“There are many ways to reach out to the public, both political parties have a lot of space in Malaysia… It is unlikely we will have a debate, we need to engage with the people, the opposition will engage with people,” – Caretaker Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak
Caretake Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak told Veronica Pedrosa that he was unlikely to Debate Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim because there are other ways to ‘engage’ with people. Of course, I get annoyed at these statements, in America the Presidential elections are viewed as the cornerstone of democracy, they are a way for both candidates to debate and argue their ideas and for people to really understand the platform the candidates stand on.
However, let’s give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt and assume for now that there are other ways of engaging with people. How are the Barisan engaging? Besides hundreds of sms-blast to the public there seems to be little ‘engaging’ from the Barisan Nasional. In fact–I’ve replied to nearly 20 Barisan sms’s I received and did not receive a single response from any of them. Yes, I wasn’t expecting any–but you would think a political party that was interested in engaging the rakyat would at least respond to an sms from a voter?
You would think the Barisan Nasional, the most powerful political coalition in Malaysia, could respond to at least one of my 20 questions via sms–sent directly to phone numbers from which I receive promotional messages for the Barisan Nasional in the first place. You would hope, that if they were serious about ‘engaging’ they would engage me, a voter in Malaysia.
It seems the Barisan doesn’t really understand technology, with their resources and the technology we have today, they could have meaningful engaging conversations with the rakyat–instead they’re caught up in the old way of thinking of ‘I talk YOU listen’, and wrapping that way of thinking into new technology like IVRs or SMS or Email or Twitter doesn’t demonstrate anything other than the fact that they don’t understand technology.
I talk You listen isn’t engaging–it’s an ancient way of thinking that would fail to engage anyone in this day of age, but you can’t really expect much more from Barisan, after all their Deputy Minister of Information Communications only started blogging last week–and hasn’t updated his twitter since 2010.
If Pakatan win the next election, I would recommend that they award the title of Tan Sri or at least Dato’ to the following:
Larry Page and Sergey Brin:
Co-founders of Google, who own both the video sharing site Youtube, and the blogging service Blogger.com. Without these two free services the message from the opposition would not have reached so many Malaysians, so effectively in such a short time-span. 12 years ago, before broadband or Google, the opposition were forced to resort to pamphlets and flyers, most of which was ineffective and expensive. Without Larry and Sergey, the Opposition would have not technology to spread their message to the masses. Anwar and Co’ owe more to the technology of Sergey and Larry than any amount of funds they may have obtained from any other party (foreign or domestic)
Founder of Facebook, the de-facto social network for Malaysian. Facebook is so famous even my mother uses it–and I recently received a friend invite from my mother-in-law!!
Facebook allowed the youtube videos and blog post from various opposition parties to be spread from friend to friend, without Facebook videos wouldn’t have gone ‘viral’. Together Facebook and Google were instrumental in allowing the opposition a platform to preach their good news in 2008–in 2013 they might just allow them to form a new government.
Matt Mullenweg & The WordPress Foundation:
Matt is the creator of the blogging platform (and service) WordPress.
WordPress runs the blogs of many NGOs and even politicians–except Khairys. Even Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s website runs on WordPress.
WordPress took the publishing of blogs, and made it into an open-source platform that anyone could use–and pretty soon everyone was using it. Without wordpress, blogs like Harris Ibrahim’s The People’s Parliament would not be possible (although he may have still launched ABU), in fact it remains to be seen how social activism would have evolved if WordPress hadn’t made it easier for social activist to blog.
Co-founder of Twitter, the micro-blogging platform that took the world by storm. Twitter allowed for politicians like Lim Kit Siang and many others to ‘micro-blog’ while on the road. This meant they could spread their message without sitting behind a computer screen writing long articles, but write short ‘tweets’ that could be spread virally in seconds. It also meant, that for the first time Politicians could actively engage the public while on the go.
Without twitter 83k people wouldn’t be able to see where LKS was, or more than 1 million people wouldn’t be able to see where Najib was (Although some of those followers are suspect)
Post-humous award to Steve Jobs:
Steve Jobs may no longer be with us, but his legacy will remain with us forever. The iPhone–the worlds first truly ‘smart’ phone, allowed for people to connect on the go. Without the smartphone, twitter wouldn’t be possible and all the effects that twitter has had on our political landscape.
