Bananachinese’s Weblog

July 19, 2011

No escape from new media effect

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Any advertisement or Public Relations companies which do not have political experts/section, please do not attempt to  do political campaign or anything politics. Your political client’s future may be in danger because of your inadequacy.

*shudder for BN and PR*

Share with you article found published in Malaysia-today on 14 July 2011:

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Unfortunately for stakeholders in Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, Malaysia’s political rhythm for the upcoming 13th general election has changed to a new beat from 9 July 2011.

In this new political landscape where the rakyat hold supreme in the choice between Barisan and Pakatan, any forward looking players should now be urgently re-thinking their choice of campaign managers and teams who will play an important role to make or break the political incumbents’ careers or aspirants’ dreams.

Compared with Pakatan which has adopted heavy use of new media much earlier, Barisan is running behind in the race to articulate its messages on this platform. Whether by choice or due to an inability to engineer a mindset turnaround, Barisan’s team has also missed out chances to update its messaging and repair missed touchpoints. Perhaps it might be in serious need of a major overhaul of its voter communication bureaucracies.

For the influential segment of middle class voters who possess more confidence to make a stand on issues and demand for intelligent discourse, BN’s incongruent messages do not synchronize with the people’s vision of 1Malaysia. The incongruous noise also implies a lack of updated skills in political messaging by Barisan’s campaigners, promoters, speakers and spokesmen. One also suspects non-existent political knowhow in the advertising companies managing the BN coalition parties’ or candidate’s media accounts.

Some voters might recall being bombarded by ‘unreal’ messages from political advertisements mostly carried in mainstream newspapers in the 12th general election campaign. Due to its misalignment to voters’ sentiment, some might recall being amused by BN’s manifesto’s theme ‘Selamat, Aman, Makmur’ or MCA’s ad depicting its President still cycling around the new village.

Those messages may have worked well in the days before new media became a daily work, communication and information essential.

According to the Election Commission, Malaysia has 11.82 million registered voters after the supplementary electoral roll for the fourth quarter of 2010 was gazetted recently. In June 2010, there were 16.9 million internet users in Malaysia (representing 64.6% of the population) according to Internet World Stats.

Certainly these data presents a huge opportunity to extend the power of messaging beyond traditional platforms or hardsell to reach the hearts and minds of Gen X and Y families, especially the new voters.

The new media platform exposes its users to diverse perspectives and is a tool to politicize younger people. Today’s voters are disengaged from the traditional ideas of political loyalty and places more value on issues of governance and civil discourse.

Today’s middle class talk about values and rights of an individual. It may even be perceived as a form of cruelty, a turnoff or politically incorrect behavior to cast aspersion via character assassination or cliché to bespattering someone with metaphorical mud. Thence, it was no surprise that individuals ‘guilty’ of moral indiscretions were elected or appointed to office as the value creation from harnessing their career skills carried more weightage against other considerations.

No longer bound to thought limitations of mainstream newspapers, radio and television, your fellow citizens are free to watch and compare ideas on the worldwide internet almost everyday and communicate their expanded worldview to share with their families, relatives and friends in the rural areas or globally.

This complicates and presents a huge challenge to candidates contesting in the urban and semi-urban constituencies. Any political campaigners worth their salt must possess listening experience on the internet before embarking on the political trail to try to persuade voters to listen to their candidate’s message.

As always for political players and stakeholders, fresh approaches to politics are absolutely necessary to convince voters beyond traditional offers of lunch, dinner or charity.

There is no escaping the new media effect and for sure, at any given time, the world may be watching and sharing through the internet what one is saying today or have said yesterday.

By: Ho Aoi Ling
The writer is a social media listening specialist and heads an independent think tank in Kuala Lumpur. She may be reached at cleat.clew@gmail.com or Twitter http://twitter.com/aoiling

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November 29, 2010

Aging BN political parties don’t understand generationism

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Longevitity in politics is admired for its resilience. However, in the world that is constantly in a state of flux, shifting from generations to generations after WWII, Baby boomers to Generation X to Generation Y and now the Generation Z, political parties which have been there since Merdeka seriously need to learn and re-learn new ways to engage with their voters.

Forget the old methods of ‘servicing’ the voters by simply playing the middlemen eg: to type support letters to help them apply for some things. Or just indulging in charity work. Or worst, interfering with the education system. That ain’t  the lawmaking and policymaking your voters put you up for.

In case, ye olde political parties haven’t noticed, your voters are now literate and can write by themselves. Don’t believe it? Just check what they say of you and your party in the internet.

Forget the antagonizing ‘criticize and hit below the belt’ method you are wont to indulge in Twitter. They are a huge turn-off to current voters who have started to develop a taste for fair play.

