Under ‘trial by media’? Mat Sabu tells Opposition to counter bad press with social media

Mat Sabu joked that when he was in Opposition, mainstream media ‘would use my ugliest pictures’. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Mat Sabu joked that when he was in Opposition, mainstream media ‘would use my ugliest pictures’. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Amanah president Mohamad Sabu advised the Opposition to utilise social media to run counter narratives if they feel that they are undergoing a trial by media.

The defence minister was replying to a question posed to him on an RTM programme tonight, where it was suggested elements of Barisan Nasional (BN) have accused the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of deflecting real issues by blaming the previous administration.

“Trial by media is normal. When we were in the Opposition, we had it worst. We couldn’t even answer [their accusations] on mainstream media. RTM would never feature me [like tonight] and if I ended up in the news, it was a negative image.

“They would use my ugliest pictures. If I was giving a one-hour speech, [the mainstream media] would pick up on one word and spin a story out of it.

“At least, under our government, we allow Opposition leaders a platform for their voice,” Mohamad candidly teased his RTM host.

The man called Mat Sabu then advised the current Opposition to fully utilise social media, saying that the PH component parties owed their victory in the 14th general elections to social media.

With social media, he said PH had managed to make their messages go viral or explain issues from their perspective against whatever was published or aired on mainstream media.

“Without social media, any messages I had during my ceramah could only reach my immediate audience. With YouTube, even little children could memorise some of the things I’ve said,” said Mohamad.