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Saturday, December 16, 2017

What is Your Game, Online Media?

Very recently, I had written an article rebutting an article by Free Malaysia Today that claimed a foreign defence expert had criticised RMAF for being not ready for urban warfare.

DS Hishammuddin Hussein very much at ease with his audience.

Not even a week had passed, several online media had published articles claiming that Defence Minister, DS Hishammuddin Hussein had committed our Malaysian Armed Forces to help Palestinian cause by sending them to Jerusalem.

And a couple of followers on my personal Facebook had posed the question to me why in the hell that our Defence Minister is putting the lives of our soldiers in danger for his political expediency?

I didn't have the answer then, but I have the answer now.

Thanks to fellow blogger John F Seademon (aka Capt (R) Abdul Rahmat Tun Hanif Omar), he had shared the video recording of DS Hishammuddin Tun Hussein's speech.

And you will see nowhere in his speech that he had mentioned he will be sending our troops to Jerusalem.

Excerpts of his speech from 20:53 onwards are as follows:

"Awal minggu ini, kita dikejutkan dengan berita yang amat membimbangkan perhubungan dan geopolitik sedunia.

Tindakan Amerika Syarikat mengiktiraf BaitulMaqdis sebagai ibu kota Israel merupakan tamparan hebat kepada seluruh dunia Islam.

Marilah kita berdoa dan terus berdoa agar konflik ini tidak membawa kepada ambang kemusnahan kerana ingatlah mereka merancang, Allah juga merancang dan sesungguhnya Allah sebaik-baik Perancang.
Namun begitu, kita seharusnya bersedia untuk segala kemungkinan dalam isu BaitulMaqdis ini.

ATM sentiasa bersiap siaga, menunggu arahan daripada pucuk pimpinan dan Payung negara untuk menyumbang peranan yang sewajarnya.

Apa jua arahan daripada pemerintahan tertinggi Angkatan Tentera, ke bawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong akan terus kami junjung."

His Majesty Yang DiPertuan Agong.

The speech after this no longer touches on the issue.

Let me translate this to English for those who have difficulties in reading in Malay, or even have learning difficulties in Malay despite having learnt the language for the 11 years.

"Early this week, we were shocked to learn of a news which is very worrying and have negative ramifications on international relationship and global geopolitics.

United States of America's action of declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a huge slap on the face of Islamic world.

Let us pray and continue to pray that this conflict will not bring us to the edge of destruction and remember that while they can plan, Allah also plans and after all, Allah is the best Planner.

Even so, we must be prepared to face any eventualities in this issue on Jerusalem.

MAF is always ready, waiting for instruction from the nation's leadership and His Majesty's blessings to provide whatever services required.

Whatever instructions from the Armed Forces High Command, with the blessings of His Majesty's Yang DiPertuan Agong, we will carry out the instructions."

Okay, you might missed out that "payung negara" refers to His Majesty Yang DiPertuan Agong.

But that's not the excuse.

Those online media operators should have sought DS Hishammuddin's clarification, like what Malay Mail did. Hence they took down their news on this.

So what is their motive of publishing such a far-fetched article?

Let's delve deeper. Please note though this will touch on politics, so if you dislike politics do please stay clear. But then you'll find yourself being used for politics.

Who is DS Hishammuddin?
He is the current Minister of Defence who happens to be the cousin to DS Najib Tun Razak, and son to the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn.

Approachable, he first came to limelight with his rather disastrous handling of Ops Sulu in 2013, when Sabah was intruded by Filipino terrorists.

He redeemed himself as the Minister of Defence, making a huge commitment to improve Sabah's security and along the line, had made Sabah a near-fortress.

One of the Sea Base now found in Sabah. The paradigm shift in utilising disused oil platform had greatly enhanced Sabah's security.

With the bases located in the middle of the sea, intercepting bandits becomes easier.

The sea-basing idea came from within RMN, which he had enthusiastically supported, leading to the strengthening of Sabah's security.

His appearance into international limelight came with the tragic MH370. Despite criticism on the handling of the issue, he took things into his own hand and had played a large hand in coordinating the efforts between the different stakeholders.

His image was further enhanced during the MH17 tragedy, where he too suffered personal loss; his step-grandmother was one of those on board the ill-fated plane.

A personal tragedy.

DS Hishammuddin on a Nuri overseeing Penang flood situation. This photo of him flying in a 40-year-old plus helicopter underscored RMAF's confidence in the helicopter, thus silencing disgruntled voices that no ministers are willing to fly in the old helicopter.

Image of Moderation
He had been seen as one of the better leaders in UMNO and had projected a moderate face of UMNO, thus largely burying his ill-advised keris politics.

His ability to mix with different races being seen as a moderate face within UMNO.

The image of him embracing a Chinese Malaysian flood victim in the recent Penang flooding showed his tender side, which coincidentally projected a friendlier UMNO image to non-Malays.

This photo from Harian Metro, taken during the recent Penang flood, shows how he easily mixed with non-Malays.

DS Hishammuddin seen here with the food distribution during the recent flood in Penang. His hands-on approach, together with Khairy Jamaluddin makes both of them a potent threat politically to the opposition front.

DS Hishammuddin in Bario, Sarawak. He was there observing the road building process from Bario to outside world. No need a driver. His hands on approach is undeniable.

Hence, he had to be neutralised, politically.

What better way to damage his image by making him looking like an UMNO warlord that is full of rhetoric and more than willing to play racial issue?

Damage, Done
Regardless, the damage had been done. Worst still, when these people spinned DS Hishammuddin's words, they had thrown the whole issue into a spin which may worsen the conflict in Palestine.

Malaysia is one of the world's top contributors to United Nation peace-keeping programme. We even have a peace-keeping training centre located in Port Dickson to train our troops and foreign troops in handling peace-keeping duties.

With this ill-advised spin by online media to discredit DS Hishammuddin, they have also discredited Malaysia and assuming if Israel may one day relent and allow peace-keepers into Palestine, we may be barred from participating, citing that we are interested in their destruction.

Israel did just that when our forces were selected by United Nations for peace-keeping duties in Lebanon.

Malaysian Battalion HQ in Lebanon. For more photos and latest updates, feel free to browse MyJointForce Facebook page.

They had protested when United Nations had assigned Malaysia to have peace-keeping duties in Southern Lebanon. Noted though, the protest had failed and MALBATT was still sent to the conflict zone.

Destructive Politics
This kind of destructive politics have been played in Malaysia for years. In the past, this kind of politics had only affected our own citizens. 

But with this kind of online reporting which creates fake news that has been shared globally, not only Malaysia's image has been wrongly tarnished by these people, but also may have condemned Palestinians to a far worse situation.

And allow me to ask again one more time. What is your game, online media?

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