When Mainstream Becomes Fake, and Fake Becomes Mainstream

By Faiz Al-Shahab

 

The Game of Thrones season finale craze have brought about once again the smoking corner small talk over the similarities of the Malaysian 14th General Election with the HBO sensational series.

In this fantasy drama that is a closet political science case study journal, the uncanny resemblance – of rivalry and hatred between Malaysian then opposition parties in GE-14 and the ruling families portrayed in the series whereby everyone had to put aside their differences in the name of survival and to defeat the army of the dead – is pretty obvious.

Except today…there will always be an “except” for Malaysia…the army of dead is far from dead, and the ruling families are at each other’s throats again, with hardly any reform put through.

Besides economy and education, some of the issues the mass were most upset about, such as the police system, judiciary system and the civil service, are still left as it is.

Perhaps challenging these orders will cause too much commotion in this rather peaceful country, hence easier to let it be.

However, one component of the country’s system which should already by now have gone through an overhaul, is the media.

One would think that the media is not as “invincible” as the ones mentioned above, but turns and twists in the country have left the media to still maintain status quo.

The funny part to all this is that journalism, just like engineering, architecture, and discipline of medicine, pillars on integrity and professionalism.

Well, one can argue that law and accounting are also one of those professional career that stands on good values, but look at them, turn your head away and many will indulge in crime and corruption.

I guess professional integrity in this context is a weak argument after all.

Media in this country, despite of a liberal environment now in Malaysia, remains despicable.

Reasons to why there are so much fabricated news and civilians taking matters in to their hands in spreading none curated news is simply because the mainstream media are nothing more than just prostitutes to corporations and politicians.

For instance, there are not many work of investigative journalism taking place.

The Education Minister rant for two hours on plans and policies, and yet the media chose to pick up a petty issue regarding black or white school shoes and turn it to a debate which wasted everyone’s time.

The Prime Minister spoke for half hour on what the nation need to do to bring it back on the right track heading towards Fourth Industrial Revolution and the media picked up on his statement over so much money is spent on killing people.

It was a pact deliberated by the media, because all of them came up with the same headline, despite of no official press statement on the comment.

Usually, most media agencies will bow down to invites of VIPs and will rather swamp a media conference for official statements rather than seeking the truth.

To some extent the perception above is very unfair.

Some media friends have express their guilt and dissatisfaction of forced involvement in orchestrating news, but it is a small trade off to having their families being followed and harassed.

And so because of safety we leave politics alone, and look at commercial products instead.

Disappointingly, similar resentment in commerce too as the media will remain loyal to the brand owners who feeds them with advertising money.

Pathetically, in many cases too, media will praise and hide all defects of a product with the thinking that the corporation behind the product will eventually become their advertiser.

In all of this, whilst the so called professionals are busy trying to make money at any cost, whilst the law and judiciary system sympathizes corporations, the losers remain to be the Malaysian public.

This is mainly due to the notion that effects of partial truth in information and news is not as severe as signing off a poorly designed bridge or multi-story building.

Whilst the foresight is that misleading information will only cause loss of money to the mass fools, a collapsed bridge signed off by a dodgy engineer can cause deaths.

What was not taught in school is that partial truth can also cause death of lives.

So anyway, what is needed from Malaysian media?

The citizens is in dire need of investigative journalism, meaning more questions and digging.

This may not be welcoming by many, but it is the only way that voice of integrity can be restored again in this country.

So much so that the downfall of previous ruling party was the work of a foreign journalist, whilst for years, the local journalists witness all the buffoonery yet kept their mouth shut.

The media should do their bit, and grow more guts!

Commercial product whom have benefited from rogue media will continue bluffing the public, and public will continue falling into the traps, until one day, the trust is completely destroyed.

That day, advertisements and social media will not work anymore.

Perhaps there is a sneaky suspicion that our media does not understand the subject matter that they are reporting.

Therefore they will report only on parts that they understand, which at the end of it, is missing the point completely.

Malaysia need cleverer and smarter people, reporters included.

What the country can opt for is probably a platform for community journalism.

This platform, where the reporters are members of the public graded by public rating, hopefully will bring news that are more related to us, news which can reveal the hidden truth, and news that are valuable and trustworthy and free from commercial bribery.

With time, we shall wait and see if this can reduce the fake news movement in the country.

Meantime, Ramadhan Kareem everyone.

 

Other articles written by author:

Made in Malaysia: A Prejudice in Disguise

Made in Malaysia: A Prejudice in Disguise

A technopreneur’s point of view written from the heart by: Faiz Al-Shahab

 

Over the years Malaysian government have spent millions if not billions of Ringgit to cultivate local science and technology.

