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Dipetik dari Malaysian Digest
Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:03
Last updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:37
Tun Faisal: Rift Between Pro Umno Bloggers and New Media Unit Only Temporary
by Aidil Syukri
Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz is an Umno Youth Exco member and the Chairman of the Umno Youth New Media Unit (UMB). As a chairman of UMB, he is responsible in the handling of Umno’s cyber war through new media such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
Malaysian Digest caught up with Tun Faisal during the recent Teh Tarik Session to find out about the buzz on the dispute between pro-Umno bloggers (regarded as ‘hardcore’ bloggers) and UMB.
Malaysian Digest: What actually happened between you and the pro Umno bloggers? What caused the conflict?
Tun Faisal: Actually, there are not many factors. The bloggers involved may misunderstand the role and functions of the UMB as one of the party’s machinery. For example, in the by-elections, we have to follow the state structure. There are some things for which we are subjected to the state requirements and some bloggers do not understand this.
UMB’s role is actually to engage with all operators of the new media. We did not want to add this other group. We already have many groups such as MyKMU, BPN and Umno Online. We want to coordinate all the pro-Umno bloggers. We try to understand them and think about how we can move as party machinery to face the opposition. The problem is that UMB is only a unit under the Umno Youth. We are not directly under main Umno. UMB just assists Datuk Ahmad Maslan (Umno Information Chief) in conducting the cyber war.
MD: Rumors say that the root cause of the dispute is money. Is it true?
TF: It is just a misunderstanding. We appreciate everyone’s role. Bloggers, Facebookers, we appreciate them all. Each and every one of them has their respective roles. But now we have to think about how we want to move forward in more coordinated manner. Currently, everyone have their own ways. In order to win a war, we need to have a direction.
But we understand that not everyone in Umno have exposure to new media. That’s why in the early stages we provided information and training for them because we wanted more social media-savvy members. When I was tasked to handle UMB by Umno Youth Chief, YB Khairy Jamaluddin, not many people were using Facebook. In fact, Blackberry was something alien to many. But now we can see that almost all Umno leaders have Blackberry and Facebook. Our responsibility is that we explained to them on how and when to use them in order to optimize the message to be conveyed to the people.
Besides that, we also look for new talents at the state level. When we organize trainings, it doesn’t mean that we want to replace the existing bloggers. To us, the existing bloggers are good. But people need to understand that during the General Election (GE), the candidates for state assembly and parliamentary seats cannot fully rely on the existing bloggers as they will be busy. This is actually why we introduced UMB at the state level. If there is no structure, how are we supposed to do our job as party machinery?
With the existence of the state UMB, what is the position of those ‘hardcore’ bloggers?
Be on board. We need to cooperate. Maybe at the state level the structure is a bit different, but as the Umno Youth leader had mentioned, we need to be more inclusive. What is important here is that more machinery at the state level understands how to handle the new media. It could bring more benefits to the party if it were not be used to fight among ourselves.
How are you countering this problem?
Actually those people are not so active in UMB. To me, the one (responsible for the) made up story defaming me, has their own agenda. To counter this problem, I’ve tried to explain to them. I’ve spoke to some of them. Besides, I’ve also explained it through my blog and Blackberry messenger. There are some that I’ve met them personally. If they still want to attack me on their blogs, I think it is unfair. It’s not like I did not even try to settle their dissatisfaction. I hope that everyone involved be patient as we are not a newspaper or media company. Our way of work is slightly different with media. We are willing to hear ideas in order to be well prepared for the next GE. We will try to improve our weaknesses.
In 2008 GE, the Opposition has optimized the new media in order to reach people and it was proven successful. But now we can see that most of the pro Opposition cyber troopers have gone and we can see that the BN cyber troopers are dominating the cyber war. With the crisis between UMB and the BN ‘hardcore’ bloggers, aren’t you afraid that they might join the Opposition camp?
To me this problem is temporary. In the end it will turn back to our intention to fight for the party. If our struggle is clear and honest, we would not run to the opponent. Unless if we are the type who easily change our principle for money.
Alhamdulillah for there are still bloggers who are sincerely fighting for the party. They never care about money or allocation. What we have to concentrate on now is to have more of these kind of bloggers. Bloggers who are sincere in fighting for assuring a BN win in the next GE.
As for the Pakatan cyber troopers, to me the reason that has contributed to them leaving Pakatan is that they have seen lots of misconduct in the coalition. They all (Pakatan cyber troopers) are the thinking people. They can see how PAS has changed their principles, how chaotic PKR is and the fact that DAP are not like what they had expected in Penang. This all might contribute towards many Pakatan cyber troopers leaving them.
It is good for us in the BN side. This is because during the last GE, the void wasn’t filled by the pro-Umno cyber troopers. But now we have expanded and we have filled all the empty spaces that were previously dominated by them (Pakatan cyber troopers) all this while. Today if they want to spread lies in the cyber world, we have troopers to counter their allegations.
Any messages to those bloggers?
UMB is a platform that accepts anyone. We are one team. They need to understand that UMB had never received any allocation. It means that UMB is not a place to gain personal benefit. Our door is always open to anyone who wants to fight within UMB. I admit that there are weaknesses in UMB. What is important now is that we need to figure out how to make the problems as our strength. Besides that, let us not aggravate each other because in the end it will affect our party. For now, let’s focus on the Sarawak elections. All the skills that we get during Sarawak elections, we can apply in the GE.
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