Read what Dean Johns have to say about this 1Malaysia email and I believe you will agree that this is another UMNO/BN scam projects designed to extract maximum profits from a hairbrained project.
Apr 27, 11
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The 1Malaysia Email project is both a symptom and a symbol of the rotten Umno/BN regime. It's as blatant a con as everything this god-forsaken government says and does, and clearly corrupt into the bargain.
Its pretext of providing “direct and secure communications between the citizens and the government” and a “one-stop centre for government services, providing value-added services such as social networking, checking bills online and payment” sounds as fishy - or, since it is an Internet scam, phishy - as all get-out.
It is clearly intended to provide the government with unchecked power to spam and snoop on Malaysian netizens in the present, and the option of forcing the people to do anything from conducting all their Internet communications and transactions to possibly even voting through this dodgy portal in the future.
This promises to be the final link in the web of deceit that Umno/BN has progressively woven to extend and defend its criminal misrule of the country, and ensnare the populace forever in its net.
And the manner of presenting the thing to the people has been as suspect as the project itself. First it was presented on the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Permandu) website as 'a government initiative in providing a unique and official email account and ID for the citizens of Malaysia'.
Then, a day or two later, the story was changed to read 'a private sector initiative led by Tricubes Bhd'. Premier Najib Abdul Razak supported the second version by tweeting: “Let me clarify that the 1Malaysia Email is a private sector project. No public money is involved, and it's entirely voluntary.”
If no public money is involved, however, many of us are wondering where Tricubes, the lucky recipient of the project, is going to find the RM50 million reportedly required to fund it.
In fact it appears that Tricubes is virtually broke, or was when it was mysteriously awarded the 1Malaysia.con project, as it was under GN3 status under Bursa Malaysia guidelines and thus facing delisting unless it restructures its finances.
So it is terribly difficult to believe the claim by Permandu CEO Idris Jala, that Tricubes was awarded the project in a process of open bidding.
It looks to me, and to many other people whose comments I've seen, far more like one of BN's customary free gifts to cronies. And what a gift, with the government agreeing to pay an astonishing 50 sen per email and Tricubes set to offer “extra security” in return for an additional fee from subscribers!
No wonder that the formerly ailing company has delivered a windfall for its investors, as its formerly lamentable share price has soared since it was given the go-ahead to proceed with the 1Malaysia.con project.
Meanwhile, Najib, self-proclaimed author of the 1Malaysia slogan and chief sponsor of 1Malaysia.con, hosted a BN propaganda event in KL billed as the First Malaysia-Asean Regional Bloggers' Conference.
According to a report by BN's lapdog 'news' agency, Bernama, this event with its theme 'Blogging Mindfully and Responsibly' was staged to 'provide a platform to derive defence mechanisms to protect the plethora of bloggers, especially on Malaysia and Malaysia-centric postings', and 'to highlight the obstacles faced by these bloggers as well as the adversity that bloggers might experience in their day-to-day tackling of various issues'.
The timing of this confab, or rather con-fab, revealed its laughable hypocrisy, just a week after the BN regime had mounted a denial-of-service attack on sites includingMalaysiakini andSarawak Report, and following the release of a UN report that ranks Malaysia way down with the likes of Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe and Mubarak's Egypt on the Internet freedom index.
Never one to allow facts to get in the way of his falsehoods, however, Najib declared in his keynote speech to the gathering: “I have no doubt that whatsoever that Malaysia has one of the liveliest blogospheres in the world and definitely one of the freest if not the most free.”
Having delivered himself of this outright, barefaced lie, he noted that “the Internet is an engine for economic growth, the portal that opens up to a knowledge society”, before following with the self-revealing remark that “even a government that is not too keen about the democracy part of 'digital democracy' should embrace the digital part, as the economic implications are simply too great to ignore”.
In other words, as I take him to mean, his 1Malaysia.con is all about dollars, not democracy, and that his attempted co-option of Malaysia's blogosphere is driven by his terror of assaults on BN by local versions of what he called “cybertroopers who waged viral warfare with the might of their keyboards, keypads and smartphones” in the Middle East's Twitter and Facebook revolutions.
Hence his fear-driven plea for bloggers to air their views about his government, “even if it is constructive criticism”, and for a relationship between BN and the bloggers “based on mutual respect”.
Thanks to the likes of Najib and his colleagues and cronies, however, the BN government - like similarly corrupt and repressive regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Iran, Syria, Morocco and dozens of other countries - has long lost any right to respect from bloggers or anyone else.
And how much “respect” do Najib and his ilk show their people in constantly feeding them a pack of lies and treating the most gullible of the populace like monkeys by paying them peanuts for their votes?
Typical of the total lack of respect that BN has for truth, honesty or the intelligence of the Malaysian people was the claim by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, patron of Blog House Malaysia, convenor of Najib's blogger-nobbling conference, that, like bloggers, “the mainstream media should allow themselves to be critical of the government now and then”.
Pretending to decry the fact that the mainstream media practise self-censorship in the face of all the laws he himself enacted to crush media freedom, he declared that “this had given the wrong impression that they had been censored by the government”.
All I can say about this superannuated con-man is that, unlike Najib and his relatively youthful con-sorts in 1Malaysia.con, he is unfortunately unlikely to stand trial for his crimes against truth, justice and the Malaysian people, or ever be con-victed.
DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he mentors creative writing groups. Already published in Kuala Lumpur is a third book of his columns for Malaysiakini, following earlier collections 'Mad about Malaysia' and 'Even Madder about Malaysia'.