Thursday, February 28, 2013

AKJ calls on MSM to keep pace with social media

The mainstream media need to keep up with the social media's advance information dissemination, especially in facing what is considered the most "fierce and tense" 13th general election.

Three media experts today agreed that speed and simple information broadcasting was crucial for the mainstream media to practise in order to regain their credibility which was lost due to the rise of social media.

Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd's editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said media practitioners had no choice but to make themselves internet savvy.

"If you are in the mainstream media but you are unaware of what is going on in the cyber world, then you are not doing your job well," he said at a general election forum on "The Role of the New Media Landscape in Malaysia", jointly organised by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and Press Forum of Asia, here, Thursday.

The other panellists were former rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Syed Arabi Idid and the executive editor of The Star, Datuk Wong Sai Wan. Bernama's acting general manager Datuk Yong Soo Heong was the forum's moderator.

Kadir said in the past six years, the number of readers of the print media had fallen drastically, not meaning that they had stopped reading but more an indication that readers were getting their information elsewhere.

Lack of articulation by the government is also one of the key factors readers turn to alternative mediums of information. To counter this, Kadir suggested that the government deliver more information on the programmes being carried out instead of focusing only on the achievements.

"The booming of social media does not necessarily mean better dissemination of information and readers must consider whether the message is true or not," said the senior journalist.

Sharing his views, Wong said the rise of cyber troopers from both pro-government and opposition sides had made social media's credibility dip among its followers.

"In the social media, the first person to post a tweet or information online is always considered reliable for being the fastest, and anyone who tries to refute or post anything contrary is considered a liar," he said.

Wong cited his own experience during the 2011 Sarawak state elections, where he was still in a boat with 10 unopened ballot boxes when a politician from an opposition party tweeted that they had already won the elections by a landslide.

"I responded to the post by saying the information was inaccurate and not all ballot boxes had been opened and the votes counted, but the readers chose to believe the politician who was not there instead of me who was in the boat with the unopened boxes," he said.

Wong said no politician from both sides of the divide would dare to say that the social media was bad or wrong as that would backfire on them as the readers had already set their minds on what to believe and what was considered bad press.

"What we must be very aware of, is the impact of social media in the next general election. A mere photo of two men arguing at a polling station can make a big difference in voter turnout."

Wong said the social media audience would not take the time to study the picture or try to find the truth behind the picture, but they relied on the caption and set their minds to believe everything they read online.

Referring to a research done in Kuala Selangor, Syed Arabi said the use of media in rural areas had not changed much since 1971, whereby the audience only relied on the mainstream media for entertainment.

"Back then, people watched less television because most of the programmes were news related and political and now people watch more television and listen to the radio for entertainment," he said.

Syed Arabi added that with increasing paid-television audience, the free-to-air television had seen a significant drop in audience.

"This proves the audience have not stopped watching but they have merely shifted attention elsewhere where it is fun and entertaining," he explained.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Selangor: defeat the thieves, bring in the robbers

In the build-up to the 12th General Election in 2008, the rakyat was said to have been fed with colourful tales of ‘going ons’ in the government of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah),  and by extension his once controversial son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin.
It all started with the so-called ‘fourth floor boys’ who were said to have controlled the nation’s treasure trove.

With rumours and allegations being spinned to the max, the opposition found their canvas well-prepared to be colourfully painted.

The situation almost reached crisis point when fingers pointed to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from the ranks of UMNO stalwarts, who wanted to be in Pak Lah’s good books. They wanted to be heroes in the eyes of the man.

Such audacity. Such ruthlessness readily helped in the unthinkable happening when BN lost five states, including the ‘jewel in the crown’, Selangor.

Turncoats or traitors? Whatever you may call them, the result was to push fence sitters, including even many UMNO members to vote for the opposition – an act which they branded as a protest.

And with that, Pakatan Rakyat had it all cut out for them. The government of Selangor under the leadership of Datuk Seri Dr, Mohamed Khir Toyo was immediately replaced by BN’s own foes in the opposition pact.

