Tag Archives: malaysia

Firechat away during Bersih 4


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Firechat away during Bersih 4
By Zan Azlee

I am all for people power because I believe that those who are in authoritative positions would naturally already have more power than an ordinary citizen.

Like that quote by Haruki Murakami: “If there is hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg.”

So, anything that empowers the people will have my support. Be it a proper democratic government system, or even tools such as crowdsourcing platforms and social media.

I have attended as a citizen and covered as a journalist, all the rallies organised by Bersih from the first one in 2011, and hopefully, the fourth one this Merdeka weekend.
One of the key challenges for participants and journalists covering to ensure that they can all operate smoothly and safely is good and clear communication.

A crowd that can grow into the tens of thousands can get overwhelming for the organisers to control, and difficult for the people to feel calm and relaxed.

Keeping in constant contact with others becomes difficult because of the huge number of people who attend using smartphones which clog up the phone reception.

Also, from my observations, there will be vehicles stationed around the area with big antennae and dishes that, I can only assume, are signal jammers.

That’s why I got excited when I started hearing about Firechat, a chatting app for smartphones that allow users to communicate with each other even without Internet connection.

How it works is that it can seamlessly change its mode of communication from the Internet to Bluetooth or even local WiFi connections without interruption.

So even if you lose Internet, as long as you have your Bluetooth or WiFi function on, you will still be in communication. But, the people you talk to need to be in your group of followers.

Technically, your range will start increasing as long as more people continue to join the network, from different but connecting geographical locations.

This is pretty cool, and if you study the credentials of this app, you will learn that it was used successfully by the participants of the 2014 Hong Kong sit-in protest.

Although it is a good tool to allow people to stay in touch in situations where communication is difficult, one must still be cautious about the information.

Firechat allows users to also communicate and spread information anonymously if they choose to. And that could be a problem – the issue of credible and legit information. As is with all social media platforms, as much as it empowers people and allows them to organise themselves, it is still open to abuse and manipulation.

So be mindful when you are communicating. Always be aware of who you are communicating with and best of all is to remain with people you know and trust.

Good luck and stay safe.

[This article originally appeared at The Malaysian Insider]

The Fat Bidin Vlog (Ep 4) – Simple stories, simple ways & Tun Mahathir gives me advice!


The Fat Bidin Vlog

Ep 4 – Simple stories, simple ways & Tun Mahathir gives me advice!

Subscribe to the Fat Bidin YouTube Channel.

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Listen to all the podcasts produced by Fat Bidin Media.

Visit Aizyl Azlee’s YouTube page.

Wah!! An advertising event just for podcasts! But not in Malaysia!


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The podcasting industry in the USA is developing and growing in leaps and bounds. Something that has been on the DIY front is now fast being recognised as a legitimate media platform (but hopefully the DIY spirit doesn’t disappear!).

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is organising an upfront in New York City this September. It will be a place where radio stations, podcast producers, podcast networks, ad sellers and advertisers will gather together to learn stuff about each other.

Is that cool or is that cool?

And here we are in Malaysia, trying our damndest to produce our podcasts on a regular basis for the past year on our own funding. I am wishing hard that the medium will quickly grow a bigger following in Malaysia like how online videos have grown.

Read more about the podcast upfront at the Wall Street Journal ‘Podcasts Aim to Lock in Advertising Revenue With Upfront Event in September‘.

Listen to our Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 61) – Is English language media what we need in Malaysia?


The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 61) – Is English language media what we need in Malaysia?

How far along does the English media (print, broadcast, online, cinema, theatre, etc) play a role in nation-building? Does it even have a role in Malaysia?

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

What is a ‘back-door’ plot to overthrow the government?


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What is a ‘back-door’ plot to overthrow the government?
By Zan Azlee

In many countries, conspiracies and plots to overthrow the government are serious crimes. I agree because it is undemocratic to overthrow an elected government.

Depending on what is involved, a group of people (or an individual) could be charged with treason for doing something like that.

So when the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a group of members of parliament were plotting to overthrow the government, I took it seriously.

I thought that things were getting dangerous and I imagined all kinds of scenarios, including violent coup d’etat the likes of those in South America and Middle East.

What scary “back-door” tactics were going to be used by this gang of rogue MPs? To be honest, I was afraid how this would affect the lives of all Malaysians.

Then I heard the accusation of what this “back-door” tactic was. Apparently, a group of MPs were planning to sign a statutory declaration (SD).

They were going to declare in the SDs that they would had no confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This took me by surprise. How did Zahid equate this to being an undemocratic and a “back-door” conspiracy or plot to overthrow the government?

Several Cabinet members have even been vocal that this is undemocratic because the only way to change the government is through a general election.

But isn’t it stated quite clearly in the Federal Constitution that MPs have a right to hold a vote for no-confidence in the prime minister’s leadership?

And with that vote of no-confidence, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can remove the prime minister or dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections. That is quite constitutional, to say the least.

And if we’re already looking at the legalities of it, isn’t the legal system in Malaysia based on precedence through previous court cases?

Remember the 2009 Perak assembly saga? After the elections, there was a flip-flopping of assemblymen defecting and crossing over from one party to another.

This resulted in the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government to call for a dissolution of the assembly. But, the opposition Barisan Nasional fought its claim for the government in court.

And the court ruled that the defections and crossovers would hold. Hence BN grabbed the state government from Pakatan Rakyat.

Would that not mean that there is already a precedence that a claim for the government could be made through legal means instead of through a general election?

Now I’m thankful that this “back-door” conspiracy or plot to overthrow the government does not involve violent means and I am no longer afraid.

But, I’m still unsure of how this intention to sign an SD to declare no confidence in the prime minister may be considered undemocratic and a “back-door” plot to overthrow the government.

Oh well.

[This article originally appeared at The Malaysian Insider]