UMNO’S cyber army needs to react faster and hasten their defence of the government to avoid fake news from taking over the headlines, says Deputy Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Speaking at the Umno Social Media Convention today, the party vice-president said Umno’s cybertroopers need to explain issues quickly and nip problems in the bud before they turn into court cases.
“Fake news becomes the truth if it is not tackled quickly.
“If we don’t answer the issues within three to four months, they will become court cases, similar to what Ambiga (Sreenevasan) has done to PAS by alleging Prime Minister Najib Razak used money from 1Malaysia Development Bhd,” Zahid said at the Putra World Trade Centre today.
Zahid said now that the case is in court, any attempts to refute the allegations were futile.
“When Sarawak Report was sued in court and the case had been exposed, Ambiga kept silent and only said what was mentioned in the suit.
“We should have studied this case when it first reared its head, and not when it has already been brought to court as perceptions can be very damaging,” he said to the 4,500 Umno cyber troopers present.
Recently, Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown named Ambiga as her source of information in her defence and counterclaim against a suit by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
Rewcastle-Brown claimed she spoke to Ambiga in July 2016 regarding the 1MDB scandal, Najib and PAS.
However, Ambiga is keeping mum on the issue, saying it is now a court case.
Zahid said these issues must be handled quickly to avoid a repeat of the last two general elections, where Barisan Nasional lost two-thirds majority in Dewan Rakyat.
“We can see the effects of this because we lost the last two general elections. But we must let bygones be bygones.
“We must work together regardless of our differences and combine the strength of all of our machinery, especially when the prime minister has tabled the best budget for next year.
“God willing, we will reclaim two-thirds majority in the 14th general election.