In that journey, many agencies, boutique investment banks, loans, investment arms, tax exemptions, subsidies, reliefs and grants were prepared to encourage development of new local ideas as well as strengthening already existing technologies among big and small companies domestically.

No doubt that along the way, there had been many rogue parties that took advantage of these privileges, but it is also undeniable that many more parties took these perks seriously in their pursuits.

The grandeur of this idea at a national level is flawless.

Local products ensures money does not flow out of the country when unnecessary, resulting in less imports and perhaps a better chance to export.

Without trying to praise the old man too much, Tun Mahathir during his younger days as the Prime Minister understood this very well.

He steered Malaysia towards venturing into many heavy industries, namely automotive, construction and even oil and gas.

Not all were successful or had happy endings, but the idea of containing cash within the country was there.

As a business, even if the money falls to your domestic competitor, it will mean that the money has higher chance of being spent for the well-being of the local economy, employment, and taxation.

It will ensure a conducive environment to do business all around, and if the cash does not benefit your business immediately, it may do in the future as it is still floating locally.

This is the distinct difference between a visionary politician, and the rest, who just loves to hear themselves sing.

This is the story of how Malaysia have lost the plot along the way, perhaps with a little bit of help from those pop idol politicians.

To put it in simple terms, the qualms of Malaysian technopreneurs are similar, and having spoken to many peers along the years, it can be concluded that Malaysians, ourselves are not very proud or understanding when it comes to our own products. 

Inferiority or lack of comprehension of how things work allow many Malaysians to be jumpy and prejudice towards our fellow men.

Running a business, if compared to creating something new with not a mature market are completely different ball games.

Just to give a better horizon, creating a new market, along with educating the public and enterprises is always the silent elephant in the room when you don’t have massive funding.

Usually when you are small, and many of what you are developing are still not at its decency, it is harder for you to capture the imagination of many, including the investors, government and agencies.

You are typically being looked down upon when you are at a start up phase, and this is understandably normal.

Despite of these initial symptoms of prejudice, the early stage is always the easiest phase.

When you are on the growth phase, this is when problems start occurring.

Growth means the company becomes hungry, hungry for revenue.

Revenue seeking means meeting a lot of people, Malaysians rather.

When meeting government agencies for example, they will start comparing you to foreign technology of a similar field according to their understanding.

Similar attitude is received from the suit blazing city dwellers and corporations.

With these bunch of people, usually when comparisons are made, not only a far superior technology from abroad is usually compared with, they will also expect a miniscule of the foreign price tag since you are local.

They have no shame in saying that they have spent millions on a foreign technology, and will tell you straight to your face that they are not even willing to spend a hundred thousand with you for the same thing.

Bear in mind, most of the characters above will not survive for three days running their own business if they had to.

Government bodies in particular will be new to the technology that you provide, but they are usually interested as they see a realistic solution to their domestic problem.

The government bodies will be interested to learn from you, build the standards and specifications with you, but yet when comes to the crunch, you will still lose out in the tender process, weirdly enough, to companies that are not even a player in the field, but representing a foreign company that is.

Undoubtedly, the cost for tender or quotation is simply much higher.

At times, as the pioneer, you can prove that you are the only one that can provide the service in the country.

It should be an advantage as you are local and a sole provider, but even this can be turned to a punishment.

Being successful in your sphere as a Malaysian technopreneur will make the departments question on monopoly, or even suggest to not work with you since this can potentially make you big.

Again, one can say a similar treatment can be reflected with big corporations in Malaysia.

Once you are on a growth stage, the typical thing to happen is that the bigger boys will try to crush you as they may see a new local player to be of threat for the share of a new market.

What is unusual is that rather than trying to collaborate and work with a new emerging local player, Malaysian big corporations prefer to bring in a foreign player to compete with you.

Again, this is a prejudice in thinking that they can do better, or that local products is not good enough for them.

Contrary, this will not only lead to unnecessary competition in a still fragile new market locally, but as mentioned earlier, it will make money flow out of the country.

You can still argue that perhaps the occurrences above are nothing to do with local prejudice, but maybe elements of hidden corruption.

To make matters worse for any local technopreneurs out there, is the public sentiment itself.

For the following factor, corruption is definitely not in consideration.

Perhaps laced with long time stigma over low quality, Malaysians tend to think that local products are not good despite of being cheaper.

The bar level Malaysians put for local technologies are always against the giants of the West and Japan.