Going by what the victors lauded, it was a victory that saw the plunderers of what the people’s toppled.
By right such a success should have brought about better things for the people, but this was not to be as the years dragged on post 2008.

Scandals, empty promises, missteps, and greed soon painted a totally different picture of the once honourable saviours of the state of Selangor.

The five years they rule the state have indeed been infamous with reason after reason concocted to cover their misdeeds.

“From the frying pan into the fire,” that’s how it is.

The government helmed by Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is a mere cover that is controlled by the disparate puppet masters within the DAP, who are more keen to please the Chinese voters.

From garbage disposal to water issues – they only see attractive opportunities for them to play up while the cavernous and hungry pockets of cronies beg to be filled at the expense of the rakyat.

They say Khalid love be challenged in courts, as this would conveniently provide opportunities to cronies within the folds of the legal fraternity, who are pro opposition.

The raucous legal play moved the ground from the once explosive issues of illegal sand mining to the chess play with land owned by the Malays.

Their adroit sleight of hands soon found the lands being positioned in Malay unfriendly terms, with exorbitant costs of properties that hardly any Malay could afford.

This is the case with the Datum Jelatek project, which surely is designed to be meant for elite non-Malays.
Is this yet another example of the benevolence of Pakatan Rakyat, which PAS finds it convenient to support?
What can the conclusion be but just a replay of what happened in 2008?

Its time to reposition the table and undo the misguided anger of fiver years ago.

World Bank Recognises Malaysia As Regional Leader In Corporate Governance

Malaysia has received strong ratings from the World Bank in its Corporate Governance Report on Observance of Standards and Codes 2012, said the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

In a statement Tuesday, the SC said the bank also reported that Malaysia has been recognised as a regional leader in corporate governance, and has made substantial progress in improving the legal and regulatory framework in relation to corporate governance.

"According to the report, Malaysia's overall scores are higher than the average scores of countries within the Asian region.

"The bank also acknowledges that Malaysia has a large capital market, strong institutions, sophisticated participants and high quality accounting practices," it said.

SC chairman, Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, said it was important to have in place a strong corporate governance eco-system in order to sustain active investor interest and growth in the capital market.

"We are highly encouraged by the strong endorsement by the World Bank on the collective efforts by the regulators and the industry in strengthening corporate governance in Malaysia," he said.

The report, which is an independent assessment carried out by the World Bank, examines the country's corporate governance framework benchmarked against the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Principles for Corporate Governance.

This is the third time that Malaysia has participated in the assessment.

The first was in 2001, and subsequently in 2006.

Out of the six OECD Principles for Corporate Governance examined in the report, Malaysia scored highest in terms of equitable treatment of stakeholders, enforcement and institutional framework, as well as disclosure and transparency.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

PKR sustained by political chameleons in national politics

The political nature of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which is like the chameleon, which allows the party to 'change colour' on certain issues for its own interest, is one of the reasons why PKR remains in the national political arena.

The PKR has actually lost the majority of its founder members, among the most influential was Dr Chandra Muzaffar, a former party deputy president in December 2001, after working hard for two years to build the PKR.

Others who have abandoned the party include former PKR Youth chief, Senator Mohamad Ezam Mohd Noor; Senator Datuk S Nalakaruppan; Wangsa Maju MP, Wee Cho Keong; Kulim-Bandar Bahru MP, Datuk Zulkifli Nordin; Bayan Baru MP, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed; former PKR information chief Ruslan Kassim; and former Anwar Ibrahim's private secretary Anuar Shaari.

There is only one reason for leaving, namely the loss of trust in the party leadership. Normally, the party should have been buried together with the other parties that had suffered the same fate but the chameleon-nature of the party inherited from PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has somewhat saved the party.

Political analyst, Prof Madya Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan said the political nature of the party that is akin to the chameleon has played a role in uniting PAS and DAP under one roof, the merger helped the party to remain relevant in the opposition pact in the country.

"Looking at the PKR role in uniting PAS and DAP into an alliance, we notice to some extent the 'chameleon' nature of the party when it says something to this side but said something else to the other side. We are well aware that PAS and DAP do not share the same sentiments on many issues.

