Saya menyokong kenyataan yang dibuat oleh Menteri Penerangan, Datuk Shabery Cheek bahawa perkhidmatan kerajaan mesti bersedia untuk menerima kritikan dari kumpulan media baru.
Zaman dimana kakitangan awam membuat keputusan disebalik pintu yang tertutup rapat sudah lama berlaku. Tindakan mereka akan dinilai oleh orang sekeliling. Saya fikir mentaliti ini yang paling sukar untuk diterima oleh kakitangan awam. Ada kumpulan yang progresif dan menerima perubahan ini, tetapi masih ada poket kumpulan yang sama sekali menolak malah memusuhi kumpulan media baru ini.
Kesimpulan yang dibuat oleh Datuk Shabery memang benar - bahawa satu-satunya senjata menghadapi era baru ini ialah dengan memastikan bahawa kakitangan awam kekal bersih, jujur dan efisyen dalam melaksanakan tugas.
Melihat kepada ucapan beliau, saya sedut tanggapan beliau yang pada pendapat saya menunjukkan perubahan paradigma yang jelas (tetapi saya tidak yakin dikongsi oleh pak-pak menteri lain dalam UMNO)
Tetapi, sekurang-kurangnya kita sudah ada menteri penerangan yang jauh lebih bijak berbanding pak menteri dulu, yang pencapaian teragungnya memarahi jurnalis Al-Jazeera secara terang-terangan di kaca TV antarabangsa :)
Ucapan penuh boleh dibaca di notashabery.
18. The Government and the civil servants must be ready to adapt in this changing scenario because the “heat” will be on us, whether we like it or not. Business cannot be as usual for us, and our best defence against the New Media is to continue to be clean, honest and efficient in our public delivery system. In this “battle for credibility” in the New Media, and between the New Media and the mainstream media, we as part of the “Establishment” will be their punching bags.
19. But we should not fear them. They will not be influential or powerful if we are clean, honest, credible, trustworthy and efficient in our administration and public service delivery. In the same vein, if we do not have anything to hide, if we do not abuse our power or office, these new media per se, will not have, such an impact, for they would be deprived of any “ammunition” against us.
20. I think most of us make the mistake of defining the New Media as anti-government or anti-Establishment. Actually, there are bloggers and online news sites that subscribe to the Government’s policies and programs. If they are critical, they are critical of the way some of these policies and programs were implemented. In other words, there are myth and fallacies about the bloggers and opponents of the Government which can be easily debunked when communication is open and free. For example, our Live Telecast of Parliament on RTM have shown to the people the actual proceeding and allow people to make their own judgment on their own Wakil Rakyat.
22. In the interest of the public, I see the role of these citizen journalists as one that complements the mainstream media. This augurs well for democratisation of information. In many instances, everywhere in the world, citizen journalists have exposed the professional journalists in the mainstream media for sloppy reporting and misleading editorials. This is a value that should be duly recognised and applauded by all of us, politicians, administrators and law makers alike. This will allow for feedback mechanism of any new policy, plan or program that we may want to implement and as an early warning system to detect any wrongdoings by any quarters within the democratic structure of this country.
Unlike the conventional media where communication is from a few to many, the new media is from many to many and more often is from peers to peers. The strength of this citizen journalism lies in vast network of interconnectivity and interactivity and almost instantaneous response or feedback.
26. I believe, public debate and discourse on the Internet can be healthy for our democratic and intellectual development. We should welcome this development of interactivity. Such open discussions would spur political and social maturity, and hopefully lead to the rakyat’s ability to respect each other’s views and ideas, to be able to agree to disagree, or make informed decisions that will benefit society. In our democratic practices, there should be room for dissenting views and if the New Media choose only to respect views that are consistent with theirs and condemn or disallow dissent, they are going to lose their credibility as well.
28. Change is always difficult, and is a process that must be sustained over time. This is the battle of hearts and minds. And, if we know this to be true, then as leaders and administrators we must have the conviction on what we are doing, is the right thing to do. Then, we go all out to compete in this free market place of ideas. We must fight as many battles as there are. We must understand and be able to speak their lingo to get our message across better.