The Government's Misinformation Crackdown Faces Temporary Setbacks, but is a Step in the Right Direction

The government is faced with a formidable propaganda machine created by the opposition. It is very effective in spreading misinformation against the government. But Anwar is on the right tract though he may need some special skills to turn things around

The Anwar government is not arresting the opposition leaders, but has chosen police inquests to hold them accountable for their actions - Photo: Minister of Information Fahmi Fadzil

The new government of Anwar Ibrahim is facing a lot of misinformation. They are trying to deal with it, but it is difficult because not everyone is happy with their approach.

Some people support the government's approach of suing the opposition leaders who spread misinformation. But others are unhappy because they think this is like the old days when the government arrested opposition figures without reason.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad is now complaining that he is a victim of the same policies he spearheads in the 1980s and 1990s.

But the good news is the Anwar government is not arresting the opposition leaders, but they are making them give statements to the police. This is a way to hold them accountable for their actions and statements, but it is not as harsh as arresting them.

This has given them the impression that Anwar is weak or is weary of using all the powers he has to tackle their load of misinformation.

The learning curve

Nevertheless,the government is still learning how to deal with misinformation, and it is not easy. They are trying to find a way to please everyone, but it is difficult.

In the world of the internet, there are so many ways the government can deal with misinformation. They are doing exactly that but with mixed results.

  • They can educate people about how to identify misinformation.
  • They can work with social media companies to remove misinformation from their platforms.
  • They can create their own fact-checking website or app.
  • They can hold press conferences to address specific pieces of misinformation.
  • They can sue people who spread misinformation.

Fighting misinformation

The best way to deal with misinformation is to have a combination of these approaches. It is important to be patient and persistent, because it will take time to overcome the problem.

It is this persistence that is making the other side of the political spectrum uneasy to some extent.

The government is faced with a formidable propaganda machine created by the opposition. It is a powerful tool that is being used to discredit the government, spreading negative information about government policies, It is so far a successful campaign by the opposition.

We know that propaganda can be an effective way to influence opinions, but it is important to be aware of its limitations.

While it is important to critically evaluate all information, including propaganda, before forming an opinion, it is for the government to deliver its own message correctly.

Is it doing so? Yes it is, at least for the 50% of the population that supports the Anwar government.

But it still have a long way to go in countering the effectively destructive propagandas by the opponents.