Ignore the social media at your own peril


 

Checked Wikipedia today and found that the global population is 6,926, 500,000.

The global Facebook audience? 688,890,800. That is nearly 10% of the world population.

Malaysia has a population of 27,565,821 (according to Malaysia’s 2010 Census). How many Malaysians are online ? According the data found here , it is 64% of the population.

Pls remember though that the percentage quoted here was against a 2010 population estimate of 26,160,256. Our Statistic Department’s Census says its about 27.5 million. So, put against this stats, I guess the penetration of internet is a bit higher.

According to Checkfacebook.com, Malaysian Facebook audience is 11,159,200. That’s more than 40% of the population and about 70% of the population.

In short, this social media called Facebook has the widest reach. Forget newspapers, forget TV even. It is Facebook.

Marketers have woken up to the impact of social media fairly early. But then social media is not just about consumption. These are the net personas of mostly real people, who live in the real world.

Real people with real life dreams, aspirations, opinions, concerns and desires. What is different is that people could share what they think, faster than you’ve ever known.

Why is that relevant? Who cares if Aishwarya Rai is pregnant?  Millions of people apparently. When Amitabh Bachchan announced his daughter in law’s preggers status yesterday, he did it on Twitter. By nightfall it was global news.That was a welcome news I guess. The Bachchans are indeed social media savvy, I must say.

But that’s not all. The Arab Spring was called the Facebook revolution. And look what it has done. Do not underestimate the power of social networkers in large numbers.

Back home in Malaysia. I think the PM should take heed of what is happening online, and seriously listen to the rumblings. Otherwise, he might just lose his job.

Hey, when you really think about it, maybe its already too late. The BN-controlled media was closed to any dissenting views, so the dissenters were forced to find alternatives. Technology opened up and flattened the playing field. In fact, as the mainstream media gets further sidelined by changing public behaviour and preference, the online media gets stronger.

For better or worse, the Opposition’s views get more traction with the Malaysian Netizens. I’m not sure that is all good. But after years of drone-like subservience, Malaysians have taken the proverbial red pill (The Matrix movie reference, sorry).

Now, not even your best intentions can influence a fed up public,  Mr PM. As to this Bersih rally, you’re damned if you crack down on these protesters. They protested cos you didn’t listen to them in the first place. Very embarrassing for you politically and internationally.

If you allow Bersih 2.0 to go on peacefully, hey, you might even get some good PR from the public. But your own Umno warlords will castrate you for being a “dayus”. So I guess you and your cousin Hishammudin will get evil on the Bersih 2.0 participants, cos you gotta save face.

So we are moving inexorably towards transition. All because of your pride.

You think you can kow tim the situation by outsourcing the fiery rhetoric and bloody threats to the fighter cocks like Perkasa’s Brahem Ali and KJ? That’s a mistake.

 

 

 

Ibrahim Ali will cost you dearly. He’s done a fantastic job of alienating people from your government and BN. You’ve done nothing so far to discourage him. But maybe that was part of the plan. If so, thank you for the frog.

Within Umno though, they are out for your blood. I guess you have plan B in place. A nice little hideaway in Kazakhstan perhaps? Where cultural learnings of Malaysia can be put to good use :P

Of cybertroopers and morons


It has been said that people in high places often insulate themselves from reality and grassroots change has been known to completely overwhelm them.

The Internet and its various subcultures have been repeatedly cited to be a cause of change in the Malaysian political landscape that resulted in the shock results of March 2008.

Yet many in the establishment continue to operate blindly, as if money could buy them yet another general election. (It might yet, but that’s another story)

Case in point this time is Umno VP Zahid Hamidi. Here, he exhorts Umno cybertroopers to step up their efforts to counter the “hate culture propagated by irresponsible groups against Umno.”

Does the dude realise that the term “Umno Cybertrooper” itself is a SLUR? Yeah, to the initiated Malaysian Netizen, it means ill-mannered cyber hacks who are paid serious lucre by Umno to terrorise and spread lies and propaganda.

Ok maybe not propaganda, since the average cybertrooper doesn’t have the brains to spread propaganda. That is left to some rambling canines and angry hacks who when confronted by a backlash, are quick to run with tails tucked between the legs.

Zahid has my sympathies. He doesn’t seem to know that his cybertroopers lack quality. That they would not even do the job if not for promise of money. That they lack the brains and social media savvy to engage the other side in battle.

No fella in his right mind will want to continue to “tegakkan benang basah” for his party anymore.

Kesian. 

Karma is a Bitch!


Here’s Ali Rustam, the swaggering UMNO powerbroker, chopped at the knees, done in by another more ambitious, powerful than him. That’s the prevailing thought anyway.

No sympathies here. This is one of the uglier faces of UMNO. I don’t think many people forgot how he rudely told off the PPP folks at a dinner where he was the guest of honour in Malacca, in 2007. He told them to get out of BN. “We don’t need you”, or something to that effect.

