KUCHING: Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud appeals to locals to compare and contrasts information found online with situations on the ground.
He told a gathering of social media enthusiasts here that “the free flow of information” via the Internet had led to meddling from external sources, some of whom might misrepresented situations.
“Issues like more democratic freedom and care for the environment are actually very good values. They are, in fact, laudable objectives,” Taib said the close of the Sarawak Social Media Convention 2012.
“But some (bloggers and writers on the Internet) are confused. How much of the information on the Internet is sufficiently oriented to what is happening within the country’s boundaries? How much is actually related to the real questions facing people in the country?”
The Chief Minister spoke about the relevance of the Internet in today’s society, saying he had no doubt that without the Internet, the Arab Spring would not have occurred. He said such social changes were “some good, some not so good” and that “society has been disrupted” by the Internet.
On the masses’ want for change, Taib said “world values” like greater democratic freedom was people’s way of expressing that they wanted to “build a better world” looking forward.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was guest of honour at the function, said plans for at least half of Sarawak to have high-speed Internet was on track.
Najib said 50% of Sarawak would have broadband by the end of this year, which would help bring the national high-speed Internet penetration to 75% by 2015.
“While there will soon be five million households with high-speed Internet, it is still a challenge to bring it to rural Sarawak. Nonetheless, the Government views such development as running parallel to basic infrastructures like water and electricity supply,” Najib said.
“In just 10 years, things have changed so much because of the Internet. It has mobilised the masses. These days, you have smart phones that are more powerful than the dial-up Internet computers we used to have,” the Prime Minister added.