Today began in a normal way and quickly turned into something different.
I was preparing my final thoughts last night on a major economic speech that was delivered this morning. I was very much driven – refocused and reenergized by yesterday’s return to Pekan with my wife. I was happy to be able to receive the 30,000 well-wishers who attended our Hari Raya open house. And as always, I take pride to assist those who I had a chance to attend to during this ‘balik kampung’ trip.
The perspective that Pekan provided reminded me again of the concept behind 1Malaysia’s call for unity and assured me of the necessity of continuing that on a national level – a Malaysian open house.
Then, this morning, at work in Putrajaya, I was shocked and am still totally disappointed by an internet story that was brought to my attention.
As I began to read about a “Manifesto”, falsely attributed to me and reported in Malaysiakini, I was truly saddened. Here is my reply: The Manifesto is a complete fabrication. I said no such thing. There is no such support group.
I have been in politics for quite some time and as I introduce myself to the internet savvy readers here through 1Malaysia.com.my, rest assured that the Manifesto neither reflects my thinking nor track record of public service. I repudiate the story, I repudiate the reporting standards, and I repudiate the sheer audacity that Malaysians can be influenced by such an obvious smear campaign.
This Manifesto is so clearly a fabrication, so clearly an attempt to define me, so clear in its intent to manipulate the public’s emotions in a divisive and damaging way. Why is this lie, among all the others, so upsetting to me?
Because this was a more subtle bit of slander. The writer (whoever he or she or they may be), were attributing to me dangerous words to create deep divisions among Malaysians, to tear apart the fabric of the unified Malaysia that I and so many other leaders of BN have been trying to protect, nourish and celebrate for many years.
I have developed what I consider to be a high tolerance for salacious, fabricated “news” stories concerning me and my family. I understand that, as a public figure, I must endure a certain amount of speculation, no matter how vile and unsubstantiated. I do my best to shield those I care for from the brunt of these baseless rumors and from the forces in the world that concoct them.
Elsewhere I have called for an apology for and retraction of this ridiculous story. I can only hope they have resorted to this measure because our noble effort is advancing and we are at the beginning of bringing about the positive changes that the Rakyat are expecting after the last General Elections. Let us together, the people of Malaysia, not allow ourselves to be distorted by these mess of half-truths and outright lies that others use to promote their selfish agendas.
Rest assured my singular focus remains to ensure a stable economy as we weather the global uncertainties and not allow the forces of regressive, divisive and vulgar politics to take root in our beloved country.