The campaign to demonise the opposition with the George Soros bogey that is being played out in the mainstream media today appears to have been hatched by a government agency since mid-year.

The Special Affairs Department (Jasa) of the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry earlier this year published a thick handbook called 'Guide to Explain Current Issues', which provides the basis of the campaign.

NONEAmong others, it claims that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim received funds from the currency speculator to face elections.

It argues that Soros is a Jewish Zionist agent and had purportedly funded the International Crisis Group (ICG) where Anwar is a member via the Open Society Institute (OSI).

"... Anwar is among the ICG's exco member... a large portion (of leaders) in the ICG are Jews," said the 322-page book.

"Soros had criticised the Malaysian government and defended Anwar when he was accused of abusing his power."

The supposed Anwar-Soros relations is contained in a chapter titled 'ICG and (its) relationship with Zionists', one of 22 chapters addressing various issued and programs raised by Pakatan Rakyat since June.

 Accusations just roll on

To portray that "Bersih 3.0 (rally) is kotor (dirty)", Anwar was accused of starting the chaos on April 28, and was supported by a pro-gay marriage Australian parliamentarian.

panduan penjelasan isu semasa book jasa soros bn 131012 najibOther issues contained in the book include the National Feedlot Centre scandal, the Scorpene submarine purchase, the Lynas rare earth refinery, Buku Jinnga, Teoh Beng Hock's death, Felda's windfall and Felda Global Venture Holding's (FGV) listing, the demands of Chinese education lobby group Dong Zong, and criticism against the Election Commission.

The book was written in a question-and-answer format. It also addresses issues specific to Kelantan and Sabah.

The main issues relating to the PAS-led state were contained in three special chapters: Demands for petroleum royalty, contamination of piped water, and the People's Field (Ladang Rakyat) project.

As for Sabah, its issues were given attention in another three chapters - the influx of immigrants, customary land rights, and the "Sabah for Sabahans" campaign.

azlanHowever, the last chapter 'Allegations of Altantuya (Shaariibuu's) Murder' broke away from the book's question-and-answer or explanatory format.

Instead, it contained Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's vow during the 2008 Permatang Pauh by-election that he was not involved, and it was reproduced in full.
Sanctity of facade maintained
Meanwhile, another 22 chapters listed the government's policies and programmes.

The first part titled 'National policies" kicks off with the following chapters: Vision 2020, 1Malaysia, the Tenth Malaysia Plan, and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

It also explains the 2012 Budget, the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) scheme, the government's campaign to reduce corruption and crime rates, measures to control rising prices, and programmes to improve living conditions for the low-income group.

One page lists out 20 wealthiest Malaysians before concluding that there are "only three ethnic Malays (15 percent) whereas there 16 ethnic Chinese (80 percent) and one ethnic Indian (five percent), in that group.

It also contained statistics to show that Malay Malaysians are falling behind in professional fields, ownership of equities, and business premises.

This chapter is followed by programmes to develop the bumiputera such as Teraju, before detailing Malaysia's "national achievements" in the eyes of the world.

Malaysia is portrayed as a peaceful and prosperous country despite being multiracial and multi-religious, unlike the chaos in Western Asia in recent months.

The Malay-language guidebook is prepared as reference material for Jasa's campaign officers - the agency being one the government's main propaganda wings - and carries a foreword from Najib.

"The freedom of speech as guaranteed under the federal constitution does not mean any party may slander or incite the flames of hatred," he said.
Countering Internet influence
In its introduction, Jasa director-general and Umno veteran Fuad Hassan said the book was prepared in response to the rapid spread of information over the Internet.

NONEIn March, Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim reportedly said that some 50,000 copies would be printed, including those for in rural areas.

Besides Jasa, he said, other agencies using the book for reference include the Department of Information, official news agency Bernama, and Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM).

Malaysiakini had obtained a copy of the book last month while attending a Jasa event in Kuala Lumpur regarding opposition against amendments to Section 114A of the Evidence Act.

A digital edition of the book can also be obtained from Jasa's website.

Although the materials were prepared some time after the Bersih rally in late-April and in the run-up to FGV's listing in late-June, the exact dates of publication and distribution could not be determined.