The Malaysian 2013 Smear Campaign


GE13 was the most important general election for Malaysians since independence in 1957. It was expected to be an unprecedented turning point for the country’s political stewardship. For the first time in history, the opposition party (PKR) had successfully made many serious inroads into the ruling party’s (BN) once hard core constituents.

PKR’s supporters had a time of their lives attacking BN’s incumbents. PKR has been on the offensive since the last year or so. PKR’s Strategic Director, Rafizi had successfully unbundled several major corruption cases, such as, the-now-infamous RM 250 million NFC cow case given to the family of a former BN Wanita Chief, Sharizat. Similarly, Mr Rafizi had also successfully uncovered the use of Army Retirement Sovereign (LTAT) fund worth, more than RM 300 million to silence a whistle-blower, Deepak from spilling more beans to the infamous Altantuya-Najib murder case.

With the help of Malaysian Customs Department’s employees, the importation of RM 24 million diamond ring by Najib’s highly controversial wife, Rosmah Mansur, had also been uncovered.

To top it of, the Australian press published an over-zealous shopping spree by Rosmah during a trip down-under. In fact, at least one shopkeeper of Australian national had been flown to Putrajaya, so that she can continue with her shopping.

The Malaysian general public was later fed with, one after another, other gory news committed by shopaholic Rosmah, now nicked-named as the ‘Emelda-Marcos of Malaysia’. Amongst others include a RM160,000.00 a night stay in Dubai, for a shopping trip. Another 20-women team shopping trip to London. A grandiose engagement reception, on tax-payer’s account, for the couple’s daughter. A trip to the United States, also on tax-payers’ fund, to attend their son ‘s graduation in Ohio. Another trip to Khazakhtan, also at the curtesy of the Malaysian taxpayers, to visit he couple’s future in-laws.

The offensive strategy adopted by PKR, i.e., to divulge the immoral, behind-the-scene private lives of Najib Razak’s family, was so successful that the same strategy has been extended to other members of the Najib Administration. Hot in the list, is the playboy son of Malaysia’s incumbent de-facto law minister, Nazri.

Pictures of Nazri’s son in lewd positions with several caucasian women, surrounded with beer bottles splashed and went viral on facebook walls and twitters.. The public questioned why Najib had retained Nazri (who, to the eyes of Muslim orthodox voters, is thus a highly irresponsible father) in his 2013 cabinet, when when the same immoral activity was uncovered by a Melaka statesman, the later was quickly dropped. At the same time, why the head of MCA, the second largest component party in Barisan Nasional, who was caught and admitted to having an extra-marital intercourse with a ‘close acquaintance’ was not pressured by Najib to step down.

On the other hand, BN supporters have had such difficult time framing the same immoral smear campaigns to PKR’s politicians. Over the last five years, PKR politicians have had clean bill of health, except on two occasions, Elizabeth Wong and Lim Guan Eng.

Photographs of a partially-naked Elizabeth Wong, a spinster assemblywoman from the Selangor, also went viral in the internet. Rumor of her having a sexual relationship with a Malay boy went public, that at the time of the revelation, she offered to step down from public office. The Malay boy had, since then, ran to Indonesia to avoid capture.

On the other hand, BN supporters had tried to frame DAP opposition leader, Lim Guan Eng, incumbent Penang Chief Minister, having an immoral relationship with his sexy assistant. Although there were no physical evidence to correlate the allegations, they had somehow resulted in Lim’s wife, Betty Chew–an assemblywoman based in Melaka–to withdraw active involvement in politics, and her eventual refusal to defend her incumbency for 2013’s upcoming general election.

The smear campaign became a trend in Malaysian politics. An utterly unhealthy trend, in the attempt to stupefy the Malaysian public. Instead of promoting what a candidate can do, or promises to do for the betterment of the community he/she serves, the trend was to attack the competition. It was much easier and more effective. Forget about manifestos, GNP, unemployment, foreign debts, etc. those were not important to the kampung folks. What matters in 2013 was ‘character assasin’. It is as though saying to the public: “Choose me, the less immoral candidate than my opponent.”

As a result, Malaysia have had series of—as Singapore diplomats put it—“less intelligent” policy makers.

– DM


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