Archive for the ‘Rais Yatim’ Category

The pioneer in world of cyber journalism in Malaysia or even South East Asia is the Late MGG Pillai and his mailing list – discussion forum “Sang Kancil”, years before the likes of Malaysiakini and Malaysia-Today were even established. My respects for him and I consider him my Guru!

Before social media, journalists had very little tools to “listen” to the people – the audience. It was mostly through polls, emails, etc. Now, you have a slew of online communities that allow journalists to keep their hands on the pulse of what’s going on. Social Media has also allowed the people to directly connect and humanize the journalists who were mostly kept behind the veiled publication without much control and influence (except for a PR person).

Now, it’s created a two way channel for the people and journalists to connect. While a lot of journalists and publications are moving in light speed to capture mind share, connect, and engage via tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+Hangout, the very core essence of journalism cannot be forgotten.

Journalists are entrusted by the public to tell the story in an objective manner with credible sources and provide information that is both educational and insightful. Journalists have a duty to the public to tell the story using various channels via blogs, etc. but ensure the story is credible, factual, and compelling. While Social Media may have changed the fundamentals of communication and delivery, the core foundation of journalism cannot be mistaken or forgotten

When one talks about social media, it’s a three level approach:

First – to disseminate information to relevant target audience at the right time, using the right channel.
Second – to engage target audience by relating and ‘connecting’ to them.
Third – to generate loyal ambassadors in a way that they represent you in the good sense among other target audience and answer on your behalf thus building a credible image.

The potential of social media to provide opportunities to ‘convert’ is huge but it requires strategising and extensive planning.

Anwar Ibrahim, has sure emerged as the star of Malaysian Politics through social media. With his blog, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ Hangout, he seems to have been in the news and has been the trending topic on most social media for awhile. This seems to have given a sudden twist in the ability of social media to reach the right target audience. While Umno and Barisan National at one time mocked and even said that social media is for people who have got nothing better to do and have doubted the ability of Social Media to reach their target audience, today they play a different tune after Anwar Ibrahim has proved a point. Najib Tun Razak is also trying hard with his Facebook, Twitter and his recent Goggle+hangout, but sad to say he is yet there.

This is the first time in Malaysian Politics that anybody has attempted to reach out to Malaysians on social media and we must say, what a campaign! The team behind Anwar Ibrahim’s campaign seems to have researched well and they have splurged content on all social media where it matters. They are on Twitter, Facebook, G+, some of the top social networking sites and they are in touch with the right set of influencers in the online world to extensively talk about Anwar’s campaign in the digital medium. The campaign is brilliant and they do the updating of information on the go and they ensure that they have researched the potential of all features of the top social networking sites and use it to their advantage. While most other political parties are harping on being first people to adopt social media, we are yet to see a campaign of this magnitude that effectively utilizes relevant features of social media.

So, has this campaign proved to be the best social media campaign in Malaysia? In some ways yes, this is the first campaign of its kind where there has been an effective utilization of digital medium in such a magnitude. The reach is significant and the design brilliant. However the effort is yet to spill over to the next levels – engagement. The campaign has just begun, but will it hold the audience glued? The Facebook posts are great but the comments are yet to be monitored and catered to. There are several comments that need to be addressed, but it does not look like anybody cares. Facebook does provide the opportunity to convert people but Najib Tun Razak’s team is yet to use it fully to their benefit. Going by number of fans or number of people talking about the page as a metric to determine popularity, is now passé. The number of people talking about the page could be phenomenal, but how many are talking positive and helping spread political awareness is the question, specially his 1Malaysia. But as Facebook users know all too well, a “fan” may not always be a fan and a “friend” may not always be a friend. And sometimes “likes” is just a five letter word.

Najib should remember, starting is 50% of work done. But will Najib’s team deliver the other half? Even though his has been a brilliant campaign with the help of APCO Worldwide, but there are signs of fading, unless of course there is constant innovation in reaching the target audience online. What has happened so far is the mandate of his social media presence. His group has failed to cross the first level – appropriate presence. The second level of engagement is to ‘connect’ and cater to audience in real time, the magic to move towards conversion. This level is yet to be achieved in Najib’s campaign.

The impact on netizans of this ‘move towards social media’ could be several, but the impact on Malaysian Politics and on Malaysia is immeasurable. The next thing we know is, Malaysian politicians embarrassing social media to make their impact. This is an era where you could clearly say – a politician is a fool to not have a social media presence! The politicians will be forced to take to social media and we might see a new breed of net savvy politicians who have the presence of mind to ‘connect’ in the real sense. The web 2.0 (now moving to 3.0) experience will force politicians to at least move towards what is right if not ‘do what is right’.

With mobile phones are already showing high penetration, politicians and government will ensure that there is internet connectivity at every corner in Malaysia so that they are able to at least present their messages if not ‘interact’. Rais Yatim should wake up and do better on the internet connectivity in Sabah which is only 30% and Barisan National should stop blowing their trumpets saying Sabah being the “fixed Deposit. Rais Yatim does zilch to improve the internet connectivity in Sabah!

Just because people respond to you through social media — by liking and friending and following you — that does not mean their virtual support will always translate into actual support, Rais Yatim!

The “Janji Ditepati” (Promises Fulfilled) melody picked for National Day celebration this year is actually stolen from a gospel song by the Jakarta-based Christian band True Worshippers, featuring Indonesian songstress Ruth Sahanaya.