Anwar Ibrahim has changed the Malaysian political landscape–no doubt about it. Whether you support him or not, merely changes the fact on whether you accept it was good change or bad change, but everyone accepts that he’s changed it.
These guys however,–Larry, Sergey, Matt, Jack and Steve–they changed the world!
It’s quite clear if you want to change Malaysia, you’d want to join politics–but if you want to change the world–there’s only one place to be…Technology!!
Stay Tuned for part 2.
A Social Media Analytics firm recently reported that nearly 50% of Justin Bieber followers on Twitter–were fake. This meant that nearly 18 million followers on Justins twitter account either belonged to no ‘real’ person or belonged to a spam account–and that dear readers is a lot of spam!
That’s like a newspaper saying its circulation was 100,000 a day, but it was only being read by 50,000 people.
Now of course, even if the first 18 million twitter followers were nothing more than spam bots, there’s still another 18 million ‘real’ followers that Justin has–and not many people have even 1 million twitter followers, let alone 18 million, so Justin still has twitter-cred.
However, that does beg the question–how many followers of our Prime Ministers twitter account–were real? For the uninitiated, the Prime Minister tweets at @NajibRazak and has nearly 1.4 Million followers, about 10 times less than Justin Bieber–but nearly 7 times more than his political rival Anwar Ibrahim (who has ‘just’ over 250 thousand followers).
So were these followers real? More…
According to last weeks Star, MACC deputy chief commissioner Datuk Sutinah Sutan was reported to have said that Civil servants and staff of government-linked companies (GLCs) surfing social media or engaging in personal matters during working hours may be categorized as having committed corruption!!
The underlying logic to the argument seems plausible enough, Datuk Sutinah goes on to elaborate that:
“For instance, if a person spends three hours during his or her stipulated working hours for personal tasks, it can be deemed a form of corruption as the Government trusts and pays its employees to fully utilise the working period to complete tasks relating to the respective jobscope,”
Now while all this sounds good on paper, I think we need to delve deeper, because every time a broad statement such as this comes along it’s important to take a step back and analyze the evidence rather than rely on ‘common sense’. Common sense is after all–not so common (this reminds of the MACC lawyer who claimed the Teoh Beng Hock could strangle himself to death)
So here we have a situation where the MACC deputy chief seems to think that the social media habits of Government servants warrants a statement from such a high ranking officer and therefore logically this must be something of high consequences to the nation, much more than the RM250 Million soft-loan given to a company to sort out the nations beef issues. More…
A couple of weeks back, I wrote about a cool card game based on Computer processes, in hindsight the only thing that post proved was that I’m a geek. The card game was funded through a crowdfunded initiative, and that was really what made it cool.
In fact, as of now, it’s already reached $6,000 dollars from it’s $50,000 target in just one day. I’m willing to bet that this project will eventually reach it’s pretty low target of just $50,000 — easily.
There are however, some copyright concerns surrounding the camera, particularly since Facebook now own Instagram and they don’t even like wordpress developers building themes that ‘look’ like facebook, much less an entire camera that is based on a trademark they own.
If you choose to fund the project, you’re promised a discount on the final item, which the creator hopes to price at under $350 (that’s in US Dollars). However, based on the specs, that may be a bit difficult, we’re talking about a: More…
I’m still trying to come to grips on how I manage to beat out competitors like Amanz, MrPiratz.Com, Droid.my and of course Technology, Design,Inspiration. All of whom garner more hits than me, and are far more popular. Mr.Piratz was the first person to congratulate me in the backstage room.
I must admit though, I’m still trying to figure out how I won, I even got hold of the Lowyat rep to figure out what the judging criteria was–he didn’t know. Right now, this is all feeling very surreal.
However, surrealistic feelings aside, I’m really really…REALLY happy I won. The award validates my past years work, and let’s face it–this really kicks ass.
I’d like to thank all of those who voted for me in the first place and everyone whose ever commented on my blog, followed me on twitter, or sent me an email to just say ‘hi’.
This blog has always been a sort of one man show, but as the saying goes, behind every successful man is a–WOMAN, I still wouldn’t consider myself successful, but I definitely have a woman behind me, my wife has been with me for 2 awesome years (11 if you count the years before marriage), and she’s supported me through all my crazy adventures including this one.
May this adventure never end!
Thanks everyone and goodnite.