This is perfectly fine, if it is judged reasonably with common sense.

From the tech world perspective at least, no one seems to be bothered to understand the development required in making a good application, software, machine tool, etc.

Hence Malaysians blindly expect that an application of a Series-A Malaysian start-up should be equivalent of a multi billion corporation, if not they will simply put in their complains and customer support issues inside the rating commentary box to leave a permanent scar.

Whilst this is all advantageous and exciting for consumers, if misappropriated, it is used to go against the local ecosystem.

Why discriminatory? Because given the same scenario of frustration, a Malaysian is reluctant to place a smear in a commentary box of a foreign app, due to their own inferiority with the international world.

This could be caused by a simple fact that they are conscious about their written English, hence the lack of confidence to display their emotion in writing on an international platform.

Sometimes when we are in familiar environment, we feel that we have a better understanding of what is going on and are more vocal.

When we are in unknown territories, we have inferiority complex and will not show true colours in case if what we are saying can perhaps expose our own lack of comprehension.

At home soil, the public is less forgiving, even if it is their own stupidity to be the root cause, they are not ashamed to announce it.

This short coming in Malaysian mentality is an unnecessary hurdle for progress.

So from here, there is only two routes to the problem above in New Malaysia.

Either we abandoned all efforts and investments for local science and technology, or we buckle up and embrace it.

Embracing local products should not mean sacrifices or compromises.

If it does, then it defeats the purpose.

Embracing local technology means that the government, private sectors, and the public, should give initial support to provide a fair chance for the local product and technology to prosper, and perhaps later benefiting our society by providing lower costs for goods, employments, and a better public service due to taxation that is gained from these businesses.

It is not rocket science and it has been done before, search for Kempen Beli Buatan Malaysia.

It is also the emotion and self belief amongst the Malaysians that need to be restore.

Best thing to do is, before we do anything, look in the mirror and ask yourself, if you have done enough? And hope that you still have a conscious to react to it…

The other route will be just not to bother, and jump on the foreign band wagon when it arrives, if it ever arrives.

We can use American, Chinese and European goods and technologies, and still maintain satisfaction and happiness.

We can live a life with artificial intelligence, big data, block chain, and everything else the next industrial revolution promises, as long as it is not ours.

We can continue living a life of consuming and importing, and still be happy.

But remember that with all good times eventually will snow ball to very hard times, but why should we care?

Leave it for the future generation to figure it out, it is not a problem for us to worry about.

We should only focus at creating the problems for now.

Budaya Membaca di Turki

Baru-baru ini kami sempat berkunjung ke Turki bagi menghadiri Persidangan Kemuncak berkaitan Teknologi Pendidikan yang menjurus kepada Projek Fatih di Ankara. Persidangan berlangsung pada 17- 18 November. Sedikit gambaran mengenai Projek Fatih ini ialah ia merupakan inisiatif pendidikan digital terbesar di dunia di mana ia merangkumi aspek mempertingakat kapasiti pendidikan untuk murid-murid yang mempunyai pelbagai kebolehan, menghapuskan jurang digital, dan pelbagai lagi.

Sepanjang tempoh kami di sana, kami amat tertarik dengan budaya membaca mereka. Kali ini kami akan kongsikan bersama anda mengenai budaya membaca mereka.

Secara umumnya budaya membaca di Tuki adalah memberangsangkan, dan lebih serasi dengan budaya membaca di Eropah.  Di sana, kesedaran terhadap kepentingan pendidikan dapat dirasai ketika kami berada di kota Ankara serta di dalam persidangan ini. Terdapat banyak lorong kecil yang telah dikhususkan untuk penjual-penjual buku dalam bandar Ankara walaupun ada sesetengah buku-buku ini tidak mematuhi  kepeliharaan hak cipta.

Guru-guru di Turki mempunyai pengetahuan am yang tinggi, dan mempunyai stamina untuk mendidik dan belajar yang tinggi. Budaya membaca di negara lama seperti Turki yang kaya dengan warisan ini ternyata lebih matang berbanding dengan negara Asia Tenggara.

 

Help and VOTE for us for WSIS PRIZE 2017

Dear beloved friends of e-Sentral,
Recently, our product, e-Studio, which is used in Kemaman District schools to make interactive digital magazine, have been short listed and nominated as one of the project to be highlighted in WSIS Prize 2017. WSIS is World Summit on Information Systems to be held between 12-16 June in Geneva. At this stage now, it becomes a popularity contest, hence requiring you to help and vote for us.
 