This is not the first time. It’s not OK to keep stealing materials from Indonesia and claiming its ours. It shows a lack of class and ethics. At least give Indonesia some credit. If a million people have already seen it on YouTube, all Malaysians will be turned off when they realize it’s not our original material. How embarrassed will we be when Indonesians spread the word (or call us out on the spot!) that we Malaysians stole their melody and made it our melody for our National Day Celebration? Come on Rais Yatim you can do better than this! Please lah this is melody picked for our National Day celebration. You just cannot steal ideas, vibe, style… etc… Indonesians are going to say we Malaysians are master of stealing their original ideas and commercializing them and claiming its ours. Worst still we use it for our National Day Celebration.

Watch both the videos and make your own conclusion guys. Rais Yatim says its our version, what rubbish.

(Indonesian gospel song titled “Serukan Namanya” (Call out His name))

(“Janji Ditepati” lyrics, penned by Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim)

There has been some surprising news recently by WikiLeaks.

First is the WikiLeaks story of what Singaporean top diplomats, the former permanent secretary at Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Peter Ho, and the present permanent secretary Bilahari Kausikan, commented during Singaporean diplomats’ meeting with senior US Deputy Secretary of Defence for East Asia David Sedney, that Premier Najib had links to the murder of the Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu@ Aminah in 2006.

In the same meeting Peter Ho also said Premier Najib Razak as “an opportunist” and there is a lack of competent leadership in Malaysia. And Bilahari adds to say that, the situation in Malaysia is confused and dangerous and there is a possibility of racial conflict that could see Chinese “flee” Malaysia and “overwhelm” Singapore.

Second interesting WikiLeaks story is about how Singapore former Premier Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore Special Branch had intercepted communications and have found out that Anwar Ibrahim had actually sodomised Saiful in a honey trap set by some of Anwar’s enemies. In this story, Lee Kuan Yew told ONA (Office of National Assessments) that Anwar did indeed commit the sodomy and he Lee Kuan Yew had reached his conclusion based on “technical intelligence,” which he got via intercepted communications.

WikiLeaks the whistle-blower exclusively leaked these stories to Australia’s Fairfax Media Group and the Australian newspapers had a field day carrying the contents of the cables the last few days.

Singapore says it is shocked by the contents. But is it true they are shocked? If that’s true, they must be the only ones shocked. Most of what’s in these cables has already been thoroughly discussed by the general public in Malaysia.

There is no doubt that WikiLeaks serves a genuine need and a valuable purpose. WikiLeaks claim that they are bringing important news and information to the public and publishing “material of ethical, political and historical significance” and “providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and uncensored injustices,” is really true in the Malaysian contexts. If we were privy to the day-to-day uncensored thoughts of any organization, or even any family, the results would make a great soap opera – but like most soaps its for washing dirt.

I agree that private conversations and back-room dealings can be interesting. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when Saiful was bonking the DPP lady, or the AG bonking his director of international affairs lady, Najib and Saiful were having a heart-felt talk about Anwar and his prick – when Mahathir and his comrades were strategizing over Pak Lah and Khairy – when Najib and his Rosmah were discussing Altantuya and Submarine. Most things are done behind closed doors until it gets leaked by a FLY.

While Singapore may have said some embarrassing (but not necessarily untrue) things about Malaysia, I’m sure Malaysia have said equally impolite, if not worse, things about Singapore within the confines of our own borders and embassies. I would not be surprised if a Malaysian diplomat had made an unkind comment about Lee Kuan Yew, if a Malaysian diplomat had made an impatient remark about the little red dot, Singapore, cheating us in the water deal, etc, etc,.

While the majority of these leaks may have been diplomatic chit-chat, WikiLeaks promises to expose more information and of a more secretive nature. In the midst of the uproar, WikiLeaks’s purpose – beyond causing havoc and possibly supplying valuable information to unfriendly parties, all in the name of fighting injustice – is always clear. Besides all classified or private information is an injustice in the making.

I wonder if we could re-direct Wikileaks’s energies. For example, what may be really helpful to Malaysia as a whole is if WikiLeaks could hack into and make public the communications of Premier Najib and UMNO, planning violence if Barisan Nation loses power in the 13 General Election. Maybe WikiLeaks could also reveal the ambitions of some of the less transparent and more unstable Ibrahim Ali’s Perkasa, which would indeed be a revelation. And here in Malaysia, wouldn’t it be nice to know who are the most corrupt politicians and the value of their Swiss bank account holdings or which Minister raped his Indonesian maid?

Even if we haven’t learnt a lot from the latest set of WikiLeaks releases, one lesson is becoming increasing clear. Be careful what you email your buddy about your affair with your secretary, what you email your wife about how great last night’s play was, what you email your friend about your sexual fantasy. Someone may be hacking you.

Thanks to the effort of WikiLeaks. Those who favour openness, accountability, liberty and equality in state actions call this as the first bold step towards establishing true democratisation of information. Those who got exposed, embarrassed and were dragged into the spotlight have termed it ‘irresponsible’ and ‘criminal’. It requires no explanation to understand who stays at what side of the fence.

Question is what is in fact criminal; engaging in espionage and violating international laws, criminal conspiracy, Cabinet Minister raping Indonesian maids and then covering it up, using C4 to dispose evidence, putting fear of violence or exposing such criminal acts?

Maybe you guys should read here and here to guess which Minister raped his Indonesian maid, compliments from Julian Assange.

And is she the one?