Rabu, 30 Mac 2011

Taib, Sultan of Spin, goes to cyberwar

Pak Bui
At the risk of adding to the miniscule number of hits on www.sarawakreports.org, the copycat website run by Taib’s groupies, I recommend a short visit to the site. It will make you laugh, at a time when nasty, low-class scams like the blue films of an Anwar impersonator are in circulation.
Taib’s own low-class scam, ‘Sarawak Reports’, must be another of those ‘secret weapons’ that George Chan alluded to. It is a tawdry ‘ciplak’ or fake of the original whistleblower website Sarawak Report. www.sarawakreport.org Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but there does not appear to be anything sincere about Taib’s cyberspin.
George Chan’s previous ‘secret weapon’, Najib forcing Taib to say he will step down, backfired badly and exploded in their faces. The secrecy surrounding George Chan’s weapon is so intense that even he himself does not seem aware what it is or how it works.

Taib refused to play along with Najib, and merely repeated his empty promises to groom a successor. I presume he has had many, many PBB pets to groom over three decades, but all of them must have fleas, or weak knees. It looks increasingly likely that Taib will only name his successor in his will (and the successor’s last name will probably be Taib).
Taib’s Clone Wars
The clone website is prettily designed. As Taib’s mansions can testify, low class and poor taste does not come cheap. Taib’s website must have cost the Sarawak taxpayers a hefty sum of money. The content, however, is the usual boring Borneo Post propaganda.
Sarawak Report, run by Clare Rewcastle Brown, is packed with facts and even a few jokes. Sarawak Reports, on the other hand, is simply one long running joke. They boast extra-large-font sensational headlines, such as “Sarawak CM on balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability” that can make you nod off before you finish reading it.
Taib has not dared to publish the number of hits on the site, whereas Sarawak Report enjoys more than 50,000 hits a day. Taib’s cybergoons have also failed to publish a single comment from the public. Even though 21 comments have been officially recorded on Taib’s interview, every single one of them appears to be “awaiting moderation”. One might surmise the online commentators are not particularly complimentary about Taib’s pointless interviews.
In a sad twist of fate, a Borneo Post copywriter seems to have lost his job when he printed the website of Sarawak Report by mistake, promoting the anti-Taib site inadvertently, instead of Taib’s clone site Sarawak Reports. Maintaining deceptions can be complicated.
Keeping up with the Browns
Taib even makes an effort to run down Clare Rewcastle Brown and her husband’s brother, Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister. Gordon Brown had criticised the Sarawak government’s endemic corruption and environmental devastation.
Unfortunately, the only ‘dirt’ he can dish up is old news. Taib’s site insinuates that Gordon Brown was enmeshed in a parliamentary expenses “cleaning services scandal” of 6,577 pounds (RM32,000) for a cleaner for his flat, and his brother Andrew’s flat.
But there never was a “scandal”, since the two brothers used the same cleaner, and the sum was paid over 26 months, a total of 30 pounds per week for each flat – hardly an extraordinary amount for cleaning services in London, it would appear.
The BBC stated in 2009 that the amount paid to the cleaner was initially published by the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and “since reporting the arrangement, the Telegraph group has clarified that there ‘has never been any suggestion of any impropriety on the part of the Prime Minister or his brother’.”
Even if there had been a “cleaning services scandal”, the amount of RM32,000 would be a drop in Taib’s ocean of unclean cash – barely enough to pay for the hubcaps of his Rolls Royce.
Taib’s pathetic website is full of fake news and lies. Given that Taib’s propaganda had never been challenged before the advent of online news, he may now be finding it difficult to keep his stories consistent.
Perhaps Taib ought to be taught the basics: it’s always easier to tell the truth all the time, because the lies get tangled up and trip you up.

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