The Spiral of Silence

by Shikhin Sazali

Growing up surrounded by sophisticated technology and environment, might as well expand and widen the way I think about something either about myself or the world around me. However, being a young grounded teenager, I wish I had the courage to speak for myself or even the community in making the place where we live in a better place for everyone involved. Seeing myself back to the past 10 years, a shy, quite and introvert girl, how I wish someone or something would have do something to encourage me to be like today’s Syed Saddiq, the current Youth Chief of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party who has been actively involved in many organization from a very young age and very well involved in speaking up not just for himself but also for the people. I admire his confident and courage in being someone who dare to stand up for something and how well he can speak in front of the public in pointing out his belief, perspective and point of views. The theory that can be related with this is, the spiral of silence that refer to the tendency of people to remain silent when they feel that their views are in opposition to the majority view on a subject that commonly happened because of the fear of isolation. There are many simple cases that we can see happening in school for instance, how many teenagers are afraid to point out their views during a discussion in class especially when their opinions are different from the rest. This where I think teachers and parents should play their role in being the great supporters and give encouragement for the kids in being true to themselves and outshine the hidden talent. Who knows, with good practice and exposure, this could lead them to be somebody in the future. The fact that how one word or even one image could lead to a bigger change on something shouldn’t be taken lightly. How Mahatma Gandhi has now become world inspiration for stood up for his believe even though at first, no one believes and support his movement. It is great how a picture of misery and hunger of victims in the Palestine could lead to a major movement that comes from different country in sending help in terms of food and medications. It is amazing to adapt the fact how one word could speak a thousand meaning and how it can really affect one nation either for good or bad.

Towards A Better Social Media User

by Razween binti Md. Rashidi

Technology is having a rapid growth parallel to the human needs as well as the demand of this modern world. It is becoming one of the tools that almost all Malaysians need as it is making life easier compared to our grandparents’ days where communication and other inventions such as computer, tabs or even mobile phones were hard to be found because of the economical state at that time. Now, everything has changed as it is impossible to meet a person without a mobile phone and the access to the Internet.

Our former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi once said that Malaysians are still at the third-class mentality with a first-class infrastructure. In relation to this particular topic, Malaysians are given access to the Internet and we can freely browse and post anything that we like in social media such as Facebook, Twitter as well as Instagram. Since we are given such freedom, most of us tend to take all those opportunities for granted. Based on a personal view as a social media user, the writer personally sees that some of us tend to spread and post negative comments towards other people. For example, if a person has posted about his or her achievement, some of Malaysians will comment that the achievement is nothing if the person does not acquire other skills. We tend to look at the negative side of that person than praise that person’s achievement. In fact, we tend to search for something negative that the person has. Malaysian Digest 2014 requoted words by Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia Chairman, Dr Elistina Abu Bakar said that Malaysians tend to neglect the things that they have to consider when sharing or posting things online. They do not think of the consequences of posting something negative that may offend other parties who have read what they have posted.

In order to have or to produce a first-class mentality, there are a few things that can be done so that social media users especially teenagers in Malaysia will be more aware about the consequences if they do not use the technologies wisely.

The first thing that can be done is by initiating an early education regarding the social media. This is where people who involved in structuring the education system in Malaysia should include an education regarding the usage of social media in moral subject syllabus for instance. They should know when teenagers started to expose or involve themselves in social media such as Facebook, Twitter as well as Instagram. By knowing that, they can plan on what are the things that can be included in the syllabus. We are in a world where almost everything is having rapid changes. Moral class should expose a situation that is more than just by helping a mother to do the house chores at home. Most of the students have started to engage in an “online” world. They often triggered to explore everything by themselves. So, if there are no guidelines, they may be free to explore and express whatever they want.

In addition to that, another aspect that should be touched on in shaping the children’s mentality in using social media is the parents themselves. Parents is often associated with the behaviour of the children. Hence, it is very important for them to get to know the daily activities of their children whether online or offline. There is no such thing as parents should not be busybody. When parents want to know the activities of their children, it is not called busybody as parents are people who should be respected and they have the right to know the activities of their children. It is important for parents to make sure that the children are like their best friends but they can respect and listen to you at the same time. In relation to the topic, what parents can do to make sure that their children are using social media in a right way is by having a regular check on them. Ask them in the most convincing way in order for them to share with us what they have read or posted in social media. If there are something wrong that we want to correct them, do it in the most professional manner so that our action will not trigger the anger inside the children.

