Malaysia GE: Barisan calls for probe into opposition's social media data

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The authorities should investigate the opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan for allegedly manipulating its social media statistics, says Barisan Nasional.

"There is a possibility of foreign interference and manipulation of (social media) data," Umno Youth deputy chief Khairul Azwan Harun said on Monday (May 7).


Khairul Azwan claimed that Facebook live viewers on Pakatan's pages were bought, adding that agencies selling social media viewers charge more than RM600,000 for 200,000 viewers.

As an example, he cited Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir's ceramah in Jerlun that had 14,000 viewers for each video that was broadcast live on three Pakatan-aligned Facebook pages.

He said Pakatan's claim that viewership increased to 42,000 viewers was not true.

"I have proof that there was manipulation and fabrication of data on Pakatan's social media achievement to influence the minds of voters," he said, adding that he had not made a police report on these allegations.

He also declined to identify which individual or country was out to influence the results of Malaysia's general election.


Khairul Azwan said this had also happened in developed nations where foreign interference, as well as agencies that sold social media viewers, ultimately influenced election results in those countries.

"Voters must decide based on what they want, not after being influenced by dirty politics," he said.

Khairul Azwan said he did not want the people to be deceived into making the wrong decision in the general election.

Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To, who was also at the press conference, said he was worried of the possibility that external forces might be meddling in the elections.

"We do not want foreigners to meddle with our choices," he said.

See-To said the manipulation of social media data was not ethical.

He added that he would leave it to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the police and the Attorney-General to decide if Pakatan's actions were against the law.