Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It’s not so ‘Bersih’ after all COMMENT By WONG CHUN WAI

INTERNET polls are really just a way to engage the reader with the aim of taking a quick temperature reading of your audience, in the words of American political analyst John Harwood.

It’s the cyber equivalent of asking the room for a show of hands on a certain question, but it can also be manipulated.

Most ordinary netizens do not take such polls seriously but the political stake players certainly do, and they are often the ones who would hack and organise such manipulations to get the numbers they want.

Harwood, a New York Times journalist, said the CNBC once organised a debate.

After the debate, the television station put up a website poll asking readers who had won the debate.

Soon, supporters of Ron Paul, the Republican Congressman, who had served notice he was running in the US presidential race, were leading the polls at 75% within hours.

It soon dawned on CNBC that the poll was the target of a campaign. So, the station pulled it down.

The purpose of the poll was ruined and as Harwood wrote, “it was no longer an honest show of hands”.

“That certainly wasn’t our intention and certainly didn’t serve our readers,’’ he wrote, adding that a well-organised “few” could throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of “the many”.

That was what happened to The Star Online poll survey on Monday.

Obviously, print journalists adopt a more cautious approach against those in the new media who see politics differently.

An online poll on the proposed Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 asked respondents for their opinion on whether the illegal rally should be cancelled or be allowed to go on.

In less than a day, it drew more than a million responses, which caused the online team to suspect that the results were being manipulated.

Typically, the online polls attract an average of about 30,000 responses over several days.

The Star Online’s unique visitors number about 400,000 a day.

The initial examination showed that the The Star Online site logs recorded up to a million votes to the poll page from just one IP address.

Acting on the belief that the poll results were tainted, the online editor took it down just before noon on Tuesday.

In short, the supporters of the Opposition-initiated rally, Bersih 2.0, were not so clean after all. Even desperate.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ironic BERSIH 2.0

His Sept 16 gambit failed miserably and he was chastised.

The Barisan, now under a new Prime Minister in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak sought to return the favour to Anwar and induced three of the state assemblymen in Perak to defect and forced the Pakatan state government to fall.

But all that is in the past.

The same political strategy is being used again. This time Bersih has become Bersih 2.0.

Former Bar Council president Da-tuk Ambiga Sreenivasan is plan- ning to organise a repeat of the massive Bersih rally of November 2007.

The reasons given are the same: failure of the EC to reform the system, fraud and cheating, and the recent Sarawak election is used as a reminder of what can easily go wrong in Malaysia.

The reality is that Anwar is having a second go at it.

He is trying to revive the mass appeal he had before it started to dissipate after Sept 16, 2008.

This time around, he has tried to put a neutral person in Ambiga as chairman to gauge the public mood and prepare the ground for another general election.

But Ambiga is hardly the neutral person.

She spoke at a PKR rally in Brickfields with Anwar and his daughter Nurul Izzah on Sunday.

Besides, newly-minted PAS deputy president and Anwar's old adversary Mohamed Sabu has asked the party's rank and file to take part at the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.

In fact, PAS central committee member Dr Hatta Ramli is on record as saying that PAS would send 100,000 supporters to the rally.

The glaring difference between now and November 2007 is that they then wanted to protest with Bersih and Hindraf rallies that to-gether persuaded the public mood to turn against the Government.

This time they are the rulers in four states.

They want to flex their muscles and boost their waning strength, sensing that an early election is on the cards.

The irony is that the electoral system, which they claimed is “unfair”, is the same one that won them the four state!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Boikot Perhimpunan Haram!

Baru-baru ini, Perhimpunan BERSIH hangat digegarkan dan ada berpendapat Perhimpunan BERSIH yang dirancang merupakan jalan singkat pembangkang untuk ke Putrajaya. Penghormatan tidak diberi kepada prinsip demokrasi dan demonstrasi jalanan ini hanya mencetuskan suasana huru- hara yang mempunyai agenda terselindung.

Sekiranya perhimpunan ini mendakwa PRU (Pilihanraya Umum) yang tidak telus dan bersih, mengapa BN masih kalah di 4 negeri.. cuba fikir-fikirkan, adakah terdapat perkara yang tersembunyi mengenai apa yang ingin dicapai pembangkang di sebalik rancangan mengadakan perhimpunan haram itu?

Sistem demokrasi dan sistem sosial di negara-negara luar (Egypt dan Tunsia) amat jauh bezanya dan seharusnya kita di Malaysia bersyukur dapat menjalani hidup dalam suasana baik dan aman

Kita sebagai rakyat boleh mempersoalkan apakah niat sebenar demontrasi haram Bersih 2.0 ini diadakan. Adakah mereka ingin jadikan tarikh 9 Julai ini sebagai “hari rusuhan dan kekacauan” sebagaimana berjayanya teori domino di Asia Barat? Amalan demonstrasi haram Bersih 2.0 sewajarnya ditolak dan wajib diboikot oleh seluruh rakyat !