PM says greatest threat to country is 'fake news' from social media or certain leaders that is aimed at toppling the government.
PEKAN: Prime Minister Najib Razak says the spread of false information through social media and by former leaders with the aim of toppling the democratically elected government is a new threat the government must counter.
Najib said attacking hearts and minds through the dissemination of false news and defamation was dangerous and it was being carried out by certain parties who had their own political agenda.
As such, Najib said the people should work with the government to defend the country against these elements which could threaten its peace and prosperity.
“Defending our country does not only mean from attacks by troops from outside the country, but the more dangerous forms of attack are those against our minds and hearts.
“When our minds and hearts are attacked by news, propaganda as well as false information and defamation or ‘fake news’ coming out through social media or from certain leaders in order to topple a government, this is the greatest threat, and we will fight all out against it,” he said.
Najib said this when officiating at the ‘Negaraku: 1Malaysia Community’ programme in Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar here today.
The event was also attended by Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak and his deputy Jailani Johari.
Also present were the State Women and Family Development, Communications and Multimedia Committee chairman Shahaniza Shamsuddin and Bernama Editor-in-Chief Zakaria Abd Wahab.
Najib said that following the spread of false allegations, numerous measures and action taken by the government for the good of the people had been misinterpreted, giving rise to various controversies.
“As a government we’ve done many things (for the people)…however, when there are rumours which try to distort things, even good things can become bad and controversial, such as the handing out of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M),” he said.