Another reason why parent’s role is important in shaping the children to have a first-class mentality in using social media is because a quiet child at home may be the loudest person online. Hence, it is very important to get to know the children inside and out. Sometimes, we can see that everything is fine on the outside but we should not let them keep everything to themselves and choose social media as a medium to express their anger as well as dissatisfaction.

In conclusion, if all Malaysians tend to post negative things online all the time, foreigners will have a bad reputation towards us as we are not aware of what we have posted online. Hence, in order to have a first-class mentality, we should start using the social media wisely and avoid posting something that can lower down our dignity. Think of the consequences and only post or share something that you really understand.

Parents do play an important role in shaping the children’s behaviour online as mentioned above. We better be safe than sorry. Besides that, it is advisable for all users to be extra careful when dealing with online community. This is because we just look at the online personality of a person instead of their real self. Let’s work towards being a social media user with a first-class mentality. Start shaping ourselves to be one and if other users are using it negatively, why don’t we start using the facilities wisely. Let us portray that we Malaysians are on our way to be a nation with a first-class mentality.

Liberation : Media and Casual Sex Culture

by Nur Baizura Bt Roslan

The media in Malaysia has some of the toughest censorship laws bounded whereby the media authorities exerts a substantial control and impose a strict restriction in national security. The Malaysian government is kept to insulate the majority Muslim population from the things that are considered harmful and have foreign influences. For example, the News is censored, and entertainment output can fall foul of the authorities. However, all these do not stop the population  to get influenced by the international media, especially towards the explicit content that has widespread produced. With high advance of technology, the media is able to be captured and retrieved by the citizen easily. One of the influences brought by the international media especially western countries are the hookup culture has emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. As early as 1920s, with the rise of automobile use and novel entertainment venues throughout North America, traditional models of courting under parental supervision began to fade. Young adults became even more sexually liberated in the relationships. In addition to that, with the rise of feminism, growth of college party events, widespread availability of birth control (condoms and oral contraceptives) and deposing of parental expectations as central to mating and marriage. Popular media, including television, has become a source of sex education, filled with (inaccurate) portrayals of sexuality. Many popular representations suggest uncommitted sex or hookups, can be both bio-physically and emotionally enjoyable and occur without “strings.” Recent entertainment media have highlighted uncommitted sexual encounters and the more-common-than-not experimentation with this type of behavior. The film Hooking Up, released in 2009, details the chaotic romantic and sexual lives of adolescent characters. The film No Strings Attached, released in 2011 and staring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, featured the uncommitted element of uncommitted sex as two friends attempt to negotiate a sexual, yet non-romantic, component of their relationship. Popular television shows often portray hooking up as acceptable, entertaining, and perfectly sensible. The hit British series Skins, which began in 2007 and was remade in North America in 2011, often highlights the uncommitted sexual exploits of adolescents. The popular reality show Jersey Shore, which started its run in 2009, glorifies hookups among strangers, acquaintances, friends, and former partners. Popular pro-hookup same-sex representations have also emerged in television series like Queer as Folk and The L-Word. Several popular books on hookups have hit the shelves with unscientific yet racy claims. These include, The Happy Hook-Up: A Single Girl’s Guide to Casual Sex, The Hookup Handbook: A Single Girl’s Guide to Living It Up, Hooking Up: A Girl’s All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality, Making the Hook-Up: Edgy Sex With Soul, and 11 Points Guide to Hooking Up: Lists and Advice About First Dates, Hotties, Scandals, Pickups, Threesomes, and Booty Calls.

In a conclusion, the hook up relationship has been a culture or ethics in the western countries, whereby the young teenagers think of sex rather than the essential of the relationship. They are more comfortable in the terms of hooking up rather than pure love. Even though these often happen in the western, but, as a country who easily adopted with the western media will slightly influenced our youngster to behave that way. There are alot of teenagers and youngster begins these type of relationship which later leads to unmarital sex, illegitimate, foundling abortion and others.

