Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Ex-PKR Officer Confirms Existence of ‘Red Bean Army’ Pakatan Cybertroopers
In the run-up to GE13, former Pakatan officials leaked through mainstream sources the existence of the so-called 'Red Bean Army', a group of paid DAP cybertroopers numbering up to 3,000 based out of Penang and KL, who flooded social media and blogs with attacks. The alleged attacks include outright lies and disinformation to co-ordinated attacks on candidates and parties.
Speaking to the New Sunday Times, ex-PKR Youth information bureau secretary Nordin Ahmad confirmed the existence of the group, and claimed that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had utilised the group to spread lies about the election before and after the polls, and to provide a pretence for walking back his promise to retire.
Citing the Pakatan misinformation campaign about the Election Commission, Nordin gave a concrete example. "After the people became certain that the EC's credibility was compromised, all the RBA had to do was to post a picture purportedly showing EC staff counting votes in the dark to ignite the Blackout movement."
The EC has since rubbished the picture. Noting that the figures in the photo were not even wearing their uniforms, EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said on Friday that the photograph was taken prior to the polls.
The damage, Nordin says, is already done, and is part of an elaborate campaign with Anwar's use of the Bersih movement and his illegal rallies after GE13 to poison public confidence in the Government.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang offered a carefully-worded non-denial denial. "Let me state clearly and categorically that until a few days ago when I came across the Utusan Malaysia series of write-ups on the so-called 'Red Bean Army', I have not heard of the term before," the statement said. He went on to deny that the DAP pays "a single sen" to any cybertroopers.
It is noteworthy that the statement did not say that the DAP does not utilise or take advantage of such a group. It is also noteworthy that Anwar has been silent on the allegations.
While the existence of the RBA is not yet proven, the story is consistent with Pakatan Rakyat's approach to politics, which focusses on falsehoods and misinformation about Government programmes and policies in place of substantive approaches.
We suspects that this story is not yet over.