Friday, May 6, 2011

1Malaysia Email - So Blinded By Hate...

Much to the chagrin of the trigger happy detractors, the explanation given by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Idris Jala on the 1Malaysia email initiative, indeed, holds much water.

Of course, if one were to chose to keep the mind closed over the matter, it will forever remain as something not good or even worse as something tantamount to a strategy to big brother the masses.

So, would it not be sensible to keep out all the spite and read through the exhaustive rationale laid out by Idris?

The two-page long explanation which needed the government to take out a two-page pull out of sorts in today’s papers should be read by all.

Much of what was laid out make a lot of sense, although it is by no means perfect or fault-free.

From my point of view, what irks me most is the contention by Idris when equating the issue of privacy in this matter to the current norm of individual operators OWNING all individual and personal information.

By saying that they own all the information, it will, invariably, point to the willingness of the operators to eventually use the database in which such information is contained for profit, i.e. the database selling business, which incidentally is big business.

So, would it come as a surprise to know that what worries the rakyat here is the possibility of flagrant abuse of our personal information?

Abuse here may not be restricted to the act of extending all the information to third parties for profit, despite the rule of the game promising that such things are taboo and frowned upon.

Promises of integrity on the part of the telecommunication operators and banks are now being taken with a grain of salt, as what is happening daily is the exact opposite.

Whenever a rights-conscious member of the public dared to stand up and speak out, the PR spin masters of the telcos and banks would with bravado announce that such an act was against company policy and privacy laws.

After having said that, it is all back to business. The public will still receive unsolicited commercial invites through their emails and mobile phones, until much later when another upstanding rakyat comes forth to complain.

It is from this premise that more worries are triggered, causing rise to phobias and to the NIMBY stance.

And so, conspiracy theories over things such as the monitoring of our votes and other modes of big brotherism will be bandied.

Listen to the people it must, and in this context the Government should step back and resolve this all-important issue of personal and private information being irresponsibly channelled to third parties.

Why is this so important? To the rakyat it is all too obvious, but on the part of the Government it is could be the all important lynchpin to an even higher level of Government integrity that lies at the heart of the noble 1Malaysia slogan.

The Government, i.e. The Prime Minister and the good Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of PEMUDAH and the 1Malaysia Email ETP project must not be discouraged.

There are more people who believe in the sanctity of the initiative than those who have nothing but brickbats for it. Do not back down. You have thus far shown how sincere you are in pushing forward the 1Malaysia ‘concept’ and Malaysians have opened their hearts to it, even those in the other side of the political divide.

If you know the meaning of truth and what it entails you will have no qualms about accepting a person’s word for it.

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