PALU…From the Lenses of the Media

by Affendi Abdul Karim

Source: Image from RTM 1

It was supposed to be a usual Friday evening that day on September 28, 2018, just like many days before, in the city of Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Even more, hundreds of people were understood to have gathered for a festival on a beach.

But unfortunately, it was a saddened day to be remembered as the city, and the nearby area of Donggala and Mamuju was hit by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, and followed shortly by a 5-metre high tsunami. The shocking disaster has resulted in the loss of thousands of human lives and more others were displaced after their homes and buildings were destroyed and washed away.

Palu, located about 1,650 kilometres northeast of the capital, Jakarta, is a city populated by more than 300,000 residents. The city is also famous for its beautiful beaches like Tanjung Karang, Towale, Enu, Malera, and Moian. Many foreign and local tourists will commonly choose for water sports and diving for their relaxing holiday activities in Palu.

However, that common and relaxing atmosphere changes in ‘the blink of an eye’ when the Mother Nature speaks. The strong quake followed by a tsunami which smashed Palu has again moved people across the globe, after the last time the world was shocked by the most devastating Tsunami tragedy in Aceh province on December 26, 2004.

On the day after the quake-tsunami ravaged the Indonesian city of Palu, at least 832 people known to have died in the disaster. The number of dead people is also estimated to increase following the thorough search and rescue operation by the authorities across the city.

Meanwhile, the local and international media, both were seen often updating their reports of the tragedy to highlight the current situation from time to time. The Jakarta Post, Kompas TV and Metro TV were among the local media that first broadcast the breaking news and provide wide coverage about the disaster. They provided an array of footages of the incident, which not only captured through their lenses but by the amateurs.

Despite the footages, the media were also seen to cooperate with the authorities and experts on the disaster, through live interviews and by phone calls as to give the actual and most reliable reports to their audiences. In fact, they even exploited their official social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter actively, thus gave the local media a more effective two-way communication with their online users. This could be presumed to have assists the Indonesians and particularly the affected people with the accurate and valid information from the authorities and as to balance the input diffuse by the social media.

Meanwhile, the foreign media like the Guardian of United Kingdom, NDTV, India and the Malaysia broadcast channel, RTM, were also reporting the situation. However as a comparison, the foreign media, which their news sources lie relatively on local correspondents or news agencies, commonly involved in a slightly different approach in news reporting.

Apart from reporting the current situation or search and rescue daily operation, they were seen to facilitate their audiences by visualising the tragedy through the motion graphics and images. They even engage with experts to discuss the impact or by constructing a chronology of the incident to help their audiences in tracking or to have updating reports of the incident which happened abroad. Thus, this indirectly contributed to the people across the world who shared the sorrow and provided help to the Palu people.

The people of Palu and the nearby area were highly affected by the quake-tsunami tragedy. After nearly a month of the incident, the number of dead people is estimated to have reached more than 2,200 and many more are still missing. Approximately 70,000 houses and building were destroyed, damaged and resulted to thousands of people were displaced.

Obviously, it is definitely hard for the affected people to rise again from the tragedy. So, it should be best for the Malaysian to help their neighbour in any ways they can. But, the most important one is to learn the lesson and be prepared to any possible disaster.

 

Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesian Island of Sulawesi: A Lesson to Learn

by Dayang Saliah Noorshamsiah

(Image credit to DailyMail.co.uk)

At least 2,045 people were confirmed dead while as many as 5,000 others are remained missing during a devastating 7.5 – magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Palu capital and Donggala Regency, Central Sulawesi the epicenter of the Minahasa Peninsula, one of the four principal peninsulas on the island of Indonesia on September 28th, 2018 (The Time, 11th October 2018).

Series of natural disasters happening around our neighboring regions recently include the Typhoon Mangkhut which ripped through the northern Philippines’s land of Luzon, the earthquake in Lombok and the most recent deadly natural disaster in Palu, Sulawesi, should serve as a lesson to us, Malaysians. As a country that exists on the same continent, although from its geographical location Malaysia’s position is outside the ring of fire which accordingly making us protected from most major natural disasters, yet it does not necessarily mean that we should underestimate of any future possibilities.

