Kit Siang Return Of A Marcos In Philippines Could Be Ge15 Indicator
Veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang believes that a win for Ferdinand Marcos Jr in tomorrow’s Philippines presidential election could be an indicator of the power of social media and fake news.
“Marcos Jr (above), whose father was ousted for massive corruption and human rights abuses in a people’s revolution in 1986, is the presidential front-runner in the May 9 election.
“His popularity is based on the nostalgia of alleged prosperity and the ‘golden age’ of Filipino society during his father’s dictatorship in the 1980s.
“Political observers and disinformation researchers say his campaign is buoyed by a massive disinformation and propaganda network,” said Iskandar Puteri MP Lim in a statement today.
He highlighted that a study by news outlet Vera Files, a Facebook fact-checking partner in the Philippines, showed Marcos Jr gained from “misleading” posts on social media while main challenger and current Vice-President Leni Robredo is the biggest disinformation victim.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr greeting supporters in 2017Lim quoted Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, who said that the Philippines presidential election is “a microcosm of a global battle for facts”.
He also quoted author Milan Kundera: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”
“The Philippines government has recovered US$3.3 billion of the estimated US$10 billion that the Marcoses are accused of stealing, but the US$2.4 billion in assets are still under litigation, with various groups tussling over them.
“Should Marcos win the presidency, many fear those proceedings, along with the US$3.9 billion in estate taxes, will be swept away, cementing the false idea that the Marcoses are innocent,” added Lim.
The elder Marcos declared martial law and served more than 20 years as his country’s president while committing numerous human rights violations, killings and bleeding the national treasury with his immense corruption.
His wife Imelda was also notorious worldwide for her obsession with expensive branded items.
A ‘golden era’ of kleptocracy
Although the DAP veteran did not name any Malaysian leaders in the post, it tied in with his recent warnings that former premier Najib Abdul Razak could return to power despite a current conviction on corruption charges.
“Will Malaysia’s 15th general election be the next test in Southeast Asia in the ‘microcosm of a global battle for facts’?
“Will lies, fake news, false information and conspiracy theories triumph over truth and facts in GE15 in Malaysia?
If Marcos Jr can win the Philippines presidential election on Monday by falsely painting the Marcos era in the 1980s as the Filipino “golden era”, this will tempt copycats in Malaysia to paint the kleptocracy period as Malaysia’s “golden era”, suggested Lim.
He cited the pandemic as another sign that many individuals were unable to separate fact from fiction and still denied the impact of Covid-19 despite at least 6.2 million deaths
“There is, even today, in the midst of the pandemic, significant minorities around the world who think that Covid-19 is a hoax and does not really exist – after infection of over 500 million in official figures.
“Can Malaysians learn to differentiate between truth and facts on the one hand and lies, fake news and misinformation on the other in the run-up to GE15?” he asked. - Mkini
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