KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unveiled the official Barisan Nasional (BN) portal last night called TheRakyat.com.
The portal will provide details on the coalition’s candidates and election manifesto and also showcase interviews with BN personalities, infographics, analyses and other electoral information soon.
At the launch of the portal at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Najib said TheRakyat.com was set up to acknowledge the important role social media played in providing information to the public as well as to counter fake news.
“In the 13th General Election, we became the victim of fake news, although the term was not popular back then.
“The reality is, fake news has become the Opposition’s weapon and has brought consequences to us,” Najib, who is also Barisan chairman, said in his speech.
He added that among the fake news that were used against Barisan were claims of bringing in 40,000 Bangladeshi voters, blackouts during vote counting at several polling centres, and a tweet from an Opposition leader who claimed they have won the election.
“We believe the same thing will happen during the 14th General Election.
“The portal is key in determining BN’s success in the coming general election.
“The people can find out and decide for themselves if such fake news is real or not. The opposition has done it before, and we believe they will do so again in the coming election,” he said.
“The portal marks the first BN initiative for 2018. It will be legitimate, fast, and accurate. Above all else it will be authoritative.” he said.
Najib said internet users would also be able to provide their views and feedback through the portal.
The articles on the website are available in six languages: Bahasa, English, Mandarin, Tamil, Iban and Kadazan Dusun.
After the launch, Najib attended a special meeting with other BN leaders to discuss preparations for the election.
The ruling coalition’s mandate expires on June 24, following which Parliament will automatically be dissolved and elections will be held within 60 days.
The 13-party BN coalition is seeking to regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority, which it held since Merdeka until the 12th general election in 2008.
In the last general election, which took place in May 2013, Pakatan Rakyat managed to wrest seven seats from BN but lost to the ruling coalition with a final tally of 89 seats against BN’s 133.