Apparently, Malaysia is not completely safe from major natural disasters. As evident, the 1976 Sabah Earthquake, 2004 Tsunami in a few coastal areas in Peninsular Malaysia which reportedly has killed around 67 peoples as well as the Sabah Earthquake 2015 which has killed about 18 people. As a matter of fact, since the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake which has led to Tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, one of the deadliest natural disasters in history, the interest towards tsunami risks in Malaysia has also heighten. These series of events are the evident that our beloved country has experienced and may possibly continue to experience natural disasters and calamities that will affect the lives of many despite of its geographical position. Perhaps up to this date, we are yet to experience deadly major natural disasters but with the series of the mentioned incidents, it shows that Malaysia is also prone to those major disasters. Of course, as some may claims, natural disasters are the act of God and it is inevitable. But the real question is, how well do we have prepared should we encounter the next natural disaster or calamity?

It is undeniable that our national armed forces, fire departments and police force units as well as other emergency response teams are well equipped and trained to react during times of emergencies. But to which extent of emergency situation that we are truly trained and equipped remain the main issue. Given the situation that we encountered so far are the flashfloods and landslides. Questions arise on how if we truly facing a major natural disaster like what happened in Indonesia and Philippine off late? Nevertheless, to fully rely on these teams alone during such unfavorable situation is not enough. What we also need is well-educated and prepared public on how to react should we faced such emergencies in order to at least minimizing the casualties if not to fully avoiding it. Often during such unfavorable situation, public falls victims – panic stricken, confusion and fear – are the common reactions. Hence, it is important that the public are prepared both mentally and physically should any unfortunate events strike. At least with the knowledge of how to react during the emergency situation they can save their own and their families’ life while waiting for further assistance. That is why an environmental awareness and emergency evacuation plan education is very much important among the public even in a country like us, Malaysia.

In this age of information and media sophistication, there are many ways on how environmental awareness and emergency evacuation plan education can be executed by using the media as a medium. Especially with the growing popularity of the social media platform among Malaysia media users, messages can be disseminated instantaneously at all level of people through various social media platform. Emergency evacuation plans campaigns and education for example can be carry out massively using the social media at low very low costs to investigate awareness among the public on the importance of natural disaster preparations. Apart from that, rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts are also vital to be improved and focused on.

Having the best forms of disaster preparedness goes beyond possessing best facilities and services. The essential part is the infrastructure, manpower and strategic emergency evacuation plans should be constantly maintained, restructured and updated. There is no harm putting forward early prevention and preparation as we will never know when natural disaster may strike. Even if its not major disasters like earthquake, typhoon or tsunami, the annual flash flood that keep on happening in Malaysia every year like a clockwise is also can regards as natural disaster that required serious measures. Not to mention the Highland Towers landslide in 1993, the Cameron Highland mud flood in 2013 are also among other examples of emergency situation. Responsibilities to react during such unfortunate event does not only fall on the government or the emergency response teams alone but on the public as well. Saving and safeguarding lives is not only the job of those who paid or trained but also is the responsibility of each and everyone on this land. In the end, assuming Malaysia is safe from natural disaster is totally wrong and the whiplash of tsunami 2004 has proven that it is time for us Malaysia to start taking it seriously preparing for any possibilities that may happened in the future.

Digital Marketing on the Rise

By Nurul Fathnie Rustam

Source: http://aimhigherafrica.com/

What is digital marketing? Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online. From the website itself to a business’s online branding assets — digital advertising, email marketing, online brochures, and beyond, there’s a spectrum of tactics that fall under the umbrella of “digital marketing.”

We all know the importance of involving oneself in digital marketing especially if you own a business. Any business will do, be it food and beverages, property, clothing line, education and all types of business require digital marketing unless you are doing it offline. Why? It is simple, because everyone in this world currently owns smartphones and have access to the internet. People nowadays even read newspaper online and watch television dramas online. It is super easy, free and all you need is a high-speed internet connection. Thus, there is no wonder why business men and women nowadays are using this digital marketing to promote and sell their products. Now, what are the advantages of this digital marketing? Why is it so important to businesses?

Firstly, a business man should know that digital marketing tactics is the most cost-effective way to market your business. One of the most important benefits of digital marketing is that it is the most cost-effective way to market your business. When it comes to traditional marketing, it is pretty hard for small companies especially start-ups with limited budgets to compete with big and large companies for ad space. We all know how expensive it is to advertise your business on the television and billboard for example. Now, with digital marketing tactics, small businesses have other better options which are very much affordable than the traditional way.