It is well to quickly learn how to update your communication methods to engage. Start within your own party – start by training your own members before your political party caused itself to be an embarrassment in eyes and ears of the listening public. And then, lose in the General Election.

March 14, 2010

Of MCA, hitmen, cleaning up cyber off lies and slander before GE

Tourism Malaysia wishes to clarify that currently there is no new contract yet been sealed with any party with regard to the global buy advertising campaign 2010, as claimed by the writer – Malaysia New Kid On Blog, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. For the record, the process and procedures in terms of procurement for advertising is carried out in accordance to Financial Procedures.


Wan Zawawi Mohammed
Director
Communications & Publicity
Tourism Malaysia


The above statement really piqued my curiosity. What a nice surprise to my Sunday morning: A government ministry issuing just that to clarify fact, re-butt an unsubstantiated story whilst stressing their adherence to financial policy for public record.

Thumbs up to Ministry of Tourism. This is a good sign of responsiveness when a government ministry practice such swift response to an alleged ‘true story’ published on the internet.

A blog writer ‘Malaysia New Kid On Blog (alias mynkob)’ whose ‘true’ article was published on Raja Petra’s website Malaysia-Today tells a story of “If Dato Mirza fails to comply with Ruzi’s order, Ruzi will punish Dato Mirza”.

Hmmm, the name Dato’ Mirza seems familiar. Intrigued, I did some fact finding on this Dato’ Mirza character to find out more.

I found out that Dato’ Mirza Mohd Taiyyab (Director General of Tourism Board Promotion Board) is well respected by his staff and regarded as a straightforward civil servant who’d stick to procedures despite solicitations of ‘businessmen’ hungry for shortcut to contract.

According to a fellow blogger, “When Datuk Mirza was first charged in Court, almost his entire Tourism Ministry Staff came to Court to show support. The Ministry’s Sports Club or Union or something also held a Sembahyang Hajat for him. Mirza was well known as a “strict and straight by the book, no nonsense DG of Tourism”. His forte was saying NO.”

That this Dato’ Mirza came out jubilant in court with his reputation intact is one evidence of his worthiness as an upright government servant that rakyat want so much to see nowadays.

If this story by mynkob were true, one would find it queerly out of character for the experienced Dato’ Mirza to now suddenly kow tow to ‘threats’ from a mere Managing Director from Sen Media Sdn. Bhd and not have the fellow reported to the authorities.

I’m curious about the state of mind of the writer mynkob. Was his motive to again hit and slander also the DG who is entrusted to run a no-nonsense tightship for his current boss lady minister Ng Yen Yen?

Could business rivalry or jealousy be one of the reasons for the writer’s attempt to slander the DG, his hardworking lady boss and the well performing Tourism Ministry?

And for mynkob to link the story to MCA – it is just too wild for this rational mind.

Every MCA central delegate worth his/her salt knows that the fight and MCA party polls is all about its top 2 ‘leaders’. The rest of the leaders like Vice President Ng Yen Yen, etc, are status quo as their internal party voters have never objected to them continuing as the Central Committee until the next one due in 2011.

Aiyah! If the MCA party polls can generate such hateful and libelous writings in the internet, BN would have one hell of a headache to think of how best to hide all these self inflicted injurious scabs when this Barisan Nasional component party goes out to campaign in the next General Election.

It’s better for MCA quickly get a strategist to clean up the cyber mess their hitman writers left all over the internet before MCA goes to campaign for the next GE under BN banner.

I can also think of friends who would naturally adapt all these juicy stuff to boost image of their party vs BN. All is fair in love and war, baby. And be mindful that the aim is not to be the biggest loser.

Hmmmm…. how the mind doth boggles at all theories and political implications brought on by just one article in the internet.

March 12, 2010

TM’s High Speed Broadband (HSBB) and photo

“This is a broadband service offering network speeds of up to 4.0Mbps delivered via wired, wireless and mobile technologies such as ADSL, wi-fi, WiMax and high-speed downlink packet access and is available nationwide,” said TM Group chief executive officer, Dato’ Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa.

I’m not going to compare Malaysia’s network speed with Korea’s 14.6 Mbps. Really.

Why?

Cos Malaysia got to replace those oldie physical copper wires with fiber ones before we can speed up the virtual internet autobahn like them Koreans. If you are a KL night owl, you might have noticed those TM contractors working feverishly digging out copper wires and replacing with fiber cables.

No fiber, no real speed. Reality sucks, doesn’t it.

And until Malaysia is truly fibered, we’re stuck in between dreams of surfing up to 4.0Mbps, I guess.
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Having been using Streamyx’s 1.0Mbps for so long, I jumped at a friend’s invite to test out the High Speed Broad Band (HSBB) a few week ago.

