Monday, March 02, 2015
In Thailand, every week for about an hour or so, the Prime Minister speaks to the people live over television informing people about the what is happening in Thailand. Explanations are given about the different sectors. They tell people about the reasons for their actions, and even clarify current issues and concerns. Well, this has been a practice for a very long time in Thailand - and, I am of the opinion that it is a really good practice - a means to be transparent and accountable. This happens in Thailand at a specified time and day every week - and it is broadcast live over every TV channels, and guess what - a lot of Thais do take the time to listen to these live broadcasts that usually happens in the evening after working hours, when people are at home and able to listen to their leaders. The broadcasts come equipped with graphics and statistics as well, including video - that makes it interesting as it gives us facts and details - and maybe, it also removes the boredom of just having to watch the PM's face all the time.
In US, most of us through movies, are aware of the fact that there the President makes an annual 'State of the Union' address that tells the people of US all that is happening. Well, every time there is an issue, the President or the relevant Minister is out there making statements, providing answers raised by the media then and there, etc - in short, speaking to the people explaining to people and all on live television. Well, what about Malaysia?
MH370 - well, it happened then. It was just not prepared statements - but also a question answer session with the media, both local and international. The questions were not pre-prepared, and hence that required the relevant Minister or Director General or PM to be prepared with all the facts and answers. Here too there was a specified time, and I am sure if the relevant Communication Minister were to look at the records, it will show that Malaysians were indeed interested. How many? I would guess that would have attracted the attention of millions.
Well, why can't we have such regular briefings by the Prime Minister for a start - with questions and answers by the media, broadcasted over all TV and Radio channels. This is a good practice in any democracy...and in democratically elected governments, the elected leaders really must always be keeping the people informed.
Pakatan Rakyat - well, they do now govern 3 States - and this can also be done there. As it is now, the Opposition States are behaving just like the BN government.
But, the Opposition States do not have access to government controlled media - well, this is no more a problem as there is always the internet, and we have things like 'live streaming'. In fact, Malaysian Parliamentary sessions are all being streamed live - but not so yet for the State Legislative sessions, or the Local Council meetings.
So, who will set the standard and begin this good practice? BN or PR?
We, Malaysians really would like the government of Malaysia to begin to have live reporting with Q&A with the media just like it was done after the MH370 issue with regard all matters of concern to the people in Malaysia. Would Najib begin this good practice?