Indonesian bloggers tell Ku Nan, Zam not to shoot the messenger

e-life.jpg(It’s been a long time since Unspun‘s been a reporter and his bahasa language skills are iffy although he understands enough to get the gist of what’s happening. And Unspun has no tape recorder so please cross check the quotes before pointing to them. Photo shows Budi (left) and Nukman in the studio with e-lifestyle hostess Meutya. Wimar was interviewed via remote camera)

Popular Indonesian TV station Metro TV this morning ran a half hour program called e-lifestyle in which three prominent bloggers and other observers commented on issues raised by Malaysian Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan and Malaysian Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin’s comments on bloggers.

Hostess Meutya Hafid opened the program by saying that blogs have become so influential that two Malaysian ministers had to comment on the postings of one Indonesia blogger, Nila Tanzil.

Her main guests were Wima Witoelar, who’s been a talk show host, the spokesperson for former President Abdurrahman Wahid and who is now a blogger; Budi Putra a former journalist with Indonesia’s leading news magazine tempo who is Indonesia’s first full-time blogger and Nukman Luthfie, an observer of corporate weblogs and also a blogger.

Wimar said there were still many people who just do not understand the power of blogs. Is message was that those in power should not use their office to try to silence critics. He also said that these people should also not shoot the messenger but to examine if the criticisms had any basis and act accordingly.

Budi pointed out that Nila’s postings became a big issue primarily because Tengku Adnan said that of the 10,000 bloggers, 8,000 of them were women and unemployed on International Women’s Day itself.

He agreed with Meutya that some bloggers posted inaccurate information but said that it was very easy to find out their credibility of the bloggers. “If you have a product and one blogger says that it is bad but 99 others say it is good, then few would believe that blogger.”

Nukman stressed on the PR fallout in the event of mishandling blogs. He said blogs give voice to the individual consumer so it is now difficult for people to think they can get away with it if they only mounted a strong campaign in traditional media.

The overall message from the guests is that blogs are increasingly becoming a fact of life and that companies and organizations had better learn how to deal with them. Shooting the messenger is not a recommended option. A better way would be to engage bloggers and put into place corporate policies dealing with blogging.

So before Tengku Adnan and Zainuddin Maidin shoot any more messengers they might perhaps want to reflect on the harm they have done to Malaysia’s image so far ith their trigger happy mouths. Thanks to them we’ve just had our dirty laundry being aired on Indonesian national TV. The Indonesians must now be wondering, with total justification, what calibre of people Malaysia has as ministers.

The PR firm that is pitching for the Malaysian Tourism Board account sure has its job cut out. Imagine recommending a blogging strategy to the MTB. LOL.

4 replies to “Indonesian bloggers tell Ku Nan, Zam not to shoot the messenger

  1. I believe one of the weaknesses of many Malaysian ministers is that they think that once they have reach the pinnacle of their political career and hold the position of a minister, they qualify to lead and everyone else must listen to them. They have a most condescending attitude and fail to understand why this makes them unacceptable to the people in many ways. They don’t understand the concept of service in leadership. I have no doubt many of them mean well (but not Tengku, apparently) but being patronising to the people they are supposed to lead is a definite no-no.

    Others like Semi-Value take us to be fools. People like him shoot from his hips like a trigger-happy cowboy.

    It’s high time they become more in tune with the expectations of the masses and be computer-literate, if they want to comment on IT-related matters. Otherwise they are no more than dinosaurs awaiting extinction!


  2. …and don’t shoot the messenger, of course. Unless they want only to hear good news and nothing else. Then there are apple-polishers and b*lls-carriers who are ever ready to fill in this need.


  3. On the power of blogs in Indonesia:

    One day.

    Not yet.

    There’s just not enough internet penetration, the leaders are too ‘gaptek’ (gagap teknologi – or techno-phobic), and thus the elite don’t really care. The internet doesn’t yet influence the basic equation of power in Indonesia for the last 1,000 years; how the elite control the unwashed mass.

    So Wimar (not Wima), is a decent, well-meaning, even visionary man, but like many nice Indonesians in public life sees an Indonesia that could be, one day, rather than the Indonesia that is now.

    Blogs won’t put Tomy Winata in jail.

    Blogs won’t get the likes of Ginandjar Kartasasmita unelected.

    They might one day, but not yet.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star