KUALA LUMPUR – The lies spread by the Opposition is among four main challenges of Umno in the 14th General Election (GE14), other than young voters, internal divisions and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said UMNO Treasurer, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
The Communications and Multimedia Minister said the Umno information machinery and members should counter the lies with clear arguments and facts so that the people were not influenced by the lies spread by the Opposition.
The Umno information machinery should not just keep quiet upon coming across lies hurled at Umno via the social media, when they knew they were untrue.
“The problem is, we are the ones spreading the lies. This I see myself on Whatsapp. They share lies which they get from the ‘group next door’, its fun to read lies from the Opposition whilst we have facts which we can counter.
“Some urge me to block certain websites. Action will be taken if they are in the wrong, but rightly, we should fight with arguments and facts if we know they are wrong,” he said when opening the Media Information Convention 2016 at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here Tuesday.
The convention, the first to be held, was in conjunction with Umno General Assembly 2016, aims to enhance the Umno information machinery to face the GE14.
Salleh said the challenge posed by young voters was also great as they easily accept whatever is spread via the social media to the point of creating a negative perception of the government.
The Umno information machinery should find ways to understand and approach the ‘gadget generation’ to convince them that Umno is a party which moves in a team that has a clear direction.
“The Opposition have no team at all, they quarrel among themselves. Tell them about the shortcoming of the Opposition, and when they can see this, they will see the good of our party.”
Salleh said Umno too must avoid a split and continue to champion the social contract to ensure this sacred Malay party continues to presevere and be everlasting.
“We only have one leader, namely, our president, and that is the organisational principle. If there are too many sub-leaders, history has proven the party won’t be strong.
“The DAP can last long because the party has a struggle, namely to fight the struggles of Umno,” he explained.
On Dr Mahathir, he said the former prime minister was in cahoot with the DAP which was fighting for an ideology which was clearly opposed to Umno’s struggle, namely, defending the social contract.
Salleh said Umno could not be seen as exclusive for the Malays and practice rhetorical politics, on the other hand it must be inclusive in nature and fight for all communities.