Nowadays, a lot of information is disseminated through social networking channels. Some of the input are negative and attempts must be made to address bad publicity, appeals and complaints.
All ministries should also make a serious attempt to revamp their websites. The public seek details of various schemes, provide feedback and lodge appeals or complaints.
Most of the sites are not user-friendly, informative or responsive.
So far, the most effective website is that of the Prime Minister’s. He is even communicating with the people in Chinese, and this clearly shows that our pro-active leader is keen on interacting with the masses, regardless of race, religion, gender and age.
It is most odd that his Cabinet ministers have not taken a leaf from his book.
This is a borderless world in which messages are transmitted in split seconds online. Unfounded rumours and false allegations can be spread and cause fear and stir unrest unless responsible and alert ministries counter them with convincing and prompt clarification and rebuttals.
Ministries should take a further step to monitor bloggers’ sites to ensure that no falsehood or concoction is spread for personal motives.
In many instances, damage is done before ministries come to know about the lies and allegations from a third party. If constructive ideas are proposed, however, they should consider and act on them.
The Government should be complimented for not exercising strict censorship over Internet usage. It must, however, keep tabs on malicious, defamatory and scandalous reports that create disunity, disorder and character assassinations.
There are other dangers the Government must be alert to. Sex predators can be on the prowl to entice the young. Terrorist cells, drug traffickers and criminal gangs use websites to recruit members.
It will be interesting and revealing to find out how many ministers and senior government officials can even type.
They should have to polish up on how to gain access to networking sites and blogs before they can even be familiar with the functions and features.
Of course, ministries have to keep track of the suggestions, appeals and complaints made through newspapers or magazine postbags.
They cannot sit back and wait for a situation to deteriorate before taking any action.
Ministers are not mandated merely to pass legislation. They have to listen and genuinely pay heed to the needs of the people.
ROSELINA, Kuala Lumpur.