Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Retirees hired as full-time Pro-Govt bloggers

TEMERLOH: Pahang has appointed three pensioners as bloggers to counter slanderous comments and allegations posted on the Internet. [Bernama, 23/11/08]

The government has been particularly cautious about the role of bloggers in shaping the political landscape and their likely tendencies to post criticisms of government policies on the internet.

It was estimated that as many as 2 million young voters would be eligible to cast their ballots in the next general election, many of whom rely heavily on the internet as their main source of information. In fact, they will form 20-25% of the number of votes the next time around. With the perception that the internet is mainly tainted with critical literature against the government found mainly on blogs, it is high time for the authorities to ensure 'correct' information is being passed on internet users. The internet is therefore a powerful tool that could influence public support for the government or the Opposition.

To address this, the Pahang state government announced on November 23 that it has appointed 3 pensioners as official full-time 'government bloggers'. Their role is the counter anti-government comments and blog posts on the internet in order to provide an alternative platform of information to the public.

It is still unknown as to whom this brilliant idea belong to but State Information, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said the bloggers would be paid allowances and be given computers and internet access in their homes.

"The pensioners can capitalise on their experience to explain the actual situation to the people besides providing feedbacks and opinions to the government. More bloggers will be appointed. We value pensioners' thoughts in our efforts to improve the state's economy and prosperity and unity of the people," he told reporters. [Bernama, 23/11/08]
Could this be seen as a personal vendetta against the blogger community? After all, the Chief Minister of Pahang, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob had recently told the state legislative assembly recently that he was slandered by a blogger. Nevertheless, it is still a brilliant way to ensure pensioners are still productive members of society.

So, what's next? Hiring Mat Rempits to be bloggers too?