JOHOR BARU, Sept 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim admits there is a weakness in the government’s communications machinery as it contributed to the unity government and himself constantly being made a victim of vicious lies.
"I agree that there is a weakness in the government’s communication.
"I have been made a victim of the many lies perpetuated by my political opponents, that I can’t afford to counter all of it,” said Anwar.
He was replying to a Form Six student Syed Ali, who brought up the issue during the Temu Anwar Johor Baru programme held at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Skudai here today.
More than 3,500 participants, involving mainly students and undergraduates, attended the one and a half hour event.
Earlier, Syed Ali said there was a need for reform on how the government disseminated its information.
He suggested that a strong media unit was the solution to disseminate proper information to combat lies and slander.
Anwar explained that most of the lies were made by the Opposition through social media platforms such as TikTok.
He gave an example that certain quarters have also made baseless allegations that he was against Islam despite being a Muslim himself.
"How can Islam be under siege under my watch as prime minister.
"As the prime minister, I have to also represent the various other races and cultures that make up the country to celebrate diversity.
"All I want is fairness,” he said.
Anwar said he is aware of the social media postings critical of him, with some quarters unfairly condemning him online.
The country’s tenth prime minister also called on his critics to be fair before hurling lies at him after he was alleged to often fly off overseas.
He explained that most times it was for work at the invitation of another country as someone needs to represent Malaysia.
"I only use helicopters and aircraft at my disposal for official government business.
"So, be reasonable. I believe the other prime ministers before this, even from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), have gone through this.
"Please educate your community,” he said, referencing a former prime minister, without naming Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who helms the Umno splinter party.
Anwar said the younger generation can do their part in combating the lies with accurate information.
He called on them to assist the unity government in fighting the culture of lies with a new political and economic narrative.