March 21, 2008 21:04 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Bernama) -- Saying that local bloggers' views cannot be ignored, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek intends to meet them soon to get feedbacks on nation-building.
He said his ministry was concerned over the role played by the alternative media such as the internet and websites as they have their own functions in nation-building.
"For instance, they played a role in the just-ended general election. Many middle-class voters wishing to convey a message to the government turned to the alternative media to source for information.
"They surfed the internet and I feel we need to know the role played by the bloggers," he told a news conference after meeting the media at his office.
Ahmad Shabery hopes that his intention to meet with the bloggers would not be misintepreted by anyone as his ministry wants to be the connected to everybody, including bloggers.
"Bloggers' views cannot be ignored. They are a direct channel for the people to express their views though sometimes they can be negative in the way they presented their opinions.
Ahmad Shabery said the mushrooming of various blogs of late as a medium to channel personal views had gone unnoticed.
"Everyone has the freedom to use blogs as an information distribution centre. We've overlooked their roles and failed to understand their feelings," said Ahmad Shabery, who was accompanied by his deputy Datuk Tan Lian Hoe.
Asked on the approach he would adopt to meet the large number of bloggers, the minister said he had instructed his officers to arrange for the meeting soon.
"We'll try to meet them in batches. Maybe they'll be invited via advertisements or at suitable venues. We'll try to figure out how to meet them," he said.
Ahmad Shabery also said he would continue with the ministry's existing policies as he did not intend to make any major changes in terms of leadership and on other matters.
"I want to see this ministry and all its agencies playing their role as an agent for change ... an agent of change as wanted by our leadership.
"Hence, we don't want to be seen at all that RTM is resistant to change," he said.
Ahmad Shabery said the Information Ministry and its agencies such as RTM, Broadcasting Department and Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) would continue to play a crucial role in educating the people and to mould their mindset to understand the policies and programmes of the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"I'm aware of the dual role we've to play. We are the agent for change. We believe in the approach shown by the leadership of our prime minister who wants to see this country to be more open, with a system of governance that is more transparent and of integrity," he added.
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