Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," said the 19th Century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). This phrase was later popularised by Mark Twain. Today, the New Straits Times wrote about the Agong’s speech in Parliament and suggested that the ‘new media’ is nothing but a factory of lies. Let us talk about this issue.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

“Great tool... only if we don't let fools use it”, said Azmi Anshar in the New Straits Times. The NST piece starts by saying:

Of all the counsel provided by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday as he opened the first meeting of the third session of 12th Parliament, this perhaps resonates the loudest -- slander, lies and distortion of facts are still percolating in the new media. The king was, of course, reiterating the feral aspect of this dominion. As much as the technical deployment of email, websites, blogs and the social media Facebooking and Tweeting on either PCs or cellphones has surged in numbers, the human traits of malice and gullibility remain the same. (Read more here).

There is some truth in the allegation that the Internet is sometimes used to spin lies. Of course, many of the so-called ‘lies’ that Malaysia Today publishes later turns out to be the truth. What was denied at first is later confirmed. Then again, sometimes events turn out opposite to what Malaysia Today wrote.

What these people may not realise is, firstly, Malaysia Today is a not a newspaper in the real sense of the word. And it is certainly not a member of the mainstream media. It is a ‘war machine’. It is a ‘machine’ to rebut what the mainstream newspapers write and to attack those who walk in the corridors of power when they do wrong. It is also a pre-emptive strike ‘machine’ that is used to reveal the plans, plots and shenanigans of those who sit in Putrajaya.

Pre-emptive strike means you attack the other side before they attack you. And you use pre-emptive strikes to thwart or frustrate the plans of the other side. You expose them before they make their move so that they cancel or abort their planned move. That is the long and short of what our mission is all about.

On many an occasion Malaysia Today revealed what was going to happen so that it would not happen. Sure, the danger in this would be that Malaysia Today would be proven wrong. But we have no problems with that. We would like to be proven wrong. If we were proven right then that would be disastrous.

For example, we were proven right about the Pakatan Rakyat Perak government being ousted and that Barisan Nasional was going to take back the state. If it is all about ego then we should be happy that Malaysia Today was proven right. But we are not happy that Malaysia Today was proven right because this is not about our ego or about being proven right. We sincerely wish we had been proven wrong.

Then we wrote about the Selangor and Kedah governments being the next two states to fall. And we said it would happen around January 2010. That is yet to be proven right. So, thus far, we are wrong.

I had dinner with some Barisan Nasional people, people close to the very top, who informed me that Vincent Tan had met a few Pakatan Rakyat Parliamentarians and State Assemblypersons from Selangor and Kedah to negotiate their crossover. The meeting was held immediately after the meeting Vincent Tan had with Hee of Perak.

Now, these people I had dinner with are the same people who told me that the Perak government was going to fall and that a deal had been made to buy off the two Malay State Assemblymen from PKR and that Vincent Tan was paying Hee of DAP RM25 million to crossover.

The Perak incident was proven correct. So these sources are certainly reliable as far as Perak is concerned. And these people are not Umno people, mind you. These are non-Malays who are well connected and can afford to slap millions onto the table with no effort whatsoever.

It is the duty of Malaysia Today to reveal the possible collapse of Selangor and Kedah. We did not want to be proven right. We wanted to be proven wrong. And the only way we could be proven wrong would be if Pakatan Rakyat were to lock the stable doors BEFORE the horses bolt and not AFTER like in the Perak case. Locking the stable doors AFTER the horse has bolted is a futile exercise.

Now, Anwar Ibrahim has personally stepped into Selangor by becoming the state’s economic adviser. We certainly hope this is not a title in name only and that Anwar would grab the bull by the horns and grapple with the many problems Selangor is facing. And we all know that Selangor is facing many problems, so no need to go into details.

Maybe it needed for Perak to fall before they would take our warnings more seriously. When we told them about Perak they pooh-poohed it and assured us that everything is under control. But it was not, and just two weeks later what we had hoped would not happen did happen.

Of course, now everyone says: fantastic, you were right about Perak. What they do not understand is that we do not wish to be right. We wish to be wrong. We wish Perak were still under Pakatan Rakyat. And we certainly do not wish to be right about Selangor and Kedah as well. We wish that Pakatan Rakyat would do whatever it takes to secure these two states and not allow them to go the way of Perak.

So there you are. When Malaysia Today makes a revelation you really do not know what is our motive behind it. If we were one of the mainstream newspapers then our motive would be merely to report the news. But we are not in the business of reporting the news. We are in the business of bringing change to Malaysia. And we do what needs to be done to achieve this.

And change can only come about when those who walk in the corridors of power are constantly under threat. They are under threat of their wrongdoings being exposed. They are under threat of losing power and of a new government taking over this country. And they can only fear losing power when there is a strong alternative to the ruling party. So it is our duty to ensure that there emerges a strong alternative to Barisan Nasional. That is our job.

So that, in a nutshell, is what Malaysia Today is all about. And those who walk in the corridors of power who may have any misgivings about this are destined for doom. As what Sun Tzu said: know your enemy. And it appears those who walk in the corridors of power do not know Malaysia Today. And that is the first step to their defeat.

This is war, and all is fair in love and war, the old saying goes. You hit wherever you can find a weak spot. And you hit where it hurts them most. Are there rules in the game of war? Over thousands of years wars have been fought and when were rules ever followed?

BTN, the government agency in charge of brainwashing, spins lies. The government-controlled mainstream media spins lies. The truth is distorted every step of the way. Threats are bandied about. The fear of another ‘May 13’ is constantly planted into the minds of Malaysians.

I am not saying that since ‘they’ lie then there is nothing wrong if we also lie. What I am saying is who are ‘they’ to moralise when their lives are all about lies? 1Malaysia is a spin. The NEP is a spin? Ketuanan Melayu is a spin. Let’s look at the statistics of the Malay share of the economic pie and analyse whether the Malays are really as downtrodden as they say, or is this yet another spin?

Oh, then again, there are lies, damned lies, and there are statistics. So maybe we should not do that after all.

I always joke to my friends by saying that Malaysia Today does not lie. We just present our version of the truth. And is not what would be considered the truth to one, a lie to another? Muslims say that Jesus never died on the cross and that this is a lie. The Jews say that Jesus was not a Christian but a Jew who had deviated from true Judaism. The Christians say that Jesus was the last Prophet, not Muhammad, and that Muhammad was a fake, inspired not by God but by the devil.

Yes, truth and lies. Is it not subjective? You will know only after you die which is truth and which are lies. And so far none who have died have come back from their graves to reveal the truth.

So we take our chances. We hope that we are actually followers of truth and not of lies. And to pacify our tormented minds we call it faith because the truth will only be known after our soul leaves our body and when it is too late to correct our wrong choice of ‘belief’.

So be it. Let our faith decide our path. And if you have no faith in the cause then move on. You are not compelled to read Malaysia Today. You read Malaysia Today by choice. So make your choice. If you have no faith in Malaysia Today, then go. No one is forcing you to stay. But those who lie have no business moralising about others.

Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. And I can see no one bending down to pick up any stones.

courtesy of malaysia-today.net

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