In fact this money politics thing ain’t new. Back two years ago when Isa Samad won his VP race with the highest votes, only to be suspended from UMNO in an ignominous manner after the Disciplinary Board found him guilty of vote-buying, there were rumblings that Isa was made scapegoat.

Even then Ali Rustam’s name resurfaced. But he escaped it somehow. Now’s his time. Still, I don’t think this guy will take it lying down. And I’m not alone.

This might lead to a serious rift in UMNO, hell, the party might just implode.

Which might not be a bad thing for the country after all.

I’ll tell you why I’m this cynical.

You see, word has it that there are many people (read Ali Rustam supporters as well as the Umno grassroots) who are pissed off at the way Ali Rustam was singled out for punishment at this particular time.

The inference is, “Everybody’s doing it, so why pick on him?”

So, they are basically admitting that rampant corruption, vote buying, graft, bribing in cash and kind, are all a normal thing in UMNO.

This is the kind of leaders who are going to safeguard “kedaulatan raja-raja” and “ketuanan melayu”.

A guy with all kinds of baggage on his head (allegations of graft, cover up, murderby proxy)  is poised to become the Prime Minister.

The three VP contenders come with their own issues. Muhyiddin aligned himself firmly with the DPM by calling for Pak Lah to get out.

Now the fallout from Ali Rustam saga may result in the Umno delegates deciding to vote Mat Tyson in protest. (You all know how he got that moniker, right?)

Imagine Mat Tyson gets voted in as deputy president of Umno.He will automatically be DPM of Malaysia, by next month.

So, we would have a hen-pecked PM with allegations of murder and shady defence deals hanging over his head.

And a DPM who,

1) Ran away with  2 million ringgit (or Aussie dollars, not sure) to Australia and got caught for it. When questioned he said he speaka no English.

2) Spirited a sultan’s daughter to Thailand to get married, while he’s stilll married.

3) Backhanded the same daughter a few years later at an airport, in public.

Nice.

Let us Malaysians just dig our own graves and jump in it.

Cos the one party that still runs the country, is populated by vultures.

The Truth Hurts…


but like the proverbial bitter pill, it has to be downed.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam says Umno is suffering from penyakit tua (old age infirmity).

Musa: Umno has lost its popularity

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno is in dire need of a drastic change and young blood with new ideas are the plausible solution, said former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam.

“I understand that the experience of seniors are needed for top posts like president or vice-president, but other than that, they should choose the younger ones,” he said.

Musa said the party had been raising the same issues which were raised 20 or 30 years ago, and bickering about emotional rather than substantial issues, such as the economy.

“Umno is already over 61 years old and is experiencing penyakit tua (old age sickness) which cannot be remedied by senior citizens but rather the younger generation with new ideas,” he said after launching the Bridges €“ Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace forum here yesterday.

Some noteworthy points here,

“It is important for Umno to realise that it has lost its popularity because of public opinion.

“The party has many problems that it cannot rectify, like corruption, accountability issues and abuse of power,” he said.

“The new generation will not accept wholesale what politicians are saying because they don’t accept the politicians,” he said.

Yes. Public opinion rejects the politicians’s words and opinions because they don’t accept the politicians. Not anymore.

Cases in point.

Mat Tyson. How can people accept a guy who has a track record that is less than mediocre, and sleazy to boot? Spiriting away a Sultan’s daughter and marrying her in Thailand (question of legality here, and how a high ranking state official can bypass existing laws). Backhanding the same wife at a public place. Getting caught in a foreign country with a large sum of cash. Same guy now wants to run as deputy president of Umno.

Mohd Ali Rustam. Any right-thinking Malaysian would reject this fella who, as late as last year, was said to have told PPP members, at their own event where he was guest of honour, to get out of Barisan, because “we don’t need you”. Rudeness and arrogance personified.

There is all these allegations implicating Najib Tun Razak, but since nothing was proven, it would be unfair to lump him here.

But Umno does have more than its share of Napoleons, far more than is healthy for any political party that was dominant. That is why Musa’s call for younger blood is more than timely. However, history has shown that the young ones who get to power are largely those who are beneficiaries of dynastic politics, or the yes men.

Neither are favourably viewed by the public. Najib, Hishammudin, Khairy Jamaludin and Mukhriz Mahathir, Noraini Ahmad are all beneficiaries of political legacies.

The one thing different about Mukhriz is that his rise in Umno was after his father left office, and that he suffered a lot too during Abdullah’s ascendancy. Lots of people feel for the underdog, and his firm and gutsy but unassuming ways got him acceptance among people who thought Khairy was an arrogant poseur.

Funny how neatly their roles are reversed now. Now his star is ascendant while Khairy’s is waning, as can be clearly seen from the number of nominations both got in the race for Umno Youth top position.

Dr Mahathir has got his wish.  Abdullah  will soon  step down , handing over to Najib Tun Razak the reins of the party.  The prevailing view now is that Dr M is back in power, with all the implications of that statement.

But of course the climate is now different. Five states are now under Pakatan Rakyat, not to mention most of Kuala Lumpur although it is federal territory. The global economy is crashing and recession is imminent.

