There is nothing wrong in using BN’s election slogan “Janji ditepati” (Promises fulfilled) as the theme for this year’s Merdeka Day celebrations, Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim said today.
Opposition parties could do the same, Rais said, to let the people decide which coalition to support.
He then went on to claim that this was a democratic system adopted by many other countries as well.
“If the opposition feels that this is an election campaign slogan, I think there is nothing wrong with that.
“Just as the opposition can say ‘we have done this, we have done that, and this is our promise’, this is also nothing wrong,” he said.
“This is normal. Singapore does the same, Japan also does the same, as well as other countries,” Rais told a press conference after attending his ministry’s excellence awards ceremony.
Attempt to hijack Merdeka Day
He was responding to the opposition’s criticism on the BN election theme being the focus of the coming Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations.
DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has accused the BN of attempting to hijack Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day by adopting its election slogan for these events.
Rais explained that the government is offering the people the chance to evaluate what it had done in the last 55 years.
He said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had fulfilled his promises to the people through various transformation programmes as symbolised by the "1Malaysia" slogan.
Rais also said leaders, since first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, had drafted policies and the people wanted to know about their implementation.
Cyber troopers for social media
"So, every prime minister, as the head of the government, must make his record public, to be reviewed and analysed.
"If the people feel it's good, it's easy for the leader to continue his mission," he said, adding that the government always welcomed criticism from the opposition to enhance the current systems.
Earlier, Rais urged at least 1,000 officers of the ministry to become "social media cybertroopers" to spread the good news about the ministry and the government through Facebook and Twitter in order to defend the current system.
However, he stressed that in doing so, it didn't mean they should slander or tarnish the good name of others.
Asked whether the cybertroopers would continue their activities for the next general election, the minister clarified that it was not about politics.
"They might be active for a year or for a lifetime. The purpose is not about politics but to enhance our lives, spread positive values and promote the spirit of unity in society," Rais said.