If you have tried watching CNN at peak time with ye Streamyx, you’ll know that it is a stop and go watch. But HSBB, no problem, streaming is very steady, no interuption to the CNN live videos.

Haven’t tested video upload speed to Youtube using HSBB, yet. Need to try before giving more praise (if applicable).

btw, I wish TM will be less coy and let consumers know when the HSBB real deal will be available to all other places beyond the Bangsar, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Shah Alam and Subang Jaya areas. Don’t la expect busy consumers to search through your TM website for the information, netizens are not paid to do that.

Anyways, if TM really want to convert us to HSBB, put lar TM big, big ads with enticing subscription fees to grab our eyeballs at places where we meet/talk in the internet. I don’t mind hosting a paid ad or two in me blog (heeheeheehee)

Here’s to affordable HSBB, speed and access to information so important to drive the Malaysian high income economy dream.

To drool over HSBB gadgets, see photo below.

March 4, 2010

Malaysia Netroots and Citizen Bloggers

Ever wonder if our savvy politicians are even aware of the changing pattern of communication of our loyal party grassroot voters?

Let’s do a checklist:

Got blog? – check

Got Facebook and Twitter? – check

Got interactive conversation to walk with and connect with commentators’ fears and tears? – “Itu software belum lagi di pasaran, boss…,” explained the hapless political aide. “Pergi tanya dekat bloggers,” exclaimed the half awake politician.

Suddenly a vision pops in my head – she, the internet evangelist grandma in a TV advertisement going, “Jom Streamyx !!”

Share with you below highlights from a related article:

Rise of the Netroots: How citizen army of bloggers is changing Malaysian politics

Malaysian politicians need to rise up with the digital reality and collaborate with social-political new media practitioners to extend constituencies beyond their silver haired circle of loyalist voters. Never before has the need to connect with today’s digital-savvy consumers been so crucial to winning campaigns for a high income economy aspirant nation state.

Thanks to information technology, the possible spectrum for ideological debate in Malaysia has been widen a little especially since the advent of emails, blogs, sms, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter dented the traditionally unidirectional political messaging and campaigning that voters have been subjected to.

So instead of issuing numbing political slogans or lamentations of political parties attributing their troubles to the machinations of their adversaries rather than to their own failures or sheer misfortune, why don’t they just get to work with the netroots as an outreach connector to reach constituents beyond their traditional voters neatly segmented by race, association or party membership?

Click here to read the article in full.

November 30, 2009

The news, a tragedy and a higher love

Just look and listen at how the TV presenter (the lady at -04:10, 1:50 and at the close) expressed her empathy to the victims of the family of a tragic family dinner shootout.

This is how media people should strive to be, so that the media is human again.

Which brings me to Malaysia tv, radio, newspaper and online media. I hope they will learn the power of empathy to connect with the masses.  The current unpolished treatment by the media and also the uncivil comments left in the internet… it is not too late we learn how to better treat another human being with aspiration of a higher love. Soon. A tall order for Malaysia’s 13th General Election.

P/S: My greatest sympathies to Patrick Knight on his dear loss. May he and family be strong.

May 14, 2008

No holds barred dissection of Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA)!

Fu Yoh!

If Ong Ka Ting can lead his band of lethargic Central Committee members to do this type of no holds barred evaluation of MCA’s health and lifespan beyond the next GE… Maybe, maybe MCA can be like the re-born phoenix and rise again.

My MCA senior friend told me nobody knows the results of the party post mortem (I hate this term- usually used on dead bodies!!). Most probably the report would not be an earth shattering, totally honest revelation, he thought. When I asked why he arrive at such conclusion, he said as the Central Committee members towkays are not in tune with grassroots and the middle class thinking (king makers of GE12) and what’s going on in internet conversations, their post mortem will be most unlikely to reflect the true state of MCA.

Oh yeah, to listen to the no holds barred critic of MCA, just click to open the podcast HERE.

You won’t find this podcast in malaysiakini.com or malaysia-today.net.

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Tell me what you think of the critic, or whether you have other ideas, ok? Must transmit to my senior MCA friend’s ears.

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P/S: MCA snoop squad, (if you exist) you better listen to this and tell it like it is to your bosses, ok?

March 15, 2008

A cyber prescription for Barisan Nasional. Pak Lah are you listening?

Perhaps some Malaysiakini readers may have already written about this. But this take is better. hehehe…

Click here for an expert’s 2 sens advice for poor BN…

Any BN leaders out there can carry this important message back to your leadership?

NB: Wouldn’t hurt newly crowned state governments to read it too.

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