Social media is here to stay, but use it wisely — Abang Jo

Abang Johari (centre) at the launching of Zamalah Wartawan Malaysia 2018.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Dec 3: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg believes social media has the power to influence and control people’s lives.

But even though it can exert both positive and negative influences on the people, he opined there was no need to stay away or be anti-social media.

“I strongly believe in the Internet. That is why the state government is spending millions to upgrade our Internet facilities. We are now in the transition era, between print and social media. While the older generation prefers print, the younger ones prefer otherwise. What will happen next?

“I believe that after this, the next era will be artificial intelligence. This is inevitable and it cannot be avoided. We have to catch up or be left behind,” he said at the launching of Zamalah Wartawan Malaysia 2018 here today.


On the role of reporters and journalists, Abang Johari said: “For me, reporters and journalists are still important. They can make a person more aware of what is happening on local, national and global levels. They can also warp one’s perspective of the truth. The media also has the capacity to ruin society by encouraging false ideals and information,” he cautioned.

Abang Johari (front, fourth from left) with the Zamalah Wartawan Malaysia 2018 participants.

He added that editorial items could also impact media influence since editorial columns report the author’s personal opinion on a political or social issue that is based on facts and research.

Technological advances have also provided avenues to reach a larger audience than what was possible previously.

“Today, the new media is the one influencing the mindsets of people. This is a big challenge for everyone, but it is also a platform for us to move forward and make decisions. The perceptions that they make when they write gives people the chance to think and decide,” he said.

Abang Johari opined that the social media could destroy a country if reporters or journalists chose not to act responsibly.

“However, if you have the proper journalism etiquette, you won’t face problems. There is nothing to be worried about if we are wise and share something on social media,” he said. — DayakDaily