PUTRAJAYA, July 7 — Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lost the battle of perception in the last general election and it seems that he is still fighting an uphill battle against appearances and realities.
For Abdullah, perception negates the truth.
“The truth is no longer talked about. The important thing is the perception,” said the Prime Minister, adding that perceptions had influenced the attitudes and options of some people in making decisions including those related to investment and business.
While acknowledging the problem must be rectified, the Umno president also realised that it had become a much too popular subject among the public.
“So much so that it had become word of mouth and they resorted to exaggeration. The people must be appeased so as not to have any fear of a possible shortage of food. They must be pacified so as not to have any worry over their own safety and that of their families,” he was quoted by Bernama as saying today.
Addressing his office staff members at the monthly gathering of the Prime Minister’s Department this morning, Abdullah was clearly upset with what he described as lies and slanders spread via the Internet and the short messaging service (SMS).
Describing those “lies” as an attempt to create a perception of uncertainty in the country, he believed it was also an act against the principles of the Rukunegara.
Such attempts were against the tenets of the Rukunegara such as loyalty to king and country, upholding the Constitution, the rule of law, and good behaviour and morality.
“There is no more regard for statements of truth in law. Little attention is given to (one’s) demeanour in life. The sovereignty of the Rulers is turned into an issue. Truth is not appreciated. What is appreciated is the perception, and along with it the lies,” he added.
Abdullah also said the government had been given the mandate to administer the country and it wanted to fulfil the aspirations of the people.
He said the government had adopted measures to reduce the financial burden of the people arising from the increase in fuel prices.
“The people must have confidence in our efforts,” he said.
The prime minister called on the enforcement authorities to be firm in maintaining peace and security in the country.
“Let’s stop doing what is undesirable. The people must exercise a high sense of responsibility. Our priority must be to maintain peace,” he said.