Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed believes there is no use for Umno to curtail information.
Umno, he said, would not be successful in doing so, nor would it be successful in spreading information according to the party’s own mould.
“It’s not possible in the digital era,” he told reporters in Shah Alam today.
Nur Jazlan had dropped by at a forum entitled “Bahaya Politik Hasutan” (The dangers of slanderous politics) featuring Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Umno Youth exco Sheikh Nafiq Alfirdaous.
The deputy minister said the time for Umno to curtail information that would only benefit the party had passed due to the many available media outlets.
“Even if they want to curtail they cannot do it for long,” he said.
Nur Jazlan had earlier commended Sinar Harian’s effort in organising the programme featuring youths.
“When my father was information minister there were not many media outlets.
“Youths did not have the chance to voice out their views but with online media, they have the chance to debate and exchange information,” he said.
The young, he stressed, must be exposed to information but they must also be careful in choosing authentic information.
Citing the US presidential elections, Nur Jazlan pointed out how even Facebook was accused of spreading false information.
“Although youths are more exposed to information, they must be wise and matured in choosing accurate information,” he said.
Earlier during the forum, Syed Saddiq told the audience he used to be a fan of both Nur Jazlan and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
But following the leaders’ subsequent silence in relation to the 1MDB issue, Syed Saddiq had since ceased to support them.
And this, he said, showed how one’s principles should always be maintained.
“If a particular individual is wrong, we should revoke our support.
“To weaken slanderous politics, everyone has to have his or her own stance. Your principles should not change,” he stressed.
Sheikh Nafiq, after learning that Syed Saddiq was from Pulai, challenged him to contest in the constituency in the next general election.
Incumbent Pulai MP Nur Jazlan, who came to the front after the forum ended, praised Syed Saddiq whom he said was “highly principled”.
“I pray that he will be successful. Yes, he is highly-principled but once he faces reality in the future, then he will know,” said Nur Jazlan jokingly.
Speaking to reporters later, although he agreed with young leaders being given the chance to lead, Syed Saddiq said one should not jump into politics to get positions.
“Until now when people ask whether I will contest or not, I don’t have a 100 percent answer.
“Even when my own party asked whether I want to or not I said I don’t know because I’m still learning and I want to gain experience.”
Nevertheless, if contesting in the general election was the best way to change the country’s political landscape, Syed Saddiq said he would accept the challenge openly.
The forum turned slightly heated during the question and answer session when a man accused Syed Saddiq of corrupting the mind of youths and slandering the prime minister.
Syed Saddiq however argued saying that he would have long been dragged to court if he was indeed a slanderer.
“I just say things based on reports by the Public Accounts Committee, the Auditor General and the US Department of Justice.
“This is not me saying these things, it’s acknowledged by everyone,” he stressed.- Mkini