Dr M’s backseat driving with his authoritarian style may not work anymore, whatever Umno might think. The two Chinese parties in BN just had elections and the climate there indicates a desire for a change in status quo. MIC? Oh, that one has been declared irrelevant already, hasn’t it?

Only Umno is resisting change in the real sense. Because that kind of change requires humility, an end to ketuanan politics, and a real desire for equitable and clean governance. No more fat cats.

Now if the fat cats can’t feed at the Umno trough, then they won’t be around. Perhaps it is better that way.

Reality check everyone. Is Najib, with Dr M as the navigator, going to be the one to spearhead that change? No, not if he wants to stay in power. The vultures will tear him down using whatever skeletons he might have in his closet.

The way I see it, it is status quo.

Exodus…


…movement of the people. So says Bob Marley.

Looks like the rats are leaving with the old guard too. Yesterday Pak Lah announced he would not be defending his position in Umno come March.

Today, Malaysian Insider ran this story. An excerpt…

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — One of Malaysia’s most well-known and often controversial media bosses, Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan, the deputy chairman of the New Straits Times Press (NSTP), has tendered his resignation from the company.

Known to be close to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he becomes the first of a host of executives in Umno- and government-linked companies who are likely to be leaving in the next few months because of changes in Umno’s leadership.

The Edge Financial Daily, quoting sources, reported today that Kalimullah had submitted his resignation to the NSTP board on Sept 3.

If accepted by the board, the resignation takes effect on Dec 31.

The newspaper said Kalimullah had expressed his desire to leave many times in the past, but it added that it was unclear if the resignation now is tied to Abdullah’s impending departure as Umno president. Read more

That last para was hilarious don’t you think? Isn’t it conventional wisdom that when the Godfathers leave, their coterie of bottom dwelling, scum sucking types also scurry along?

I wonder what happens to Scomi now? Maybe the time has come that Scomi really gets its business from overseas as Pak Lah so empathically stated in that TV interview a couple of years ago. Because the future looks bleak here.

Because subsequent administrations, just like those ancient dynasties, would tend to “kapak” all the predecessors’ legacy so that the newcomers can claim and entrench their own power structure. It happened regularly throughout China’s history.

It happened here too. It was said that the northern Selangor development corridor that comprised Bukit Beruntung, Bukit Sentosa, Lembah Beringin and Bandar Sungai Buaya, was dealt its death knell by then incoming Selangor MB Abu Hassan Omar (the white haired dude who had to retire for “health” reasons) just to “kapak” his own predecessor, Mr “prestation” Mat Tyson.

Mat Tyson now wants to go for number 2. While Zahid Hamidi has got a virulent bout of “Kaki Sejuk” and withdrew his drunken declaration. I say drunken cos it was so patently ridiculous-sounding. Now he too is going for the Vice President’s post.

Mat Tyson of course thinks he’s still a powerhouse within Umno and hopes to still curry favour with the pink chicks of Umno as well as the Kaum Ibu (you know, the sort who swoon over Jalalludin Hassan), to give him an edge over Muhyiddin Yassin.

Isa Samad, the convenient money politics scapegoat who lived three years in political obscurity and even lost his wife to cancer in the period, is making a comeback. There are people who say Najib owes him big. Let’s see how this scene plays out. Malaysiakini says the guy might announce soon.

Remember the caveat though. Najib has to win the Umno presidency…and that is by no means a cakewalk. It’s getting rather crowded at the near-top. Ku Li might also come in kacau the waters.

Dante had his Divine Comedy. I guess Umno has a right to its own Asinine Comedy. The only drawback is, their comedy has away of impacting the whole country.

FusterCluck Umm…No?


An homage to Reverend Spooner who gave us hapless readers the word Spoonerism and a lot of confusion for the more literal among us.

Often, tangled tongues lead to mangled speech and unintentional hilarity among those who catch it fast it enough and bafflement among those who don’t.

Now, let the bayhem megin…

I suppose Malaysia these days is a very exciting place to be in. After all, our Sinisters and their deputies make headlines everyday.

The Mrime Pinister will state tomorrow whether he chooses to stay on as PM or fade into oblivion. He doesn’t want to say boodgye, understandably. His weat is hardly sarm yet.

The cultures though are vircling. We have  Hahid Zamidi who spent much of the late 90s in political cold storage thanks to him being seen as the acolyte of then newly disgraced Inwar Abrahim. He wants No 2. Ambitious.

Yais Ratim, he of the Semangat 46, who returned to the fold and has been on the Cabinet ever since, now wants one of the three Pice Vresident posts.Brave fella.

Mat Tyson also is expected to join the mudbath party. So is the Malaccan relic Rali Ustam. And some say, even dear old, punished Sisa Amad. Aiya!! Free for All.

What can I say?

Lu Ki also wanna join, but going straight to Umber None. But none of the new ones know this guy or care.

Meanwhile, the national economic ship is on autopilot. And the American meltdown means a lot of icebergs are lurking near. Hell of a time for the Captain to be busy with other things.

But hey, in Bolehland, everything is possible.