Taib urges social media enthusiasts to use Internet responsibly


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.

Internet censorship is useless in today’s evironment – Taib Mahmud

Pehin Sri Taib delivering his speech during the Sarawak Social Media Convention 2012

The Net not a threat


KUCHING: Censorship is useless in today’s environment, says Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Speaking at a gathering of social media enthusiasts here, Taib said transparency was now key to political survival, and praised the Barisan Nasional administration for “tearing down the ISA”.

The Chief Minister also commended the amendments to laws governing the media.

“Old fashioned censorship just doesn’t work anymore. The free flow of information (via the Internet) has given great power to the ordinary men on the street,” Taib said at the close of the Sarawak Social Media Convention 2012 yesterday.

Taib said criticisms online had to be accepted as a new form of feedback by those in power. He added that he first noted the change that would come with the Internet when companies based in the US started outsourcing jobs to the Indian economy.

“When we saw that happening, that was becoming possible, we knew the communication revolution was on its way. We expected a lot of things to change. I’m rather old fashioned. I studied in libraries, but if you look at developed countries right now, even at countrysides, the spread of the (Internet and its benefits) has been so fast.”

As far as the state government was concerned, Taib added, it would continue to make high-speed Internet available at more rural areas, particularly schools. Taib said the state government did not view the Internet as a threat.

If anything, Taib said Sarawak needed more social media savvy citizens.

“We are actually handicapped by a shortage. We need your (social media enthusiasts’) advice and support. Sure, the free flow of information has achieved some good, some not so good; societies have been disrupted.

“Yet, on the other hand, (because of the Internet) this generation is the best generation that is able to practise life-long learning. Books had their restrictions.”

Going back to the Government’s move to liberalise policies, the Chief Minister praised the Prime Minister for having an open and “agile” way of thinking. “He (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) might be the first Prime Minister to understand you (social media enthusiasts) better.”

Social media group to submit resolution to Najib

KUCHING: A 10-point resolution focusing on unity among social media activists in Sarawak will be presented to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Social Media Convention tomorrow.

Sarawak Social Media Association (SSMA) president Wan Abdillah Edruce Wan Abdul Rahman said more than 600 participants from urban and rural areas attending the event would discuss at length the proposed 10 resolutions before presenting them to the premier in the afternoon.

“The theme for our event is Connect and Engage,” Wan Abdillah said when contacted yesterday.

“One of the proposed resolutions is social media activists’ pledge to support the government of the day and promote unity among the people which is in line with the association’s slogan, One Voice, One Love,” Abdillah said it was an honour to have Najib and Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud attend the convention, stressing that it was a golden opportunity for all to better interact with the country’s leaders.

“It is a great opportunity of a life time among social media activists. We’ll have the chance to know our premier and there will be a question and answer session open to the floor.”

Established nearly a year ago, Abdillah said, SSMA aimed at engaging the people through the cyber world and helping the government disseminate its policies and programmes.

“Instead of slamming each other in the cyber world, let’s work together in giving out accurate information to the people.”

Prior to attending the Social Media Convention at Hilton Hotel at 1pm, Najib, in Sarawak for a three-day working visit, will have a walkabout at the Matang Jaya farmers market at 8.30am before attending the “Jelajah Janji Di Tepati” programme at the carpark of Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Petra Jaya at 10am.

The “Jelajah Janji Di Tepati” is a meet-the-people programme during which the premier will also be handing out Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M).

He will also visit the Cities and Corridors Lab open day at the old state legislative assembly building which is adjacent to Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

Najib is expected to fly back to Kuala Lumpur at around 2.30pm.

Source: Star Sarawak