It is obvious that BN's propaganda is going at full-blast in order to shape the minds of the rakyat.
BN’s onslaught in promoting themselves has really gone overboard. One only needs to switch on the television these days and there is always some advertorial (read: propaganda) on how BN has helped this person or that person in his career as a successful entrepreneur besides the usual advertisements promoting the 1Malaysia slogan.
There is a glut of these BN advertorials between programmes that it is difficult to tell whether one is watching advertorials between programmes or programmes between advertorials.
The television stations should be renamed ‘BN TV’ at the rate that these BN advertorials are appearing on the screen and the only way to minimise watching them is to switch on the television right on the dot of a particular programme.
A friend of this columnist has mentioned that the purpose of watching television these days is to watch Taiwanese, South Korean, Hong Kong and Singaporean serials. The 8pm news is irrelevant.
Another BN propaganda tool is of course the radio stations. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is frequently on the airwaves in this or that radio talkshow.
And equally just as worse as the television is the print media. Malaysia’s press freedom rating has plunged from 122 to 145 out of 179 countries in the Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index 2013.
A columnist in one of the mainstream papers dated Feb 6, 2013 has remarked that the evaluation given was flawed and arrogant.
This is the norm with BN. If a western entity praises Malaysia, then they will say that the same is very fair and the evaluation is to be respected. But if any entity downgrades them, then the same is said to be biased, stupid, etc.
BN leaders refuse to take the bad together with the good and mainstream papers have thus become BN’s party organ.
This then reveals the transformation of media freedom as envisaged by BN. Never before has the mainstream media behaved in this manner. Its utilisation by BN was terribly bad prior to the 2008 general election but this time it is extremely deplorable.
Truly, the transformation of the mainstream media into being a BN propaganda tool is 100 percent successful.
Besides the media transformation into a BN weapon to shoot down Pakatan Rakyat (PR), there is another type of propaganda being cultivated by BN and it is none other than creating false impressions.
Here is one such example. There was a protest last month in front of Masjid Sungai Kob in Kedah and it was directed against Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng pertaining to the use of the ‘Allah’ terminology. The protest was held by a group of people claiming to be PAS members and supporters.
After investigation into the matter, PAS Padang Serai Information Chief, Ahmad Rizal Mohd Nor stressed that those individuals who protested are imposters disguising as PAS members.
“These individuals thereby have broken the law by claiming to be members of a registered political party and their intention may be to confuse the public in order to create disharmony, instability and chaos,” said PAS’ Ahmad Rizal.
The deed of these protesters was widely reported by the mainstream papers and a press clipping was shown by Ahmad Rizal when a police report was made by the leadership of PAS Padang Serai.
Said Ahmad Rizal, “This dastardly deed is nothing but slander by certain parties who have an evil political intention to use PAS’ name to do evil propaganda to break up PAS, PKR and DAP.”
He added that this foul deed amounts to provocation via the use of disguise and propaganda and therefore is an extremely serious matter and he hopes that the same will be quickly investigated in a transparent and professional manner by the police.
So much for propaganda involving religion.
Of course, propaganda is also common in the institutions of higher learning and the ‘Listen!’ episode bears testimony to that. Schools too are not spared of BN’s propaganda.
In Permatang Pauh, teachers and two representatives from each PTA (Parents and Teachers Association) of schools all over Penang had recently been made to listen to BN’s campaign against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) group.
The event was officiated by a BN deputy minister who was reported to have slammed the opposition as being power-crazy and harbouring the intention of causing instability.
This seminar to inform teachers and parents on the social ills said to be caused by the LGBT group was held at the Dewan Politeknik Seberang Perai. A high-ranking officer of the Biro Tata Negara (National Civics Bureau) was also present.
From all the examples highlighted above, it is obvious that BN’s propaganda is going at full-blast in order to shape the minds of the rakyat.
Either we succumb to the massive and intensive propaganda or we become immune to it.
The year of the Water Snake is full of hoaxes, deceptions and illusions as it is the symbol of the cloud covering the sun.
As the Water Snake had entered at 15 minutes past midnight on Feb 4 according to the solar calendar, it is worse as there is no sun at night. We should all be alert and be aware. Otherwise, our thinking will be clouded.
Selena Tay is a DAP member and a FMT columnist.