KUALA LUMPUR: Umno leaders have described the anonymous bloggers who attacked Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and others as cowards and non-credible, saying it is unethical to hide behind unnamed postings to attack people.
Kedah Umno leader Datuk Othman Aziz said it was irresponsible of the anonymous bloggers to play up issues related to state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) merely to split the country’s leadership.
“If we want to raise an issue, we have to be responsible and comment responsibly. We cannot try to confuse the readers or worse, exploit an issue until we pit one person against another,” said Othman, who is Jerlun MP.
Besides Dr Mahathir, The Edge Media Group owner Datuk Tong Kooi Ong and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak had also been attacked.
The Edge recently revealed that the blogger behind the malaysianexpose.wordpress.com which carried several accusations against the trio, is also behind other blogs which have published complimentary articles on businessman Low Taek Jho.
Low has denied being part of the attacks, saying he respected the trio for their professional achievements.
“As a responsible citizen, Dr Mahathir will give his views if he feels there are mistakes that need to be corrected,” he said.
Sabah Umno leader Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said the bloggers’ actions were aimed at seeing two of the country’s senior leaders clash.
This, he said, was evident in the actions of numerous bloggers who raised issues to provoke a clash between previous leaders like Dr Mahathir and former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“This should be stopped because I don’t see any positive impact from such actions,” he said.
Umno leader Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said, “Being anonymous is something else. It is as if one is hiding from something, more so when you are attacking someone else. It is unethical to hide behind the anonymity of blogs to attack people,”
He suggested that those who have been maligned or wrongly accused by such bloggers lodge reports with either the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said unethical bloggers who make a living as weapons of powerful people have abused the Internet.
“In this case, it’s clear that there is political motivation behind the actions of all the parties involved,” he said.
Nur Jazlan, who is Pulai Umno MP, believed anonymous bloggers are on the payroll of individuals or parties to go around disparaging the reputations of others.
Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman said she was disgusted by such acts, describing them as “cowardly”.
“If you are championing a cause, why hide behind anonymity? If you are a blogger, put down your name ... I think it’s a bit cowardly not to. You have the freedom to write whatever you want to write, you should put your name to your opinions,” said the former Puteri Umno chief.
Kelab Chedet exco member Mohd Ikhmal Abu Bakar said anonymous bloggers have no credibility, unlike those who put their names and face to their writings.
He cited the example of Dr Mahathir who he said takes responsibility for his blog postings.
“If you are brave enough to criticise, you should be brave enough to put your name to it,” he said. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 5, 2015.