Nov 22, 1999

Nazional Front launches new advertising blitzkrieg

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22. . . . Buoyed by the remarkable success of its recent election advertising campaign, the Nazional Front today published eight new full-page newspaper advertisements focussing on issues such as violence, rule of law, loyalty, unity, the economy and foreign interference.

Announcing the media blitz, Nazional Front Pro-Defamation Committee chief Ibrahim al Kataki said that he hoped the ads would highlight to voters the violent nature of the Opposition. "If these people can attack a police car today, will they attack your car tomorrow? if they can beat up a deputy prime minister today, will they beat you up tomorrow? ooops, bad example "

The first advertisement carries the tagline "Say yes to violence! Vote Nazional Front!" and features a photograph of an unarmed, injured demonstrator sprawled on the ground being kicked and beaten by a group of about half a dozen FRU riot policemen. "We wanted to give a strong message that we will not tolerate violence," Kataki said.

Another advertisement highlights the government's commitment to rule of law and features a photograph of a bleeding and injured Anwar Ibrahim after his beating during detention last year. "We wanted to highlight our respect for the rule of law," Kataki explained, " and what we'll do to you if you don't respect our rule!"

Kataki himself is featured in another ad highlighting the importance of loyalty to the government. Featuring a smiling photograph of him, it carries the caption "Dulu, sekarang dan selamanya, UMNO . PAS Semangat UMNO MIC SPCA " (Yesterday, today and forever, UMNO . PAS Semangat UMNO MIC SPCA )

Unity is highighted in another advertisement which features what appears to be a united flock of sheep, but is in fact a photograph of a meeting of the UMNO Supreme Council.

Recognising that the economy is an important issue with the voters, the media campaign includes an advertisement calling on voters to re-elect the government for a strong, stable economy. The ad features three corporate giants of the Malaysian economy - Perwaja Steel, Bank Bumiputra and Renong Berhad - who, between them, are in debt to the tune of over RM 22.4 billion.

Another campaign ad warns voters to beware of foreign interference and foreigners out to re-colonise the country. This particular public service message was kindly sponsored by Bank Negara financial advisors Salomon Smith & Barney.

An eighth advertisement had the message "Don't let mob rule lead us - Vote Barisan Nazional!" However, it was withdrawn at the last minute when it was discovered that the picture used with the ad was actually that of a large mob of 600 Barisan Nazional Youth attacking a peaceful East Timor conference three years ago.

Loyal Malaysians are encouraged to print out the ads and distribute them widely. Printable copies can be found here!

Note: The above is political advertising - so don't believe everything you read!

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