Give credit where credit is due.
This is the first time that the expensive coterie of strategists and propagandists of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak have scored a bull’s-eye in their propaganda offensives as they had been firing blanks all these years.
Their success is to distract national attention from the second political event of the year – the March 27 Citizens’ Declaration “People’s Congress” in Shah Alam this evening, bridging racial, religious and political divides for Save Malaysia!
From the television time and pages of newspaper space in government and UMNO/BN owned or controlled printed media devoted to the issue in the past 10 days, one should be excused for thinking that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s purchase of RM2.8 million bungalow is the biggest scandal not only in Malaysia but in the world – one thousand times bigger than Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal, when RM2.6 billion is about 1,000 times more than RM2.8 million!
This is not to say that a RM2.8 million corruption scandal involving a DAP leader is acceptable or excusable, but so far there is nothing to show that Guan Eng has a case of corruption in the purchase of the RM2.8 million bungalow to answer.
I confess that that I was nonplussed when the Perda Chairman and UMNO MP for Tasek Gelugor Shabudin Yahaya opened the attack on Guan Eng in Parliament 10 days ago, followed by a blitzkrieg of video clips, social media postings and whats app attacks on Guan Eng’s “corruption”, equating Guan Eng’s bungalow with former Selangor Mentri Besar Khir Toyo’s “Balinese” palatial home – “attack” materials which were clearly prepared in advance to be unleashed once Shabudin opened the assault.
I advised Guan Eng to open his bungalow house to media to visit to show there is nothing to compare his bungalow to Khir Toyo’s palatial home, while he rebutted allegations of corrupt practice in the purchase of the bungalow.
I was surprised that Guan Eng had difficulty in rebutting allegations of corruption, not because there is a case of corruption for him to answer but because of a deliberate propaganda agenda and campaign over government television and UMNO/BN owned or controlled printed media as well as the social media to paint an image that Guan Eng had been untrustworthy, “turning and twisting” and unable to come full and clean on the issue, when in fact he had done so.
For instance, for one long week, television and some print and social media went to town to present the image that Guan Eng did not know the value of the bungalow he purchased and in the process, creating doubt about Guan Eng’s honesty and credibility – which I agree would be most outrageous if true and Guan Eng would deserve to be pilloried for such dishonesty and pretension of ignorance.
But Guan Eng never said he did not know the value of his bungalow when he showed the media his house on 20th March, as Guan Eng was specifically responding to a question by UMNO on whether the property was presently valued at RM6.5 million.
Guan Eng said he did not know whether UMNO was right in claiming that the current value of the bungalow was RM6.5 million , not that he did not know its value when he signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement and paid the stamp duty in 2015.
Guan Eng’s reply and context was correctly reported by the MCA-owned Star, but the MCA Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Wee Ka Siong, could be so unscrupulous and unprincipled as to join in twisting and distorting Guan Eng’s statement by asking yesterday how a Chief Minister and an accountant could be so dishonest as to say he did not know the value of the bungalow he had purchased!
But then, one should not have any high expectations of MCA Ministers and leaders of the MCA would not have degenerated into a 7/11 political party.
There were other lies and half-truths in the blitzkrieg campaign against Guan Eng and the DAP leadership, like the lie that Guan Eng and the Penang State Government had robbed the land of the poor, which could not withstand any serious scrutiny.
But Malaysians must not allow the UMNO/BN strategists and propagandists to kill four birds with one stone, viz:
(1) distract and deflect national attention from Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” scandals;
(2) distract and deflect national attention from the Save Malaysia “Citizens’ Declaration” in general and the People’s Congress in Shah Alam today’;
(3) undermine and attack the DAP’s integrity and credibility by launching a blitzkrieg of lies and falsehoods against the DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, the Penang State Government and the DAP;
(4) Influence the outcome of the impending Sarawak state general elections.
Malaysians must not be gullible as to fall victim to the blitzkrieg campaign of lies and falsehoods by the highly-paid UMNO/BN strategists and propagandists.