Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pandangan saya di malaysiandigest - DAP pakar semarakkan sentimen perkauman telah menyiarkan secara penuh wawancara yang telah menyentuh pelbagai aspek, iaitu penglibatan dalam media alternatif, pendidikan, kepimpinan Pemuda UMNO, retorik Middle Malaysia, DAP dan Pakatan Pembangkang (PR).

25 March 2010 | Thursday
Tuesday, 23 March 2010 11:43
Last updated on Wednesday, 24 March 2010 17:15
Tun Faisal: DAP are Experts in Fanning Racial SentimentsPDFPrint
by Syed Zahar

Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz is an Exco member of Umno Youth and chairman of its New Media Unit. The 39-year old politician was once a Special Officer to the Education Ministry when it was under Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein where his responsibilty was as the ministry's speech writer. His job also involved the scrutinizing of education policies.

Known to some as Penjejak Badai (a warrior based on a popular comic character) Tun Faisal first came into the limelight after contesting against Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid who is the Putrajaya Division Youth Chief and Special Officer to the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi where he lost by only three votes. Currently, Tun Faisal holds the post of Youth Chief for Bunga Kiambang (Putrajaya) Division.

Malaysian Digest caught up with Tun Faisal recently to hear what he has to say about Umno’s latest strategy in countering the Oppositions early advantage in the ongoing cyberwar as well as the questionalble quality of the present education system and the supposed crisis in Umno Youth.


Malaysia Digest: Would you agree that alternative media played a big role in the outcome of the last General Election (GE)?

Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz: Yes. It played a significant role in 1999 GE, 2004 GE and 2008 GE and it will definitely play even a bigger role in the coming election. During the 1999 GE, the approaches, methods and applications were different than those used in 2008. And the target audiences were relatively smaller in then. There will be a significant increase in the population of X and Y generations in the coming GE. So much so that the poplulation of these two groups who are in their 20s and 40s would surpass the number of baby boomers.

MD: What steps has Umno/BN taken to counter the early advantage the opposition had in establishing broad presence in cyberspace?

TSI: At this stage, there are a number of steps that has been taken. We really have to go back to the basics. Basic means as basic as explaining to the senior leaders in Umno on why it is important for us to look at new media seriously. This also involves convincing them on what are the best approaches that needs to be taken based on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that Umno/BN has at present.

Opposition has been using alternative media for their survival since 1999. This means they have been using it as a communication tool to survive for the past 10 years. We managed to reduce the gap (in internet presence) by the efforts made by our Cybertroopers unit which was established under UMNO Youth Media Unit before GE 2004, but unfortunately, after GE 2004, we failed to keep the momentum going and have were left very far behind in 2008 GE.

Do you think is Umno/BN has been successful so far in the war in cyberspace against the opposition?

We are not at par with the opposition yet. But we have done far better than before the 2008 GE. There are a number of things that needs to be done at strategic level in order for us to be at par with the opposition.

Do you feel that people should have the freedom to write what they want in blogs or should there be a new law be introduced to restrict people from doing so?

On one hand, I believe it would be good to give such freedom, but on the other hand, Malaysians might not be ready to handle such freedom yet. Lies, slanders, manipulations and unethical writings have been practiced widely by many including the big names in new media. There are people who can create lies from nothing. The Altantunya issue for instance is something which is created from nothing.

We read your twitter today where you had posted that Malaysian Digest’s analysis on the cyberwar between BN and the Opposition (in our feature Alternative Media: BN vs PR - Who's Winning?) was inaccurate. Could you kindly elaborate on this?

Well, not everything in the piece is inaccurate.

Firstly, some of the data that you used to support the article is not accurate. For example KJ’s number of fans on Facebook and mine. I do not have my own fan page yet. The fan page was created by one of my followers and I was asked to help to update some of my thoughts there. I’m focusing more on my profile right now and I have more than 4,000 friends. KJ has at least three FB accounts already. This means, he has at least 15,000 followers.

Secondly, when describing about bloggers and their blogs, may be it would be best to do so by doing it based on their traffic ranking. From there you would be able to see how much influence each person have in shaping people's perception.

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