"This is dangerous behavior because people would tend to believe that Anwar is the best candidate to change the government while many know, he is a 'chameleon' who have problems especially in terms of moral and misuse of power," he told Bernama.

This is not the first time Anwar has been dubbed as a political chameleon, even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has also described the opposition leader as a chameleon on issues regarding the Palestinians and the atrocities of the Zionist regime in 2010.

In fact, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Idris Haron also described Anwar as a political chameleon for belittling the religious knowledge of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and its spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat over the 'kalimah Allah' issue.

Zainal Abidin said the merger of PKR, PAS and DAP based on the chameleon tendency is very fragile and easily jeopardised by the issue being played up, but the common goal reflected by this tendency is capable of influencing the people to support this pact.

Zainal Abidin, who was a former Universiti Malaya Academy of Malay Studies Director, said apart from the chameleon nature, the doctrine of hatred against the government inculcated by the PKR leaders among its supporters and those of the alliance is also the reason why the party still gains support to this day.

"Such issues like Lynas that purportedly harms the people, and that the government is not concerned about the people, have been intensely played up to create this anti-government sentiment. The Chinese community, for example, has been told that the MCA has failed and only the DAP is capable of championing the people's cause," he said.

Zainal Abidin said the alternative media used by the PKR and its cohorts also play an important role in ensuring that PKR continues to gain support even to the extent of changing logic in the media reports.

"This is the problem when the media have no restrictions, this deception can be portrayed like the truth and vice versa. This is done in order to get public trust and sow the doctrine of hatred against the government," he said.

"Previously, the party was used as a platform to release Anwar and purportedly to call for a clean government, but for various internal factors that probably involve rewards and pruning, their dreams when joining the party had been dashed.

"I think some of them were not favoured by the party leadership because of their vocal nature in stating what is wrong, thus there is no other way for them, except to leave the party.

"But I prefer to see the 'aftermath' of the tragedy and I wonder how the party was able to gather the pieces and restructure its 'glass palace'," he said.

Former PKR Padang Serai Member of Parliament who left the party in January 2011, N. Gobalakrishnan was quoted as saying: "Now, I'm 'free', when I am 'free' I don't have to go around giving ceramah and slandering every day".

In December last year, former Datuk Keramat assemblyman Lim Boo Chang announced that he had relinquished all posts in the party and returned to Gerakan.

Lim had been attracted by the reform agenda brought by PKR but after having joined the party for three years, he had lost confidence in the party following the party's failure to fulfill its promises.

Not only that, in April last year, the former PKR strongman had established the organisation named 'Tolak Individu Bernama Anwar Ibrahim' (Reject Individual Named Anwar Ibrahim or TIBAI), to reveal who Anwar actually is and repel the slander thrown by the opposition against the government.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Aussie senior commentators hit out at Xenophon for "foolish cynically self-promoting" episode in Msia.

One of Australia's senior commentators has taken maverick independent senator Nick Xenophon to task for his "foolish or cynically self-promoting" episode in Malaysia at the weekend.

The Australian newspaper's foreign editor Greg Sheridan said Xenophon's call for the Australian government to monitor the forthcoming Malaysian elections was "stupid and impractial".

Sheridan also accused Xenophon of "campaigning for just one side of Malaysian politics -- the opposition".

Sheridan said Foreign Minister Bob Carr was right to make his response to Xenophon's deportation as low key as possible and to agree with his Malaysian counterpart that the issue would not affect relations between the two countries.

"Carr should take no further action on the matter, nor is he likely to," he said.

"They (Malaysia) should either have told Xenophon in advance he was not welcome or they should have let his visit pass unnoticed.

"However, if anything, having an argument with an interfering Australian politician will be of some small electoral advantage to the ruling coalition.

"He might reflect on the fact the side he supports contains as perhaps its strongest element the most extreme Islamist party in mainstream Southeast Asian politics.

"Xenophon wants the Australian government to send electoral monitors to the forthcoming Malaysian elections. This idea is stupid and impractical," Sheridan said.

Citing electoral problems in Vietnam and Cambodia, Sheridan said Malaysia "on any measure is one of the most democratic and freewheeling nations in Southeast Asia.

