Avoid becoming victims of ‘perception politics’ — Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) should avoid making the mistakes they did in the last general election when they fell victims to the opposition’s politics of perception and lies, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Umno president cum BN chairman said in the last general election, the opposition played up false news to tarnish the image of BN and the government in the eyes of the people, through what was known as the battle of perception.

“Everbody knows Umno is not weak. In fact, we still win and able to add 79 to the 88 parliamentary seats (in GE13), but because of the opposition’s ugly game, we became the victim of perception politics.

“This is what is called the battle of perception and we were almost defeated by the game, although in reality and facts, we are on the right track and earnest in our struggle, compared to the opposition who are full of drama and only good at play acting,” he said.

Najib said this when delivering the policy speech at the 2017 Umno General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here yesterday.

He said examples of the lies by the opposition in the last general election were on the 40,000 phantom voters brought in from Bangladesh, (use of) indelible ink that was easily washable and removed, as well as dissemination of false news on the opposition’s victory.

“This is the modus operandi of the opposition…At the upcoming 14th general eIection, they will continue to lie again. Various issues they will raise, (and will even) be more aggressive, more cunning to win the support of the people,” said Najib.

He said one of the things often played up by the opposition was to create a perception that Umno was a racist and anti-Chinese party.

Najib said if Umno was racist and anti-Chinese as claimed, how could it be accepted to lead other component parties from other races since decades ago.

“I repeat … Umno is not anti-Chinese, but it is obvious the Chinese and some factions of the Indian community are dragged, entrapped into becoming victims of the perception and lies by the opposition,” he added.

“Umno actually is above all (that) … because we have all the while welcome diversity in the country and we believe in harmonious co-existence, mutually depending and complementing each other,” he said.

In his speech, Najib also drew the attention of more than 5,600 Umno delegates to DAP’s action in leading the opposition to oppose the 2018 Budget in the Parliament and lying about the floods in Penang.

“In fact, during the big floods in Penang last Nov 5, Lim Guan Eng, as the Penang Chief Minister, appealed and was almost in tears when he telephoned the Deputy Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi), seeking assistance while saying save Penang…save Penang.

“After that, when I and the deputy prime minister went to Penang, (Lim) accused the federal government of not providing assistance during the floods. This is another lie,” he said.

Najib said in reality, only Umno had been proven the only party that was still strong in safeguarding the interests of the Malays, the bumiputera, as well as Malaysians, and remained the pillar of BN.

As such, he said Malaysians should be mature, and not be emotional, as well as not be influenced by the ploys of the opposition in the social media. — Bernama

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