Communication and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak has cited a March 30 report in the South China Morning Post(SCMP) as a prime example of fake news.
The article was titled “Why are foreign leaders snubbing Najib ahead of Malaysia’s election?”
Salleh quoted the newspaper as claiming that the usual beeline of VIPs coming to Malaysia had come to a crawl and if Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is unable to bring in a big name soon, he would be open to criticism that Malaysia’s international standing had fallen under his watch.
“This is a prime example of fake news. And that is not a matter of opinion – it is a fact, as I will show,” he added.
Salleh said apart from the widely observed practice of foreign leaders not making official visits to a country just before an election for fear of being seen to interfere in the country’s internal democratic process, the Malaysian government has actually declined foreign visits for that reason.
Malaysia’s newly self-appointed ‘Truth Czar’, Salleh Keruak, has decreed that SCMP has committed a ‘Fake News’ violation, by suggesting that foreign leaders are not sufficiently admiring of Malaysia’s Dear Leader (Najib).
The paper suggested that potential high level visitors have been shunning Malaysia, whereas Salleh has now truthfully clarified that in fact Najib has been turning them away, since he would not wish to unfairly boost his own election chances [pause for laughter].
So, will this matter become the first prosecution under the ‘Fake News’ legislation so fresh from the parliamentary stamping shop? After a day’s debate and with PAS so eagerly agreeing with its UMNO friends, the law is now in place.
The SCMP report may have just got under the wire on timing, but in Malaysia you never know.
Maybe criminal charges and an extradition request is already winging its way to the Hong Kong police, naming the offending journalist? Perhaps, the SCMP will now be banned in Malaysia and join Sarawak Report as blocked online?
Malaysians can look forward to relying further on their own truthful government propaganda, produced by Salleh at the Ministry of Truth, in order to better understand the facts and the world around them.
And PAS will remind the faithful to remember to thank Najib in their prayers.