Weekly Highlights

What’s the IGP doing about troll farm allegations?

To Defend PDRM’s Credibility And Integrity, The IGP Should Expedite Investigations And Make Public The Outcome Of Meta’s Claims Of PDRM Running A Troll Farm That Manufactures Fake Accounts To Support The Current Government And Discredit Government Critics With False Corruption Claims.

The Royal Malaysian Police or PDRM should not allow itself to be weaponized as a political tool to mastermind a troll farm that manufactures fake social media accounts supporting the current coalition government and regurgitates false corruption claims against government critics. Meta – the company behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – in its latest Quarterly Adversarial Threat Report released a week ago, has accused PDRM of running an online “troll farm” with hundreds of accounts that were used to target the general population to corrupt or manipulate public discourse using fake accounts.

Meta said it had identified and removed the network of over 600 fake accounts posted memes in the Malay language linked to PDRM, that supports the current government coalition and attempts to paint its critics as corrupt, in addition to promoting police.

In response, Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) secretary Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin in a brief statement rejected the Meta report, views the allegations seriously and is gathering further information. To-date there is no response to the progress or outcome of information gathering by PDRM.

Inspector-General of Police(IGP) Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani should not discredit himself to the same level as Attorney-General Idrus Harun and MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki, by failing to perform their statutory duty independently and professionally.

Both Idrus and Azam has been reduced political puppets that withhold action against government MPs and opposition MPs who defected to support the current government, or deigning to take action on huge public scandals only when ordered by the Prime Minister, such as the RM 6 billion ringgit payment for 6 Littoral Combat Ships(LCS), where not a single ship has been delivered.

Meta’s allegation is indeed gravely serious and has chosen to remove 596 Facebook accounts, 180 pages, 11 groups and 72 Instagram accounts linked to PDRM. Meta claimed that these accounts had managed to amass over 427,000 accounts as followers on one or more Facebook Pages, with 4,000 more joining such Facebook groups, and 15,000 becoming followers on some of these Instagram accounts. Meta reported that these accounts belonging to the troll farm had spent around US$6,000 for advertising on both Facebook and Instagram, with most of it paid for primarily in Malaysian Ringgit.

The IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani should uphold and perform PDRM’s statutory duty to the nation as stated in Section 3(3) of the 1967 Police Act, and not be beholden to ruling politicians of the current government. To defend the credibility and integrity of PDRM, the IGP should expedite investigations and make public the outcome of Meta’s grave and serious claims of PDRM running a troll farm that manufactures fake accounts to support the current government and discredit government critics with false corruption claims.

Lim Guan Eng

MP for Bagan

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