Someone high up at the Information Ministry is feeling jittery following a special Cabinet briefing of Feb 22. He is pitting the PM's aides against one of his Ministers. He sees an opportunity to bring the might of blogosphere against Najib Razak.
In Malay, it's called "menangguk di air keruh". In my broken French, it means that someone is trying to screw two people's backs at the same time: yours and mine! They want us to believe that 1. the Special Briefing to Cabinet belittled bloggers, especially pro-Najib bloggers and 2. there is an attempt to "kill" Rais Yatim, the Minister, or at the very least embarrass him!
It is important to separate the facts of the Feb 22 meeting and the fallacies. The facts remain that the special briefing to the Cabinet, which was chaired by the PM, did not concern blogs at all. Not the pro-Umno blogs nor the pro-Pakatan blogs. The allegation that the officers who briefed the Cabinet had belittled the role of blogs and demeaned the bloggers, therefore, is hogwash. The special officers of the PM who did the briefing did not single out bloggers. They did not mention Che Det or Anwar Ibrahim, Papagomo or Parpukari, Big Dog or Big Cat, Bru or Bujai. The morning after I picked up Bujai's first posting on this matter last week, I did my own asking around to establish fact from fiction. I quickly updated my posting with a correction/explanation Much Ado, Indeed.
Bujai insists that a PM adviser called bloggers "nuisance".
But then, hehe, Bujai also declares that:
Rais Yatim is perhaps the best minister when it comes to engaging new media personnel. I am not sure how many but they are really helping the ministry and the government in their 'psy-war' against the Opposition.
The Special Briefing was focused on the social media and how the Ministries can improve their approach and strategies. It was an experience-sharing session. The briefing drew heavily on the experiences of the PM himself, whose Facebook is one of the most-followed in the country.
Another part of the briefing explored the effectiveness of the websites run by the various Ministries. Some statistics were used to show traffic numbers and growth. I think this is the part that brought about the jitters to someone at the Information Ministry, perhaps someone in the KSU's office or even in the Minister's office! As part of the briefing, comparisons were made involving the websites run by the official media under the Ministry (RTM and the various radio stations) and those run by private media organisations such as Media Prima and Astro which boast of traffics in the heady seven-digit and the high six-digit zones.
Remember, this was to be an information/experience-sharing session. The point of the session was to emphasize the importance of the Internet and the social media, not the other way round. There was no award given to any minister for engaging new media personnel well but the PM's aides did not run down any of the ministries or ministers, either. I am sure if Rais Yatim had disagreed with some of the findings of the briefing, he would have said so at the meeting. The guy is not known for mincing words!
I suspect that someone is doing the "menangguk di air keruh" here. To save his own ass, he has created a diversion and accused the PM adviser of trying to demonize Rais Yatim. And then he tries to pit bloggers who are supportive of the government against Prime Minister Najib Razak, hoping perhaps for a repeat of 2008.
In plain English, you may call it an attempt to sabotage.