Is someone trying to pit pro-BN bloggers against the Prime Minister's Office by claiming the government doesn't appreciate the contributions of blogs and other social media? (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: The buzz among pro-BN bloggers following claims that officers from the Prime Minister's Office had criticised and ridiculed bloggers is a fabricated lie to divert attention from the real issue.
Blogger Big Cat wrote: “There seems to be a bit of rumblings over the past few days among pro-BN bloggers over an allegation that a PM's media adviser and a young PMO officer saying bad things about them.”
“When I heard about it, I was a bit miffed for a moment,” he said. “Then, I was like errrrr....so what? What's the big deal?”
The “rumblings” Big Cat referred to began on February 27 when Jailani Harun, a journalist who blogs under the name Bujai at Just Read, wrote that he was concerned about a Cabinet briefing about social media which involved “a UK grad by the name of Amhari” and “a Media Prima big gun”.
Jailani said the meeting might be a sign that BN does not consider blogs and other social media to be worthy of significant attention going into the 13th General Election.
Datuk Ahirudin Attan, aka Rocky, also expressed concern about the Cabinet briefing, but updated his post several hours later, saying he had been informed that while social media figured prominently in the meeting, blogs and bloggers were not mentioned at all.
However, Jailani published another post on the matter last Saturday, saying that at the Cabinet briefing in question someone from Media Prima had “condemned new media such as blogs, news portals and twitter as 'being irrelevant and do not have any significant impact on readers'.”
He added: “Even pro-Umno and pro-BN bloggers, he said (as I was told by a minister who attended the briefing) are not helping the government at all, especially Umno.”
In her post yesterday, Big Cat suggested people are taking the matter too seriously.
“A prominent blogger actually called me this morning and told me not to believe in those allegations against the PM's people,” she said.
The real issue, she said, is “the thing that sparked the allegations against those PM's people”.
“From what I understand, those guys from PMO highlighted how private TV stations performed much much better than the government-owned RTM during some Cabinet meeting.
“It caused great embarrassment to our very intellectual Information Minister Rais Yatim. The man sacked his press secretary immediately after. Why he did that is beyond me.”
The blogger criticised attempts by “some pro-BN bloggers” to “instigate everyone to attack the PM’s people”, and said the Cabinet briefing's focus on RTM’s deficiencies was spot on.
“Sorry, RTM people, it's a fact. Too bad that the people who are supposed to lead you all do not know how to do their jobs," Big Cat concluded.
A reliable source from the Information, Communication and Culture ministry confirmed that the Minister's press secretary was "redesignated" after the damning cabinet briefing which has also put high ranking ministry officials on a hot plate.