Steps to Vote:

1) Click Link https://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/prizes/2017/

2) Click Vote. Register as Voter.

3) Verify account via email.

4) Login.

5) Go to Category 3.

 

6) Find “e-Magazine Development at Schools in Kemaman district, Terengganu, Malaysia or Project “1486824715″.

 

7) Vote for us before 30th April 2017. This is completely free.

Thank you for all of your support.

Updates for Android and iOS Users

Kepada pengguna e-Sentral yang dihargai,

Anda kini boleh mendapat versi aplikasi e-reader e-Sentral yang telah dikemaskinikan di Apple Appstore and Google Playstore.

Antara ciri-ciri yang baru dalam kemas kini ini:

Android
-Menyokong fail PDF. Kini anda boleh membaca fail PDF menggunakan aplikasi  pembaca kami
-Fungsi Bluetooth Beacon yang telah dinaik tarafkan.

iOS
– Paparan muka surat yang lebih jelas bagi eBook berbentuk fixed- layout
Fungsi Bluetooth Beacon yang telah dinaik tarafkan.

Jika anda mengalami isu login pada aplikasi atau pun yang seumpamanya setelah mengemaskini, anda disyorkan untuk uninstall dan install semula aplikasi e-Sentral anda.

Mohon maaf atas segala kesulitan jika ada.

Terima kasih


To all esteemed e-Sentral Users,

You can now use our latest update for e-Sentral application from Apple Appstore and Google Playstore with these features updates:

Android
– Support PDF files
– Upgraded Bluetooth Beacon functions

iOS
-Improved user view for fix-layout contents
-Upgraded Bluetooth Beacon functions

If you experience any difficulties in login with the application after the update, we suggest that you should uninstall and install your e-Sentral application again.

Sorry for the inconvenience caused if any.

Thank you

Sejenak Bersama Sara Kyoko

IMG-20161219-WA0002
Antara Tulisan Sara Kyoko, Isteri Tuan ihsan.

Hai readers!!! Seperti yang Admin janjikan, pada bulan ini kami berjaya menemu bual penulis buku ISTERI TUAN IHSAN, Sara Kyoko!

Kalau readers nak tahu serba sedikit tentang Sara Kyoko, boleh ikuti temu bual kami di bawah 🙂

1. Siapa yang memberi inspirasi untuk Sara Kyoko menulis?

Suami sayalah yang memberikan inspirasi untuk saya menulis. Kalau bukan beliau,  saya masih lagi seorang   pembaca novel yang cuma berangan – angan hendak baca buku sendiri.

2. Apa makanan kegemaran Sara Kyoko?

Saya paling menggemari pasta.

3.  Siapakah penulis kegemaran Sara Kyoko? (tak kisah luar negara or dalam negara)

JK Rowling – the one and only.

4. Apakah novel kegemaran Sara Kyoko? (tak kisah luar negara or dalam negara)

Rangkaian novel – novel Harry Potter. Masih tidak mampu untuk move on.

5. Ada haiwan peliharaan tak di rumah?

Ada. Dua ekor kucing yang saya berikan nama Teja dan Oddie.

6. Jika anda diberi peluang untuk melancong secara percuma, ke manakah Sara Kyoko mahu pergi dan mengapa? 

London. Sebab Harry Potter berasal di sana? 😉

7. Apakah novel baru yang bakal diterbitkan oleh Sara Kyoko? Boleh ceritakan sedikit mengenai novel tersebut?

Saya sedang dalam proses untuk menyiapkan sebuah novel romantik komedi berjudul ‘perisik cinta 001’. Novel ini memaparkan kisah cinta seorang wanita ‘plus size’ yang menjadi seorang perisik secara bidan terjun, dengan seorang bekas bintang bola sepak antarabangsa yang penuh misteri.

8. Apakah pesanan Sara Kyoko kepada pembaca di luar?

Setiap pembaca punyai selera yang berbeza. Saya juga seorang pembaca. Saya faham perasaan seseorang kalau ‘terbaca’ novel yang tidak kena dengan selera saya. Tapi, jangan terus mengadili novel tersebut, apatah mempertikaikan kredibiliti penulis dan penerbit novel. Mungkin novel itu bukan untuk kita, tapi, untuk pembaca yang lain pula. Sebuah novel dihasilkan bukan untuk tatapan dan selera seorang pembaca sahaja. Berilah peluang kepada semua penulis tempatan untuk mencabar diri mereka supaya ada ruang untuk terus memperbaiki diri. Barulah industri penulisan negara boleh berkembang setanding dengan luar negara. ‘Kritik bukannya kutuk’.