"Its elections are certainly not perfect, but they are better than in most parts of the world.

"Indeed, its very openness allows people such as Xenophon to grandstand there."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I'm a stupid idiot...

Quite recently we have been disturbed by the stupid and irresponsible action of has been newsreader, radio and TV personality, Patrick Teoh when he touched a raw nerve with his remarks about Islam.

Feeling the heat too much to take, he followed up with an apology, never mind what he said had hurt the Muslims.

And if there is still space left in him, the worse damage he had done was to himself.

Many among the recalcitrant lot see his brazen and insensitive act as an appropriate cue to do something similar.

And so, without hesitation a Chinese chap a couple of days ago raised a rude finger against no other than Her Majesty the Queen at the Penang airport.

What this idiot said when confronted by the security detail is making its round in cyberspace.

Only a complete nincompoop will be immune and remain indifferent to what he had done.

In Thailand, he would readily face the wrath of the law for lese majeste, as well as that of the loyalists, which is about comprising the whole of the Thai people.

This is what the strident call for openness, freedom (to do anything you like) and liberalism has done thus far to the country. We will surely see more of such destructive and uncivilised behaviour in days to come.

The perpetrator may quite innocently plead temporary insanity, duress or what not by claiming that he had just had an argument with a family member, hence not being able to take charge of his faculties at that material time.

No! No excuse. The offence is sure and strict in nature. There should be no escape retribution.

Go on now, you blind legal eagles and half-cooked lawyers within the ranks of the self-righteous lot in the opposition, you can forever claim it is within his human rights for the idiot to utter anything he wishes – and that makes all of you equal idiots, too.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A politician, another politician or a responsible politician?

A Spartan-living politician does not necessarily make a good politician, or a responsible and sensitive person, for that matter.So, it goes that when the pandering sectors of the media writes lofty about a certain politician, never mind that his lifestyle and persona starkly radiates of excessiveness and waste, one can only reflect on what the politician is really made of.
For all reasons, such a politician is just another politician – nary the prerequisite responsibilities that will adhere him truly to the hearts and minds of the rakyat.

This observation cuts across the board, regardless of whether the politician is with the government in power or the opposition.

Many a times throughout history, we have witnessed how politicians play to the gallery, picking up populist points whenever they see it useful to cloud the hearts and minds of the electorate.

We have seen how governments fell, how the father figure in an autocratic system is spat upon his coffin upon his demise. How the people hastily but concertedly gathered to demonstrate their anger for the deceptions that they have been put through.

Such is the way we mortals have been made to be, with the only salvation being wisdom and kindness carved by the Almighty upon our conscience – Qualities that we need to work hard to gain through education and heartfelt experience.

Wisdom, kindness and sensitivities do not appear from thin air. It is surely because of this that the rule of life more often than not reminds us of how wisdom is gained through us living through the myriad colours and facets of this mortal life.

And so, upon this premise, here in Malaysia with the pre-election fervour at its all time high, we see politicians unashamedly declaring themselves near god-like perfect and beyond reproach, and that they are the saviour sent to the electorates to put the nation back in good stead – never mind that the country is already glowing in the pink of stead.

I am not saying that all politicians are the same, thence the reason for my saying there being a politician, just another politician, or a responsible politician.
There happens on many an occasion that the person that is the politician is, indeed, a person of commendable character and wisdom. But then again, given the raucous demeanour of the political machinery that attempts to power his propulsion to the zenith of his aspirations, such qualities are often whittled inadvertently with unabashed superlatives and corny lines.

For the person in question, what is there to do but to sit back and grimace at the situation, while wisely his heart says to hold on, as the situation can be remedied when he wins the election. It is, what they always say, “the means always justify the end.”

And, there we have it, a paradox, an irony or whatever you may call it.

For leaders in the likes of DAP’s anointed leader in Penang, Lim Guan Eng, much can be read in his demeanour.

He propelled himself to political stardom (at least that’s what they insists in the ranks of the opposition pact) with heaps of populism, ersatz humility and crass idealism as wisdom.

