KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak regards the emergence of the social media, new technology, generation Y and support of the Chinese community after the 12th General Election as among the most challenging issues to the party.
In a special interview by the Mingguan Malaysia newspaper published yesterday, the prime minister said UMNO was forced to face the increase in the new media, with the emergence of websites which had political agenda, dissemination of lies and manipulations which had structured and systematic motives.
“For example, the role of the Red Bean Army and others, to the extent illogical stories could be accepted by the people, such as 40,000 Bangladeshis which we purportedly brought in as voters.
“When a story is concocted, people are not good at filtering at that stage, (at) distinguishing between the right and untrue…which is half-truth and not true,” he said in an interview in conjunction with the 2014 Umno General Assembly scheduled for five days, beginning Tuesday.
In the interview, Najib said the situation was now different from the past where society then depended much on newspapers and television.
UMNO members, he said, could not adjust themselves to the new surrounding when their role in the social media was often eclipsed, as compared to the opposition.
Najib, however, said Umno had a bit of advantage at several social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
“But there are areas where we are still behind such as Youtube; secondly, the popularity of certain websites because they, no matter what we do, are regarded as alternative media and criticise the government…many people access the websites,” he said as quoted by the newspaper.
As such, he said, whatever was being done even by leaders at division level, could be promoted via the social media, so they can gauge the level of the people’s expectation and hope.
In the interview, Najib also said he played a big role in the social media and had a following of 2.2 million.
“So, we must be more creative and determined in encouraging our people to upload more stories which are more easily accessible,” he said.