– The Malaysian Insider
Mar 02, 2013
MARCH 2 – One wonders where Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz was on April 3, 2009 when Datuk Seri Najib Razak took office as Prime Minister and said “the days of government knows best is over”.
One wonders where D’Cruz was during the Budget 2013 speech last year when Najib proposed a fund to give smartphone rebates for youths to enable them to access the Internet.
One wonders where this man who is Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture was when Najib dubbed this year’s polls as a “social media election”.
Why? Because this unelected politician said today the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was looking into suitable methods to monitor and control the use of social media in the general election.
Monitor and control? Is this some hermit socialist or communist state we are living in where the authorities do not trust its citizens using social media tools?
State news agency Bernama quoted D’Cruz as saying the MCMC will monitor all users of social media, regardless of their political beliefs, to ensure peace and smooth running of the general election.
He goes on to say monitoring of the social media was vital as certain quarters were only good at making baseless allegations and spreading lies to gain political mileage, adding that he himself had once fallen victim to such lies and accusations.
Thank you for your experience, Mr Deputy Minister but the MCMC has more responsibilities than to police the Internet. They already have to manage the rebate scheme for smartphones, phone and data service quality and coverage and also broadcasters.
Why can’t those who the deputy minister say “should not be so selfish and lie just for the sake of gaining political mileage because what matters most in politics was to ensure that the people will live in peace and harmony” be left to the police when reports are made.
In fact, one should even ask the deputy minister if people at large also trust politicians to do their job rather than play politics at an event organised by a government department.
Isn’t that abusing your office as much as you fear others will abuse social media for their own ends.
Politicians like D’Cruz are an anachronism for Najib who wants to widen the use of social media for innovation and to push Malaysia as a country of talents with high incomes.
Monitoring and controlling what people do on social media is akin to what the Soviets did when they ruled Russia. It just dumbs down people to become sheep.
Malaysia can do without such politicians like D’Cruz who only think of controlling people’s minds. These are dinosaurs best left as museum exhibits and a reminder we need a society that is responsible for what it does, rather than one that lives under the shadow of control.