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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The rising dangerous trend of misinformation

Hindraf slams those who have chosen purposefully to spread untruths and create a myth and let it go viral spinning off the social media network.
COMMENT
By N Ganesan
There is a dangerous trend developing in the public information domain that bodes ill for us all Malaysians.
We used to criticize the mainstream print media for its untruthful and biased reporting of events and occurrences around the country. Now it looks like that is coming full circle with the online media, social media all resorting to similar yet more vicious campaigns of untruths and distortions of truths.
For a clear example of this kind of falsehood I refer to a recent article that was published in a widely read online portal titled, ‘Kula flays Waytha for silence on custodial death’ on May 27, 2013, quoting DAP’s M Kula Segaran extensively.
There is vicious untruth in the article and it was penned and published by noteworthy individuals and organization.
That article is entirely baseless. Its basic premise is false. Its arguments are at best nothing more than self serving and opportunistic rhetoric.
It is written by a journalist, who claims a career of 40 years in journalism. It is shameful what that 40 years has come to be. The comments section of the article and the Red Bean Facebook circuits will just amplify these lies and perform the greatest disservice to our country, of spreading untruths in volumes.
It all ill-portends a Goebbellian new world for Malaysia.
The writer of that article quotes Kula Segaran about Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy’s ‘deafening silence’ .
I wonder if they know what that really means. They should refer to the article ‘Lame excuses from the cops’ in the Free Malaysia Today online portal on May 23, full four days before the article.
Waythamoorthy makes it plain in that article just where he stands on these unacceptable acts of deaths in custody.
This is Waythamoorthy’s stand
Just for record, here are a few key things that Waythamoorthy mentioned in that article:
“Waythamoorthy also called on Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar to immediately suspend all those suspects allegedly involved in the death of Darmindran, 32. He said the police cannot go on giving lame excuses on such incidents because there were one too many deaths in police custody.
“Public will no longer entertain such lame excuses,” he told FMT here today. He said it was time for the police to implement preventive measures to stop these deaths such as installing closed circuit television cameras in all police stations and lock-ups.
He also called the government to amend the law to allow formation of area citizen groups who would be given round-the-clock access to their respective neighbourhood police stations and detainees in police lock-ups. Citing several countries which practiced it, he said these groups shall be made of neighbourhood residents with good and credible public standing, and not necessary they have to be educated or professional persons.
He said citizen groups shall be allowed to visit police stations and detainees at any time to have first-hand look at their captive conditions.“It’s important for the police to take these pro-active steps immediately to restore waning public trust and confidence in the force,” said Waythamoorthy.”
Spreading untruths on purpose
Both Kula Segaran and the writer is the first article cannot be excused for non-knowledge of this article. After all this is public domain and they are operators in this domain.
I have therefore no choice but to conclude that they have chosen purposefully to spread untruths and create a myth and let it go viral spinning off the social media network.
Their job in this episode, seems to be to initiate untruths and let black become white in the intensity of what ensues, and to cast themselves as the heroes of the victims and to cast others equally in the scene as villains. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
It is time that Malaysia and Malaysians become aware of this dangerous new trend arising where minds will continue be controlled, by lies, by distortions of truths, by half truths and just by repetitions and intensity in the social media and all in the name of a new morality of the underdog’s truth.
We all need a better Malaysia. The Malaysia we all need is one where truth prevails, regardless. Not one in the grips of vicious untruth spread by wolves in sheepskin.
We do not need to descend down this path shown us by opportunistic leaders and pied pipers whose job now it seems to be to lead this new variety of misinformation.
N Ganesan is Hindraf’s national advisor.

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