Wednesday 1 August 2012

Water a BN propaganda tool - Selena Tay

The so-called water crisis is being used as a psychological warfare by the mainstream media.

Kelantan has dirty water and Selangor has a water crisis – this is the impression or perception one would get from reading the mainstream papers. But the reality is entirely different and that is the power of psychological warfare enhanced by the mainstream media to create an unfavourable perception of one’s enemy by covering up the truth.

If one were to go to Kelantan, one can see that the tap water there is in fact clean and as for the water crisis in Selangor, appended below are the water levels of the reservoirs in Selangor as at July 2, 2012 for readers to judge for themselves:

Reservoirs maximum water levels (in metres)/water level as at July 2, 2012 (in metres):

1. Sungai Selangor – 220.00/217.35
2. Sungai Tinggi – 59.50/58.70
3. Klang Gates – 95.22/95.61
4. Batu – 102.70/102.56
5. Tasik Subang – 38.58/38.22
6. Sungai Langat – 220.96/220.97
7. Semenyih – 111.00/111.03

PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has gone on record to say that the so-called water crisis in Selangor, played up by the mainstream media, was all about protecting the interests of the Barisan Nasional and its cronies to ensure that the construction of the Langat 2 treatment plant would proceed unhindered.

According to Khalid, “The level of treated and untreated water in the state is more than enough to meet the people’s demand. Therefore there is no real immediate need to bring water from Pahang. Thus, Langat 2 is unnecessary. What is needed is a more efficient management of water supply so that leakages and non-revenue water could be minimised and new pipes should replace old ones”.

Khalid also added that BN has resorted to manufacturing lies on water shortage to scare the people and to put the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state government in bad light by highlighting that the Pakatan state government was not co-operative in regard to the construction of Langat 2.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, however, has decided that the construction of Langat 2 will proceed and tenders would be opened soon.

BN engages in a cunning brainwashing strategy called “media-polishing” and the mainstream media is a very powerful tool because it is able to polish BN’s image. Massive funds have been used by BN for this purpose in order for BN to achieve its goals.

Daily we have been bombarded by the mainstream media with advertorials praising and glorifying BN’s good deeds such as the 1Malaysia shops and the BR1M cash aid. One must realise that it is the duty of the government to assist the citizens and therefore it is not necessary to create such a big hoo-ha over it.

Perception war

BN is now going full steam ahead with its propaganda. The perception war against Pakatan Rakyat is simple: BN are the heroes while Pakatan are the villains. No two-ways about it.

Some of the advertorials promoting BN are more subtle such as the “I choose Malaysia” series.

Nevertheless, the colour and the words used such as “prosperity” and “stability” all hint at BN as the mastermind behind the advertorials. Thus, BN’s propaganda can influence the gullible into thinking that they are leaders who can do no wrong and therefore must always be voted in.

In an advertisement on the KTM commuter train, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is portrayed as a caring and concerned leader with slogans telling us that the government is listening to us and is concerned with our welfare by assisting those in the low-income group.

But more could be done to assist the low-wage earner such as the reduction of unskilled foreign labour who depress wages.

Still, if the BN government is listening to us, we need to ask the following question: Has BN listened to the voice of the people during the past three Bersih rallies clamouring for free and fair elections?

Of course, there are many more questions but the above question is the greatest question of all because free and fair elections will enable the people to truly determine the course of the nation. And that is why BN’s propaganda has gone into overdrive: because the 13th general election may probably be held in September.

BN has no choice but to wage a war of perception against Pakatan as BN has too many faults that need to be concealed. BN leaders have since the dawn of time failed to answer the rakyat’s questions pertaining to mismanagement and the only way to avoid answering the rakyat is to show that everything is fine.

But there will come a time when even the BN government’s propaganda will fail to hide the truth. Take, for instance, the crime rate. The government says that the crime rate has gone down. But the crime statistics given by the government does not gel with the daily incidences of crime reported not only in the mainstream media but also in the social media. This plainly shows that the government is being economical with the truth in regard to the nation’s crime rate and therefore the government’s figures are pooh-poohed by the people.

The government must stop fooling us. They must realise that in this day and age, we the rakyat will not be kept in ignorance as the advancement in technology has enabled news to be communicated instantly.

Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.

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