Perception is more important for the people when the truth is evasive


Malaysiakini’s letter to the editor by Neil Khor | Jul 21, 08


There is a gulf between truth and credibility. Nowadays, truth no longer matters. In an era where we are bombarded by advertising 24 hours a day in all types of mediums, truth takes a backseat.


We are told that a particular product is the best in the market. Authoritative figures are quoted to add to the credibility of that claim. Yet, we know it not be to true because competitor products also make the same claims. So, we buy based upon perception.

The same is happening in Malaysian politics. Perception, which leads to votes, is shaped by the credibility of a certain party or personality. Facts have given way to statements, statements that sound authoritative but that not necessarily convey anything factual.

 – – – – – As for the statements by his predecessor, only time will tell how much of it is based upon facts and how much is mere speculation.

For now, many of his statements have been rendered inoperative – they have no credibility.

Malaysiakini letter by Chan Chee Khoon | Jul 21, 08

 – – – – –

Dr Mahathir of course has an interest in encouraging this having conveniently forgotten the dictum of the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels: a lie, no matter how outrageous when repeated often enough eventually acquires the appearance of truth (or plausibility, which may be good enough).

It’s astonishing for instance that a simple detail like Anwar’s state of dress during his medical examination while in custody (was he stripped naked?) can remain a matter of ambiguity for the public record, amidst the media spin and the (seemingly) contradictory statements of the parties directly concerned.

– – – – –

On the contrary, I believe.

The way things are going, would it be surprising if at least some are persuaded that when nothing is certain, anything is possible, if not plausible. Like patriotism, ambiguity and confusion can be a convenient refuge for scoundrels.

In between mouthfuls of mee suah and kopi o, we eventually agreed that it’s not so much about forensic science or evidentiary truth.

It’s about politics, and perception and its manipulation, i.e. about strategies of persuasion and power.

Malaysiakini letter, Nothing ‘stupid’ about it at all… by OD | Jul 21, 08

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Dr M: – again? – not so stupid.

I  totally disagree with Dr M’s statement : Au contraire, Dr M, if someone wanted to frame, they would have used the same angle again.

If I was the plotter, I would have considered accusing the same thing. When allegations are repeated enough times, dirt tends to stick. Has Dr M never heard that a lie repeated enough time can come across as the truth?

I believe he has, because he has been using the same tactic by consistently denying that he had anything to do with whatever he stands accused of these days.

  Perception is more important for the people

when the truth is evasive

Malaysiakini News

In another development, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi labeled as treachery the deliberate attempts to create perceptions of uneasiness and distrust in the people via the Internet and the short messaging service (SMS) with blatant disregard for the principles of the Rukunegara.

He said these attempts had blemished the principles of the Rukunegara such as’Loyalty to King and Country, Upholding the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and Good Behaviour and Morality.

“All the slander and lies spread through the blogs and YouTube do not contribute to ease and confidence in the people,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

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