KUALA LUMPUR: Umno should learn from the election victories of US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which, among others, was due to the effective use of social media, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamid.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that while Modi from the BJP party was up against the Congress party, which appeared stronger, he managed to win due to an effective communications strategy which used social media and other online platforms effectively.
“Similarly with the man who has become US President.
“The (popular) perception was that he (Trump) was going to lose, that he would do things which cannot be accepted by American society and that he would be hated by Muslims and non-whites.”
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is Umno vice-president, said that the mastery of social media by Trump and his followers and communications team eventually propelled him to victory.
He was speaking at the launch of Wanita Umno’s Communications and Media Squad here.
The squad, comprising the movement’s members, will explain the party’s and Government’s policies to voters at the grassroots level.
More than 2,000 Wanita Umno members attended the event.
Also present was the movement’s chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Umno must buck up in effectively using online media, such as social media platforms, to win the war of perception ahead of the next general election.
He said studies have shown that only 6% of political activists who are online in the country support the establishment while the remaining 93.4% are anti-establishment.
He did not mention who conducted the research, but said that the task for Umno’s information machinery is clear.
“Our job is to make sure that our online activists (who support Barisan Nasional) make up the 93.4%, although we are starting from 6.6%, I am sure we can do it.”