9. Pada pandangan Sara Kyoko, apa istimewanya novel Murni Aqila  berbanding novel lain di pasaran?

Novel – novel saya biasa sahaja. Cuma, kalau anda seorang pembaca yang memerlukan karya yang boleh mencabar minda dan perasaan, #karyasarakyoko bukanlah untuk anda. Tapi, kalau anda sukakan sebuah karya ringan yang menghiburkan, In Shaa Allah, novel – novel saya sesuai untuk anda.

10. Dari mana Sara Kyoko selalu dapatkan ilham untuk menulis? Ada yang dari pengalaman sendiri ke?

Ilham saya datangnya daripada orang sekeliling. Keluarga, sahabat, kenalan, mahupun orang asing yang cuma lalu di hadapan mata. Pengalaman peribadi juga ada membantu serba sedikit untuk mengemaskan jalan cerita saya, supaya lebih ‘real’.

11. Apa rutin harian Sara Kyoko? Ada yang rare tak?

Rutin harian saya biasa sahaja. Yang rare cuma waktu saya mula menulis. Saya jenis yang hanya boleh menulis pada waktu tengah malam. Noctural homo sapien agaknya. Bayangkan saja waktu – waktu saya perlu siapkan satu manuskrip. Hidup tak ubah seperti kelawar!

12. Describe diri anda dalam 3 perkataan?

Introvert. Diam – diam ubi. Cerewet.

13. Apa nasihat Sara Kyoko kepada penulis- penulis yang masih baru dalam industri buku?

Saya juga masih baru dalam industri ini. Entah sesuai atau tidak untuk memberi nasihat. Namun, kalaulah kata – kata saya ini untuk diguna pakai, ;kepada yang lebih baru hendak berjinak – jinak dengan dunia penulisan, cuma satu saja yang saya pesan, kalau hendak menulis, tulis apa yang kita tahu, apa yang kita suka (genre). Jangan ikut ‘trend’ semata.

14. Selain Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Inggeris, Apa lagi bahasa lain yang Sara Kyoko kuasai?

Malangnya, cuma dua bahasa itu sajalah yang saya mampu kuasai dengan baik.

Kami harap Sara Kyoko akan sentiasa mewarnai industri penulisan dan, jika anda peminat Sara Kyoko

Lebih banyak eBook boleh didapati di E-Sentral.com
https://www.e-sentral.com/publisher/filter/pb_2845_Lovenovel-Enterprise/~

eBook Lending Soars in Airport

KLIA and klia2 eBook via bluetooth beacon disburse more than 40 thousand borrowings

IMG_3322 (1)Cyberjaya, 3rd February 2017 – KLIA and klia2 launched a free service allowing passengers to download eBooks and bring with them on flights in the month of May last year.

Ever since launched, until end of 2016, the service have distributed more than 40 thousand eBooks to passengers from all corners of the world, and still continuing to grow.

This is an astonishing achievement and a proof that Internet of Things actually benefits our lifestyle. Imagine doing this with printed books? The cost, the mess, the logistics, it will be impossible. With the infrastructure in place at KLIA and klia2, thousands of ebooks have been distributed without making a sound or fuss”, says Faiz Al-Shahab from e-Sentral, the company behind the facility at KLIA and klia2.

( 31 Dec 16)

Accumulated

KLIA CP

7604

KLIA Satellite

8126

klia2

12007

Total

40570

From data shared, passengers of all sorts of nationalities have been using the eBook borrowing system, with obviously Malaysians being the majority users. Novels, travel and political ebooks are also the revealed as the most popular genre picked by passengers.

We also have equally same amount of ebook lend outs between KLIA and klia2, although klia2 have a higher traffic for passengers. This is probably because klia2 caters more quick stop and short trip passengers who have lesser time before and after flights, if compared to KLIA passengers”, explains Faiz.

This facility which consists of 80 eBook beacons with 50meters radius fencing strategically placed at locations of the airports marked with flags and instructions, is considered the first Internet of Things infrastructure of its kind in the world. Currently, travelers in KLIA have a choice of more than 400 ebook titles ranging from all sorts of categories. Once the ebooks are downloaded, the passenger can use the ebooks for their waiting time and air travel. Each passengers are entitled to borrow up to two titles for a duration of two days.

This ebook rental via Bluetooth beacon facility is a partnership effort between e-Sentral.com (Xentral Methods Sdn Bhd), Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), and Perbadanan Kota Buku.

More info : www.e-sentral.com/fez


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