"In politics, what is important is perception, not reality and this is exploited by the Opposition. Even the truth is always denied as they know that politics is all about perception and not about reality and truth. It is for us to show we are better, more effective and better understand the rakyat's aspirations so that the sentiments are more towards us"
He added that Umno and Barisan must understand how to influence people's minds and taste in order to win them over.
There is no denying that the government IS DOING its best to convince the people that they are making the nation more livable and prosperous. But it is not making the right impact because the people, especially the middle income group, are NOT PERCEIVING the government's efforts are bearing fruits or the right approach. The people is PERCEIVING that there is a lot of talk, a lot of grand schemes like the Government Transformation Programme to boast what it is doing for our well-being, to make us a 'high income nation'. It could be sincere and true but the public perception is 'Nah, you are spending all the money to enrich yourself at the same time, aren't you?'. Is this true? No one can tell but this is the perception which the government will do well to correct, because perception can turn truth into lies and vice versa.
It hurts when you are doing good and people perceive you have other motives. This is unfortunately how many well-meaning Malaysians are inclined to believe and the underlying reason is simply this: the government, or rather the ruling political parties of the government, have not convinced the people that they are clean, honest, capable and working for the people's welfare rather than their own. And one more issue that Najib failed to resolve when he came into office in April 2008. He failed to get his name cleared through the courts over the Altantuya murder accusation to justify he is morally and criminally clean. I think it was a grave mistake because now there is this PERCEPTION that he may have done it although there was no evidence. Perception and Doubt can bring down even a good man if he doesn't get real with those he depends for support.
One thing our government must quickly rectify is regain public trust by proving that they deserve their votes. The only way to do that is be yourself so that voters know if you are qualified to be their representatives in government. The same message goes to the Opposition coalition as the people apply the same yardstick to whoever comes into power.
So is Perception = Reality? My take is no. You are perceived to be what you are by what people say and believe about you. You may be a crook but if you spin yourself to be a saint successfully you can get away. However in this digital era it is harder to be anyone but yourself.