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.”

Ops Mai Pulai end of July, Alfred Jabu

KUCHING, June 29 (Bernama) – The remains of 21 Iban warriors who were killed by communist terrorists during the Malayan Emergency will make their final journey home to Sarawak by end of next month.

Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said under the Operation Mai Pulai (bring home), the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers would be sent home and reburied with proper ceremony and Iban traditional customs.

“It is proposed that Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will officiate at the Operation Mai Pulai which will be held at the end of July,” he said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting, here today.

Jabu said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had made all the necessary arrangements and preparation to bring back the remains of the warriors.

“The Sarawak government is very thankful to the Defence Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry and Singapore government for allowing to bring back the remains of our fallen heroes,” he said.  — BERNAMA