Information in times of conflict
By Zan Azlee
MARCH 8 – When conflict happens anywhere around the world, notice that conspiracy theories start coming alive. Allegations of propaganda and spin also start to emerge. For example, when 9/11 happened, many people believed (and some still do!) that President Bush Jr planned the attacks so he could continue to hold on to power.
This isn’t much different in Malaysia with the case of the invasion of Sabah by armed terrorists from southern Philippines. A conspiracy theory speculating that the government of the day is actually creating this whole incident to create panic before the elections is one. Another conspiracy theory that is making its rounds in the media is that the opposition had planned the invasion all along together with the terrorists.
Then there are the dozens or so accusations of fabrication and manipulation of information released to the public. Remember the first police deaths? First, the news said that they were killed by a mortar. Then, it was said that they were shot by snipers. A few days ago, the Interior Minister and Defence Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein and Zahid Hamidi, released pictures of the dead terrorists killed in an operation.
It took them a long time to release the photos and, of course, more conspiracy theories cropped up regarding the photos. Why did it take so long to release it to the public? Are those real terrorists? Was it a staged photograph? It’s quite funny actually. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]