Malaysian Communication & Culture Minister losing Popularity

So the first thing I heard from Ellie was how our Minister of Communication & Culture said some things about Malaysian Internet users. Article is below

KUALA LUMPUR: Telecommunication companies (telcos) should also give priority to content on culture and the development of human civilisation, said Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

He said this would further help stimulate the minds of Malaysians, more so this in this era of sophisticated and borderless communications, and was an aspect of content the telcos should address besides chasing profits.

“New applications like SMS, Yahoo Messenger, Twitter, ICQ, Skype and devices like the Blackberry and the like have made communications between humans easier and this has contributed to the development of civilisation and changed the landscape of communications universally, which before heavily depended on the telephone, telex, fax and the postal service,” he said.

He said this in his speech which was read out by his deputy Datuk Joseph Salang at the prize-giving ceremony for winners of the “Mobile Content Challenge 2009” contest, here on Tuesday.

According to Rais, owing to the ease of communication, certain aspects of culture, like language, might face challenges.

He said the truncating spellings used in SMSes could jeopardise the integrity of Bahasa Malaysia besides posing challenges to ethical issues in inter-personal relationships.

“There have been cases of consumers using SMS, MMS, chatrooms, Facebook and Twitter to spread rumours and with speed, spread hatred among people,” he said.

He said abuse of these applications should be addressed together by raising awareness on the ethics and proper norms of using sophistcated communition tools in this ultra-modern age.

Source: The Star

Basically, the Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim has stated two major problems sprouting out due to Malaysian usage of the Internet and the way in which technology continues to evolve:

  1. Internet and telecommunication messaging is causing language deterioration
  2. Due to the characteristics of technology today, it is easy to spread bad rumours

Now, I can see on Twitter how everyone is being mean to the minister after what he said. I did a quick search on Twitter for #yorais and here are some random posts:

conancat: #yorais will probably figure out how to read all these tweets today 40 years later.
xniquet: Rais Yatim is so old he has to stick his dick in the freezer to get it hard. #yorais
menj: Rais is so old he thinks a browser is someone who shops at the mall #yorais
reiko67: I ask my 16months old son “Please finish #yorais before you go chase cats” just now.
MissyCheerio: Rais is so ancient that the word “past”,”history” and “sejarah” hasn’t existed. #yorais (So not funny, lah)
smubblerz: Rais is so ancient he told Adam and Eve not to berkhalwat #yorais

rais-kungfuRais Yatim gonna kung fu the crap out of all you people on Twitter!

So, yeah, that’s what you get really. Attack a community that isn’t necessarily united but one that can easily communicate with one another. Even mention they can spread bad rumoursreal fast. It’s like telling a big bully that hitting people is not nice – What do you expect to happen right after that?

Anyway, let’s look at this a little bit more constructively (Don’t worry, I shall try my best not to bore you).

1. “sms cos probs wif lang 8===>”

The issue of Internet and SMS slang causing problems with languages (not just Bahasa Melayu) has been a debate for a while now. I have seen several articles on News.com.au about this and a quick Google will get you to a Helium.com debate entitled “Is text messaging causing the destruction of the English language?”. At the time of this post the debate votes were tallied at 166 (58%) Yes and 121 (42%) No – Nothing extremely definitive, but it is a hot debate topic today. If you read the articles there you will be able to see that there are some very good points on both sides and so it brings me to this: Rais Yatim does have a point. Continuous usage of truncated spellings can become a bad habit.

Why is there so much negativity against this? Why, because most of us (looking around my age group or above) didn’t grow up with Twitter and Facebook. At early stages we went to school and didn’t have much access to these telecommunication devices. Hence, we already knew what proper English was. What worries me is Generation Z – It is undeniable that this problem can occur even today, what about our future leaders?

2. “Stop Saying Bad Things About Me!”

Now, the part about spreading bad rumours is just about the stupidest thing I have heard of. Malaysians always liked gossip and drama. This bad habit of Malaysians has always been around and blaming technology instead of thanking it for enhancing our communication just doesn’t make sense. If there was a problem with rumours being spread out, it should not be blamed on the communication medium and instead the users itself are to blame. But what’s so mean about bad rumours? Everyone loves drama, it’s why paparazzi and E! Entertainment exists: Plainly human nature.

All in all, I have to partially agree what was stated about text messaging… But apart from that, it sounded like he was just talking out of his ass. Trying to stop bad rumours is pretty much censorship and I’m sure Malaysia isn’t a communist country… Is it?

Oh, oh, my turn!

#yorais is so old he spins his saggy man titties to make mini helicopter propellers so he can fly high and stop the evil that is online social networking.

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