Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#Bersih Social Media: Hishammuddin - the ruling government must catch up on their use of the medium

We have to admit that the police and the minister have done well to ensure that our country didn't fall into similar situation like the one in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and London. With lies and deceits by those who participated in un-Bersih rally, our country could fall into similar kind of chaos experienced by those countries. Worse could happen should the Malaysians bought over Suhardi's lies and reacted the similar way the Tunisians and Egyptians reacted after hearing the death of those who were involved in the riots or their women being raped by the policemen and soldiers.

And appreciating this fact - what is the government going to do about it? I thought the cabinet members have learned in detail of what had happened in Tahrir Square, Libya and Egypt. By right all our ministers should know better on how to deal with this un-Bersih rally before it took place on the 9th July.

So what is the government plan to overcome it should it happens again in the future? Who is supposed to be responsible in handling CRISIS MANAGEMENT for this country? Is it the Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Defence or Deputy Prime Minister?

How do we handle it? So many smart people in the cabinet, being advised by so many smart people around them. I don't think I have to share this article with them because the answer that I always get from them is either that they already knew about it or they already have solution for it and they already have people doing it (yet we still lose the cyberwarfare?) - Pentagon looks to social media as new battlefield....

'New media used to spread lies'
By Farrah Naz Karim and Sean Augustin

Read more:

PUTRAJAYA: The opposition's use of new media has enabled them to instigate sections of society to participate even in unlawful activities that give them political mileage. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said this was particularly damaging as many of the issues propagated through this media channel were untrue.

Citing the illegal July 9 Bersih rally as a case in point, he said this happened despite it being clear from the start that the rally was not about pushing for free and fair elections but for the interests of parties riding on Bersih's name.

He said while the government had exhausted all its avenues to reach and explain to the people about the demonstration, it was not easy as the power hungry were willing to go the distance in pushing to attain power without going to elections.

Conceding that handling the run-up to the July 9 demonstration was difficult as the opposition had triumphed over the use of the new media, Hishammuddin said the ruling government must catch up on their use of the medium.

"I must admit that they are better than us and we need to get our act together in using the new media."

"It couldn't be clearer that there are quarters who would not hesitate to seize any opportunity and compromise everything for their narrow political ambitions.

"We knew that there may have been other groups that might have used Bersih as a platform to cause even more upheavals," he said.

Touching on police action on the day the streets of Kuala Lumpur came to a stand-still, he said the police were very restrained on July 9, despite their standard operating procedure, which allowed them to take sterner action.

On the repercussions and lessons to be learned by those arrested and released by the police every time street demonstrations are held, he said those taken in by the police would have their particulars recorded in the police system.

He said while focus was given to those behind such events, the police were not going to pick and choose demonstrators in the middle of chaos.

"What we have in Malaysia, most people outside would look at it as something that we should cherish ... Unfortunately, there are people in Malaysia, who do not appreciate what we have.

"They go the extra mile to get attention, but sometimes, when they do so, there may be a cost to it as seen in many cases. A democracy with a single racial composition will not have this problem, but in a multiracial country like ours, our leaders must be very careful."

Hishammuddin said the police were also looking at best practices in the new social landscape.

This, he said included the amendments to the country's preventive laws, the Police Acts, particularly on peaceful assemblies, as well as the use of biometrics in addressing the issues raised by the opposition on phantom voters.

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