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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Fahmi sees red over PN-linked social media ads casting aspersions on govt


PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil is seeing red over a Perikatan Nasional-linked Facebook page that is pushing political advertising on social media with questionable or false messages, seemingly in a bid to cast aspersions against the newly-formed government.

This includes an inaccurate retelling of a historical incident - in which a Muslim city was besieged and later slaughtered by Mongol invaders.

In a Facebook post this morning, Fahmi (above) said one posting in particular - which claimed that Israel was happy that Anwar Ibrahim became prime minister - was desperate and slanderous.

"The spread of lies such as this and those involved or in cahoots to do such things must be investigated by police.

"God willing, a police report will be lodged," he added.

The Anwar-Israel post - which has since been deleted - plays up an editorial opinion piece published on Israeli news media Haaretz which said the Pakatan Harapan chief's appointment as prime minister could lead to ties between the Jewish state with Malaysia.

Malaysia has no official diplomatic ties with Israel and Malaysian passports can't be used for travel to the Middle Eastern country.

The page that made the post - Perikatan Nasional for Malaysia - was set up in the lead-up to the 2021 Malacca state election.

The Anwar-Israel post, and 28 other posts - several of which attack Harapan and BN during and after the 15th general election - were sponsored by an individual who is believed to be a PAS member.

A search on the woman's name found Facebook posts linking her to the party, including a now-deleted post which originally stated she was a member of the Dungun PAS Women's wing.

Distorting historical events

Further checks by Malaysiakini on Facebook's ad library found that the individual had sponsored about 250 posts - mostly promoting PAS or PN candidates during elections.

Malaysiakini has contacted PN's communications team and PAS information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin on whether the Perikatan Nasional for Malaysia page is officially linked to the coalition and if the postings were officially sanctioned.

Besides the Anwar-Israel post, one eye-catching advert from last Thursday morning was a retelling of the Siege of Bukhara by Genghis Khan.

The post states that when Genghis' Mongol horde attacked Bukhara - a Muslim city located in modern-day Uzbekistan - he could not penetrate its defences.

Thus, the Mongol general wrote to the city, offering that whoever fights the defenders will be given control of the city - leading to a civil war in which the "traitors" won.

However, when the Mongols entered the city later, they slaughtered the turncoats, with Genghis remarking that if they were trustworthy, they would have remained loyal to their kin.

The retelling is attributed to 12th-13th Century Arab historian Ibn al-Athir and his book Al-Kamil Fi At-Tarikh (The Complete History).

The moral of the story, seemingly implied by the post, is that traitors will end up getting betrayed, sooner or later.

Interestingly, the post is also accompanied by a video of Malaysians being united, accompanied by the song Jalur Gemilang.

Checks by Malaysiakini, however, found the version in the post to be historically inaccurate and may have been misattributed to Ibn al-Athir to gain credibility.

While Genghis did invade Bukhara - he penetrated its citadel - thanks to siege warfare experts from China.

He is also recorded to have told Bukara's populace at a mosque that he was "God's punishment" against sinners.

Ibn al-Athir did write about Mongol conquests but Malaysiakini could not find any of his writings on the Siege of Bukhara as in the Facebook post.

A scholarly publication on Genghis by the International Islamic University of Malaysia - which refers to Ibn al-Athir and the Al-Kamil Fi At-Tarikh among others - also does not include such details in its chronicling of the Mongol conquest of Bukhara.

Further, contrary to the post, not all residents of Bukhara were slain nor is there any record of civil warfare. - Mkini

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