Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak yesterday launched the 1Malaysia TV, an Internet protocol television, stressing that there is a need to disseminate information in a speedy manner using the latest tools.
He said the government had to act fast in channelling information to the people, “if possible, in real time.”
Current reality and in order to win the hearts and minds of the younger generation demand that the government engage with them “in a language which they can understand.”
“The only language they understand is the language of technology,” he said at the launch.
He called on politicians and government officers to keep themselves abreast with technological development and trends, by leveraging the social media tools to engage with the people, given the high demand for information in the country.
Citing a study, he said, Malaysians spent an average of nine hours a day to interact online via Twitter, Friendster, Facebook or Myspace.
“The demand for information is so high that we need additional ways to communicate with the people, not necessarily through the official media,” he said, describing the social media as “tools of engagement” which would be useful especially to politicians and those in the administration.
Although the social media had its own weaknesses, he said, they also had many benefits including allowing interaction among the people, something which had not been available during the era of his father, second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein, where information was hard to come by.
“They received information only from official sources, but today, people are able to access information from multiple sources; in fact, if we don’t provide information to them, they will get them from other sources,” he said.
When there was a vacuum in the dissemination of information, he said, people would get their information from elsewhere and “sometimes these are mixed with fairy tales and fiction, false news and slander.”
Najib also spoke of his experience in engaging with the people through Twitter, saying he had been obtaining valuable feedback from his followers.
He also said that said technology was advancing fast and that the dawn of the new media had greatly impacted the society.
He spoke of a TIME magazine report which named Malaysia as the country with the highest ratio of cellular telephone users at 124.7 per 100 people.
He told his audience about how he once used a large Motorola mobile phone, and said that today’s mobile phones technology had advanced greatly compared to the old days.
“During the haj pilgrimage, I recorded my Aidiladha greetings from my iPhone and sent it to direct to TV stations that night,” he said.
The 1Malaysia TV is recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records as the first new media television based on the 1Malaysia concept.
It airs broadcasts from RTM1, RTM2, TV3, TV Al Hijrah, My Youth TV, CCTV 1, E-Korea TV, Erama Music, Erama Documentary TV and KLPOP Online Radio Streaming. The online television can be viewed via mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet computers or laptop computers.
The address is at www.1Malaysiaiptv.com or www.erama.tv/mobiletv. Smartphone users can download the application from their respective app stores.
Present at the event was Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz.