Exposed: Federal Govt is Umno propaganda unit

The official Information Ministry propaganda sheet
Taxpayers funds and federal civil servants produced this Barisan Nasional propaganda sheet under a federal government imprint

• Govt booklet outlines campaign against Pakatan Rakyat
• Umno politician and brother of ex-IGP Musa Hassan in charge
• Dept also gives backing for Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan


A propaganda booklet produced by the Federal Government exposed by Malaysiakini on Saturday provides further evidence of how Umno politicians and civil servants use taxpayer funds and facilities to serve their own personal and party ends.

Called Panduan Penjelasan Isu Semasa, or a guidebook to current affairs, it was produced by JASA (Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas) or “Special Affairs Department” — in political terms, that usually means “dirty tricks department”.

JASA kotor – the anti-Bersih campaign

The booklet contains talking points on 44 issues, all of which have been raised by Pakatan Rakyat against Umno, or that the public has raised against the government. These include: Bersih’s demands for election reforms, Teoh Beng Hock, Felda, the Internal Security Act, Dong Zong (the Chinese education coalition), Pakatan Rakyat’s Buku Jingga, and other issues.

The Bersih public rally for electoral reforms are attacked in one chapter with a headline that repeats a slogan used by the Information Minister Rais Yatim at the time the rally was held.

Even though the guidebook is an official federal publication, and bears the federation coat-of-arms, it makes no attempt to keep the federal government out of party politics,

In fact, it explicitly names Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar Ibrahim, and the Pakatan’s policy document Buku Jingga, as targets of criticism.

The explanation for Bersih’t its objectives are a blatant Umno attack on Pakatan Rakyat — not unsurprising, but the documents is an official federal government publication.

It bears the federation coat-of-arms, and the taxpayer (among whom are DAP, PAS and PKR members as well as ordinary civilians) has every right to expect his government to show neutrality in the tussle between parties.

But Umno long ago abandoned any principles it may have had (if ever). For example, western political philosophies are highlighted for criticism — and no wonder, because civil service neutrality is one of the basic principles of parliamentary democracy.

Malaysiakini editor Fathi Aris Omar wrote on Saturday that the recent propaganda attacks on Malaysiakini by the government and Umno politician had been part of the campaign outlined in the information ministry guidebook.

International financier and philanthropist George Soros, his alleged links to Zionism, and his links to Anwar Ibrahim were specifically mentioned in the guidebook.

Umno dirty tricks by the Information Ministry

JASA is headed by former Umno politician Fuad Hassan — the younger brother of retired Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan.

Fuad was a two-term Selangor assemblyman for Hulu Kelang until defeated in 1999 by PKR’s Azmin Ali, now deputy president of the party.

The guidebook is nothing more than an propaganda booklet, produced by federal government civil servants using public funds, to get civil servants and the public to follow the current thinking of Umno polticians.

Besides having produced the guidebook, JASA also held an exhibition at Umno Kuala Pilah’s delegates meeting on Sept 22 — the division is headed by Umno’s information chief Ahmad Maslan, who is a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Federal government Information Ministry or Umno propaganda division?

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