KUALA LUMPUR – August 11, 2015: Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan has admitted that there is a need for the ruling coalition to consolidate their cyberwar efforts.
Speaking at a press conference after the pre-launching of the Malaysia Day Ride 2015 event at the Putra World Trade Center today, Rahman said such consolidation was timely because it will also improve coordination in countering negative perspectives of BN in the social media.
“Right now there are too many poorly coordinated initiatives being done by our cyber troopers.
“I will discuss with the BN secretary-general on how to put everybody (BN’s cyber troopers) under a single roof and to lead them towards the same general direction,” he said.
Two days ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had called for BN to beef up its cyberwar effort as he said there is an urgent need to counter the opposition’s cyber troopers.
Najib said it was especially important to win the battle of perception in the social media.
Rahman added that aside from establishing a coordinated defence mechanism in the social media, the only way for BN to win the cyberwar was to counter the arguments raised by the opposition with facts.
“This is why we are considering to set up an online fact checking database.
“It’s a kind of one stop centre for us to disseminate real information which we will publish as counter arguments to answer and quash any misleading accusations raised by the Opposition’s cyber troopers and news media.
“The fact check website will be more insider than Malaysian Insider, more free than Free Malaysia Today, and ‘lagi terkini’ (more up to date) than MalaysiaKini,” he quipped, in reference to the news portals which many considered to be pro-opposition.
However, Rahman agreed that BN’s cyber troopers will always be at a disadvantage because it is time consuming for them to obtain information needed to quash any allegation.
“It is easy and quick for the opposition to accuse us of something but we need more time to answer them back and by the time we answered their accusations they have already shifted the goal post to another issue,” Rahman said.
The Malaysia Day Ride 2015 is a night-time bicycle marathon that will be held on September 11 at Dataran Merdeka where participants will cycle along major roads in Kuala Lumpur.
The event is organised in tandem with the #TolakFitnahMediaSosial and #SayaSayangMalaysia campaign that were being organised to educate the public on the importance to verify information obtained from social media.
The ride is jointly organised by Umno Youth. Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council (DBKL), My Fit Sports and Recreational Club, Mamboart Designs and Fixme.
On calls by certain quarters in Umno for the Prime Minister to be replaced, Rahman said such demand was made by “selfish” members.
Rahman who is also the Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing, and Local Government stressed that “changing the Prime Minister of Malaysia is not just the business of the people in the ‘semenanjung’ (peninsular).”
“Changing the Prime Minister of Malaysia is also the business of people in Sabah and Sarawak,” Rahman, who himself is a Sabahan said..
“Mind you, we are the backbone of BN. Has anyone asked our opinions, has anyone asked for the opinion of component parties in Sabah and Sarawak?
“Don’t just go and change the Prime Minister just because you think you can. Go and ask your partners and go and ask the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Because if you just push through it without even considering the feelings of those in Sabah and Sarawak, then there will be ramifications,” he stressed.
The ongoing calls for the removal of Najib as Prime Minister had culminated with the recent cabinet reshuffle which include the removal of Najib’s deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.