KUALA LUMPUR: An SMS is circulating today alleging that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the wife of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Datin Seri Rosmah have left the country.
The reason for this SMS is most likely in alleging that the two left the country in anticipation of a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) two-third win of the 13th general election (GE13) set to take place tomorrow.
Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar yesterday urged the public not to believe in SMSes flying around that allege certain VVIPs fleeing the country.
Ismail reiterated that the police will liaise with the Immigration and Customs should certain individuals try to leave Malaysia after the election results are announced.
Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa has earlier issued a statement urging the public not to believe rumors or unfounded allegations spread via SMS, blogs and social media networks.
However there is still no end to the barrage of ridiculous allegations being texted in the run up to GE13.
This latest allegation is easily refuted as Najib and his wife is slated to appear at an event in Kuantan tonight which will be broadcasted live on television via RTM and Astro.
The event to be held at the field of Kuantan City Council will see Najib having a meet the rakyat session in his last campaign effort before campaigns are to cease at 11.59pm tonight.
Meanwhile, Mahathir’s press secretary, Sufi Yusuff has confirmed that the former Prime Minister currently has just finished at an event in Baling, Kedah and will be attending a Himpunan Rakyat in Padang Sera, Jerlun at 9.30pm.
On May 1, The Star ran a commentary on Facebook postings and unverified SMSes.
Several examples were cited, among them is an SMS that says the Prime Ministers’s office is seen clearing documents before a handover of Government, which marks Barisan Nasional’s (BN) preparation for defeat.
“Apparently Putrajaya issued an order that with effect from Monday, all staff (members) are not allowed OT (overtime) and only authorised staff are allowed into the Prime Minister’s Department!!! They saw the revolt at the Putrajaya ceramah!! Prime Minister’s office clearing documents before handover. Sign of BN (Barisan Nasional) preparing for defeat.”
These SMSes bear no truth and are not verified, however its aim is simply to target those who are quick to believe in anything controversial, and in return help to spread it to more people.
The Star also pointed out another SMS:
“Wikipedia reported Dr M is the second richest among retired leaders in the world, after Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. His wealth is estimated to be US$44bil (RM160bil). Should we allow him to plunder our country’s wealth? If Pakatan (Rakyat) is voted in on May 5, this wealth can be frozen and returned to the rakyat. As long as BN is in power, no one can touch him. Forward to at least 10 people.”
It is a common fact that Wikipedia is open to be edited by anyone with internet access. Users are able to edit entries under pseudonyms without revealing their true identity.
According to The Star, the fake fact on Tun Mahathir has been removed by Wikipedia.
Another entry on Wikipedia also states that former Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng has a sister, Jocelyn Tan who works for The Star.
The Star reporter Joceline Tan has confirmed that Tee Beng is not her brother.
There has also been an SMS being passed around about the results from postal votes:
“Melbourne PR 69.4% BN 3.9% Tak mendedahkan undi 26.7%. London PR 71.1% BN 3.7% Tak mendedahkan undi 21.4%. Perth PR 77.3%
BN 3.7% Tak mendedahkan undi 19%. Sumber: SABM Melbourne, MyOverseasVote, Bersih 2.0 UK”
This is easily refuted as according to the Election Commission (EC) postal votes will have to arrive at its respective polling stations in the country before 5pm on polling day to be counted together with the normal votes.
Perak EC director Ahmad Adli Abdullah, was quoted in The Star today as saying that advance votes are still being kept in sealed boxes and will only be taken out on polling day to be counted.”
There are 6,339 registered postal voters who are eligible to vote at 103 representative polling stations across the world.
Another SMS flying around can be deemed as the most ludicrous and fictitious one to date:
“My friend from DAP said that if BN lose in this coming election, they will ask those foreign workers like bangla, indo come out and kacau in kl, penang, jb on next week. Their target is chinese girl. So for your own safety, pls go home after work. To avoid BN using foreign worker to vote on 5/5, please get all of our family to go for vote in the morning 8:am or before 12:00 pm afternoon. Reason is because by 12:00pm if our vote % is high above 75%, then the foreign worker vote become no more valid because the foreign worker usually start vote after 2pm to avoid local people suspect them. Please help to pass this message to your friends.”
The allegations made in this particular SMS is purely non-factual. There has been no valid proof that BN has engaged foreign workers to vote as this is in complete violation of the Malaysian constitution.
With this kind of allegation being made, what is to happen to Malaysians who look like Bangladeshis or Indonesians and decides to cast their votes after 2pm tomorrow?