be an object lesson that once the toxic politics of race, religion, hate, lies and fake news are allowed to run wild, it is not easy to counter and expose the fake news and hate generated by a campaign of  misinformation and disinformation – whoever wins the US presidential election.

Although  Donald Trump promised the American voters during the presidential campaign that the Covd-19 pandemic in the United States had “turned the corner”, the contrary is the case as every day in the past week, United States had been registering a  record-high of daily  increase of Covid-19 cases – the highest-ever  number of 121,054 Covid-19 cases in the United States was registered yesterday!

In fact, the global daily increase of Covid-19 cases set a new record of 601,958 cases yesterday – the first time Covid-19 infections have passed the 600,000-mark.

Lim Kit Siang,
Member of Parliament for Iskandar Puteri.

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