Home Minister misses the point again by a gross margin

By J. Di’ Lovrenciear

The Malaysian Home Minister has come out with guns-blazing. He has lambasted the opposition parties and citizens aligned to the ‘enemies’ of BN. He categorically stated that there are Malaysians misusing the new media to spread lies. He went on to state that there are people outside the country who appreciate what Malaysia has to offer. And that Malaysians are not appreciating these at all.

Why is the minister harping on wanting to rest on his laurels? And why must he put down the dignity of the citizens and praise those who are not even in the country?

And along with that he also laced his words with threats that the police will have on record the citizens’ particulars when they are hauled in for demonstrating – short of saying that citizens who demand transparency and accountability in governance are black listed.

Not undone yet, the minister concludes with an apparently contrite heart that the government has been slow in harnessing the new media to engage battle with the opposition parties and citizens who are on the opposition camp.

Now does it not amaze you that each time our ministers make a post-event comment or give an ultimatum, it suspiciously falls off the mark almost all the time. Even what is reported by the main stream media reveals these, in between the lines.

Now, ministers are there as ministers not to glorify party politics. They are there to serve the nation – all citizens irrespective of which political party they are aligned to.

So why does the Home Minister talk of doing battle with the opposition? If he wants to speak so then he must not be reported as the ‘Home Minister’ but a party politician. and such reports should be restricted to their own party organs – not the main stream media by any count.

The other gross missed mark is the minister’s claim that Malaysians are not appreciating what they have. Again, is he speaking in defense of the citizens or is he voicing his total disgust with anything that is ‘opposition’?

In the first place, citizens are only asking why can’t Malaysia be better than what it already is. Is this aspiration to excel a crime? Is this not being loyal and patriotic towards nation-building? Malaysians from all walks of life are only asking the government to account in a transparent and responsible manner. They want to have a participatory role in decision making because they care for the future of this nation.

The ballot box is not the end-all for citizens’ participation in nation building. They want to have a say and want to know and most importantly hold those whom they elected accountable to the voters. Now is this far too unbearable for our ministers?

And the government despite having all the main stream media in their claws, are still unable to convince the citizens – the tens of thousands for example who marched on July 9, 2011. What does this teach? Do you not recognize the learning opportunities here Mr. Honorable Minister?

Lest the Home Minster fail again, he must be told that the new media has become the alternate media for Malaysians simply because the main stream media is filtered beyond reasonable parameters. Is it not true? If no, then please explain why the editors must get clearance from your ministry for every single bit of news deemed ‘sensitive’ by your office and the powers that be?

It would do the UMNO political party greater good if its party members did not speak under the hats of their appointed roles vested by the civil and voting citizenry. It would do the appointed individuals greater good too if they spoke for all Malaysians when using the power of their chair to deliver messages to the electorate.

This then is the first and foremost lesson to be learned when it comes to harnessing the new media. But it is sadly obvious the minister seems to have fixed his perspectives on doing a cyber war instead. How sad.