by Peter Sibon. Posted on September 21, 2011, WednesdayKUCHING: The State Barisan Nasional (BN) is beefing up its new media unit or ‘Unit Media Baru’ (UMB) to counter the opposition’s campaign against its leaders and policies in the cyber world.
UMB Sarawak, headed by PBB Youth Information Chief Abdul Aziz Tan Sri Adenan also includes Datuk Alfred Yap of SUPP, Majang Renggi (PRS) and Audi Chua (SPDP).
The state’s UMB is the first of its kind in the country as similar units in other states are party-based such as those of Umno and MCA.
“The whole idea is to ensure that the BN will retain all the current seats held by the four state BN component parties in the coming general election,” Aziz told The Borneo Post here yesterday.
Sarawak BN holds 29 of the 31 parliamentary seats while the other two are under Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Out of the 29 seats, PBB has 14, PRS has six, SUPP has five and SPDP has four.
In the last general election the state BN managed to retain 30 seats but lost the Bandar Sibu seat in the by-election held in May last year after the demise of its incumbent Datuk Robert Lau.
Abdul Aziz explained that UMB would use all the available cyber tools such as the internet, blogs, Facebook, twitter and even the short messaging system (SMS) to counter any propaganda spread by the opposition to smear the BN and its leaders.
“The cyber world has not been fully utilised by the BN and this time around, we will make full use of this new media to bring across the message to the rakyat,” said Abdul Aziz.
He added that the unit was sanctioned by all the BN component parties’ leadership.
Since its inception, the unit has been very active especially for the run-up for the coming election.
“In Sarawak alone we have more than 100 active BN Facebookers who assist the State BN during the last state elections,” he said.
He said the whole idea of galvanising the component parties into a single entity in the cyber world through UMB was for the parties to assist each other in facing the Pakatan cyber troopers and others who are sympathetic to Pakatan.
Abdul Aziz admitted that in the coming election, the BN would face an even tougher task as the opposition had a head start in the cyber world.
He conceded that one of the reasons why Bandar Sibu was lost to DAP in the by-election was that the BN machinery was unable to counter the opposition’s allegations and propaganda in the cyber world especially before polling day.
He also admitted that it would be a daunting task to match the much established news portals such as Malaysiakini, which has been widely used as a tool by the opposition.