‘Fake news’ benefits me as a politician, says Jamal Yunos

By Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos speaks at the forum 'Fitnah Media Sosial Jadi Senjata Politik' in Shah Alam March 8, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SHAH ALAM, March 8 — Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos is not one to worry about fake news, particularly articles about him that are posted on social media sites.

The Sungai Besar Umno division chief said fake news had benefited him as it has boosted his popularity among Malaysians.

“I do not care what they say about me, either good or bad, it brings benefits to me.

“Whatever comments and opinions posted on social media can actually benefit us as long as the one receiving the comments has a positive attitude towards it,” he said during the “Fitnah Media Sosial Jadi Senjata Politik” (Slander on Social Media Turning into a Political Weapon) forum held at the Karangkraf Hall in Shah Alam this afternoon.

Jamal said that there have many fake news reports about him, and that one such report even claimed that he had slipped into a coma.

“If I had actually suffered all the injuries purported about me on social media, I might have been dead by now from all the trauma suffered. 

“I take it (fake news) as a lesson, to check myself and see if I have indeed become the person they claimed I am.

“Whatever names they have given me, Jamal Tongkol for example, I have no problem with it, because as politicians, they are making us popular,” he said.

Also present at the forum was PKR Communications director Fahmi Fadzil, and Malaysian Professors Council Chief of Cluster Governance, Legal Issues, and Public Management Department, Professor Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod.

Jamal also commented on the new Bill being drafted to combat fake news, saying there was no need to debate it in Parliament and that it should just be drafted and inserted in the Federal Constitution.

“To me, if you are not a person spreading lies, what is there to worry.

“Criminals like robbers are afraid of the law because they can get caught, but if you are not a criminal, why do you want to be so scared,” he said.

An audience member later asked Jamal to explain why he carried out outrageous acts in front of the Selangor State Secretary (SUK) building.

He replied that it was a sincere attempt at raising public awareness over important issues.

“When I went to the SUK building in my towel, I was trying to have a shower, as people in Selangor at that time had no water for four days. We could not carry out certain obligations as Muslims.

“I do this in a way to send a message to the people so they are aware of what is happening, it is my style of carrying out the art of politics, he said.