He has made it to the top, and by god he intends to stay put. Thence is his reasons to fight tooth and nail to fend off the concerted efforts of the Barisan Nasional on what he has declared as his ‘home turf’ (read: others back off now!).

But, in basking in the glory, he forgets that the graph had outlived its peak, and the same reasons that rocketed him to the top are being used, although not necessarily emulated by his rivals and detractors in BN.
It is the way this life always works. You have stumbled, you have erred and you learn. Your errors need not forever relegate you to the backburners. You can redeem your real worth and bounce back with vengeance – and BN is doing just that.

While BN has for the most part learned its lesson through certain omissions or the like, the will to change for the better can be seen through the aggressive rolling out of transformation programmes for the nation and the managing of better human values in its leadership rank.

This is something that cannot be denied even by people like Guan Eng, but what is he to do, but to go along with his spinmeisters to down play all the positive attributes fast encroaching upon his turf, that is Penang.
Like the spin of a football, one can often kick the very same spot one scored at one time, but this time around, one will not necessarily be able to score.

Your times up, Guan Eng…

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Too cool to take, so they just must sabotage Psy's starring at 1Malaysia CNY Open House

Whether it is the work of opportunists or fifth columnists pandering to the Pakatan Rakyat, who seem to abhor Barisan Nasional's cool strategy of getting Korean star, Psy to perform at the 1Malaysia Chinese New Year Open House, it is not going to work.

Psy will surely rouse the crowd at the event.

It was soon after the Korean international star of the Oppa Gangnam Style fame was announced to appear that rumours began, alleging guests would be charged for tickets.

For crying out loud, it is a Malaysian open house, and a 1Malaysia event to boot, where the is no such thing as levying entrance charges to soak in the occassion.

They called it mere rumour, and rumour it is, period.

In a swift damage control mode, Penang Barisan Nasional has called on the public to ignore such claims.

It was reported that the 'tickets' are being offered ranging from RM50, RM75 to RM250.
To those eager to be part of the celebration, and there will surely be thousands, seating for the 10,000 allocated seats is free on a first come first serve basis.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tunku Aziz: DAP says something, but does something else

Former DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim said the DAP is a party of contradictions, when it says one thing and does something else.

In an exclusive interview with KLpos recently, Tunku Aziz revealed the drama behind the holier-than-thou attitude of the DAP.

He said when he joined DAP, they went to town and paid lofty tributes to him, but the moment he left, there were trails of allegations that he had been bought by UMNO, along with fabrications that he was actually paid by the MCA.

To humour them, the founder of the Malaysian Chapter of Transparency International in turn asked what the role of the MIC was in the alleged plot.

He said, in the DAP, the moment you said something which went against party lines, you would be demonised, but if you said something nice about them, or some things they did well, you would suddenly become a hero, as was the case when he joined them.

Tunku Aziz lamented that such was the DAP’s standard script, along with rabid expectations for people like him to say only good things about the party…to say wrong about things that were right.

However, in Tunku Aziz, the DAP was in for a shock. Given his straightforward and in-your-face style, he would not hold his punches.

He said many of those who knew him were familiar with his steadfast persona. He had criticised the government…he had criticised the Barisan Nasional through his books and straight talks.

Tunku Aziz said he would criticise when there was a need to criticise, and he would not criticise for the sake of criticising.

He said he criticised the government and BN because he felt that someone had to do it.

And there he was. When it came to a point when he stridently lashed out at UMNO, he was even elevated to a super hero status.

But all the praises came to nought when he ran against the party line, for which he was nothing more than a demon – an evil person.

To draw a parallel, he referred to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said Guan Eng talked a lot about freedom of the press, but just look at how he treated the media. He refused to speak to the media just because the media did not write what he wanted.

Tunku Aziz said Guan Eng failed to practice what he preached about the freedom of the press. He could not accept the fact that the media is free, and that he could not dictate what they reported.

“So, where is the inclusiveness that they talk about?  There is none of that,” asked Tunku Aziz.

“So, you are dealing a party that obviously says one thing, but does something else, “he added.