Government must take on fake news peddlers quickly

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Graphic: Wikipedia

We need a national tidal wave movement that can come out in millions to state their stand for a united Malaysia, writes JD Lovrenciear.

Lim Kit Siang has outlined the buried truths that can actually truly transform our nation into a regional if not global beacon of hope for a troubled world.

He is right in pointing out that fake news peddlers are wreaking havoc in the minds and hearts of Malaysians along ethnic and religious boundaries.

Those grappling for power, as it slips through their hands, appear to be using social and news media to stir up entrenched suspicions among Malaysians of different ethnic groups and religions.

The government must take immediate action by assembling a team of information technology-savvy young minds and hearts to fight this battle against the “deep state” architects and their horde of keyboard warriors.

The strategy must be hinged on fast, widespread information, updates and news dissemination using social media and traditional media. It is not propaganda, but perception management to promote national unity.

It demands communication specialists, graphic designers, animators, illustrators, writers, journalists and information technology wizards to be pooled to form this team so that it can act fast without bureaucratic hurdles.

In this perception war, the mainstream media need to come together, putting business agendas and rivalries aside, to help disseminate targeted reports aimed at building a nation that is united for all Malaysians.

We need to move from the claws of power struggles that manipulate ethno-religious religion divides or political ideologies. We need to be anchored in universal values.

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It is now or never. We need a national tidal wave movement that can come out in millions to state their stand for a united Malaysia.

Yes, Kit Siang is right. It we can fight this war against racists and religious bigots who are trapping citizens in their power game, we will have the enormous strengths of four distinct civilisations – Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western – building on one another’s capabilities and making up for any shortcomings.

Let us do it. Let us bersihkan (clean up) the nation. What better time than during this month of Malaysia Day celebrations.

The government must boldly initiate this mass movement in collaboration with civil society, activists, religious congregations and academics with financial contributions from the business communities.

Only then can we triumph. Only then will the diabolical bigots retreat.

Otherwise, we will contnue fighting mini-battles every now and then and shooting ourselves in the foot, eventually destroying any trace of unity and trust among Malaysians.

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