Archive for December 19th, 2011

Will 1Malaysia TV be the solution or the cause of the “information vacuum” plaguing government credibility?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made a very interesting observation when launching 1Malaysia TV yesterday, the existence of an “information vacuum” in Malaysia in the information age with youths turning to alternative online site for news.

But is 1Malaysia TV the solution or it will part of the cause of the “information vacuum” plaguing the government’s credibility?

1Malaysia TV as Internet television is offering inter alia RTM1, RTM2 and TV3, the official channels which evoke intense distrust and low credibility of their information.

Without any change of policy to allow RTM1, RTM 2 and TV3 to be independent, non-partisan and professional tv stations, the primary cause of the “information vacuum” and also why not only youths but Malaysians as a whole are turning to alternative online sites for news and information would not be addressed.

Najib said information on alternative online sites as “sometimes fabricated or untrue”, but these criticisms are equally valid about the official media and now 1Malaysia TV – which is going to repackage the official media on Internet!

Although Najib said that it was essential to provide information to the rakyat rather than to black it out, “as it would only prompt them to seek it from alternative sources”, his administration had been guilty of the “black out” mindset and strategy when confronted with adverse or troublesome developments. Read the rest of this entry »


Encouraging Entrepreneurialism

by Bakri Musa

Chapter 11: Embracing Free Enterprise

The catalyst that drives, or more accurately the spark that ignites, capitalism is the entrepreneur. She is the individual who sees the opportunity to sell an item or service at a price higher than the cost of making or obtaining it. She sees the need or demand, and then goes about to meeting that need, and in the process makes a profit for herself. Entrepreneurs are, in the words of the MIT economist Lester Thurow, “…the change agents of capitalism.”

It is at this point that the religious types sense an argument against capitalism. Their argument is simply this: capitalism feeds on the individual’s motivation to make a profit, to get rich. My rebuttal is equally simple. The entrepreneur provides a much-needed service or product where none exists before. If that product or service is not needed, then his enterprise will fold soon enough. As for the personal greed motive, it is worthwhile to note that every successful entrepreneur ignites a chain of events that brings benefit to countless others. Ray Kroc who founded McDonalds restaurants with the simple premise that consumers need a reliable place to get consistently tasty and affordable meals, started a chain of process that helps ranchers and butchers (source of meat), potato growers (the chips), and countless youngsters with their first job. This is separate from the great services it provides consumers.

As for the personal greed argument, it is well to remember McDonalds create more Black millionaires in America than the all the professional sports leagues combined. Similarly when Bill Gates created that software operating system, he also provided opportunities for thousands of other software engineers to write applications for his Windows program. Of course Ray Kroc and Bill Gates became fabulously rich, but they were not alone; they brought along countless others. Equally important and bears repeating, they provided much-needed services, products, and most importantly, jobs. The value of the benefits to society they created with their services and inventions far outweigh the wealth and rewards that they get. That is the beauty and genius of free enterprise. Read the rest of this entry »

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