Secondly, digital marketing allows you to target your ideal buyers. When you purchase ad spaces be it on the billboard or magazine, it is likely you are taking a shot that the message will reach its intended audience. It is different with digital marketing, you can ensure the right consumers are viewing your content. SEO allows you to reach those consumers who are searching the web for content and topics that are related with your business. For example you are selling women’s clothing, make sure you are putting the right title or the right keyword to ensure the SEO will capture the words. Worry not, because it will be targeted to the right audiences without hassle. It is pretty easy right? Just make sure you are putting in the correct keyword to make it easy for your consumer to find your page. Social media advertising enables you to target those who are most likely to be interested in your products or services based on demographic information and general characteristics.

Thirdly, people are on social media and digital marketing can help you reach them. Perhaps the most important on our list of benefits of digital marketing is this. No matter what industry your business is in, there’s a good chance that your buyers are spending their time on social media channels especially Facebook or Twitter. Digital marketing will not only help you reach your consumers, it will also help you to engage with them. You will be able to publish and promote unique content on these social media sites, and you are able to reach your consumers through advertising. Social media platforms like Facebook offer sophisticated targeting options that help you reach the consumers who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. What’s more is that social media also provides an effective platform for communicating with and engaging your target audiences. Rather than just posting content and never hearing from your consumers, you can have one-on-one conversations in real-time that allow you to gain valuable insight into your brand. That’s something that traditional marketing tactics just don’t allow for.

So these are few of the advantages of digital marketing. If you wish to start a new business, do not hesitate to promote your products using digital marketing. Not only it is effective, it is also affordable. Good luck!

 

SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY PROVES ONLINE USERS ARE NOW CONTRIBUTING TO SEXUAL EXPLICIT CONTENT IN SOCIAL MEDIA

By: Zayana Isa

A smartphone is indeed no longer a requirement in our lives; it has becoming a need instead. Statistics by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in 2017 stated that smartphone users contribute 89.4% of the device used by Internet users to access the Internet where smartphones remain the most popular means for users to access Internet. According to the statistics, 89.3% of Internet users visiting social networking sites to socialize and build up networking.  By looking at our society nowadays, the above statement is undeniable anymore.  Scenarios such as bosses give an order or work instructions on the phone, a teacher leave homework messages through Whatsapp group for students to finish their homework at home and a husband simply a message to his wife upon meals for the dinner are closest example that we can relate on how people nowadays occupied themselves with smartphones all the time.

In other cases, have we ever encountered in a restaurant where a group of youngsters are having their dinner, yet everyone is enjoying their “meals” with the smartphones? These scenarios are no longer unusual situation to be seen. However, there’s something more serious that we need to ponder and look into. Since the social media has taken place more than it supposed to be, the content of what users post in it might be abused by some people. The emergence of new media, especially the social media has taken the world of communication to other dimensions. Users are mostly occupied with their online social network and socializing among themselves virtually.

Research by Sirianni & Vishwanath (2012) suggested that online users now are becoming sexually self-produced materials which also known as sexually explicit user-generated content (SEUGC). SEUGC is defined as non-professional photos, videos or written messages (e-mail, instant messages, blogs, mobile phone text messages) that are created by individuals planning, soliciting or actually engaging in sexual activities for non-profit purposes.

In addition, some scholars have observed that the prevalence of sexual self-presentations on social media seems to reflect the prevalence of sexual messages in mass media content popular among adolescents (Vandenbosch et al, 2015). Literally, the content of social media that is controlled by the users itself became an explicit content as we can see many photos or videos posted in social media (Instagram and YouTube).

By looking at Social Cognitive Theory, Bandura (1978) explains that behavioral, personal and environmental factors influence people’s thoughts and behaviors simultaneously in a reciprocal fashion. Behavior is contingent on expected outcomes which represent what individuals might expect to achieve from performing a specific behavior and serve as motivators that guide people’s behavior (Sirianni & Vishwanath, 2012). The online users are actually been influenced by the social media society where there are users who posted their nude photos shamelessly and those who are seeing it repeatedly may be influenced by the behavioral and doing the same things. In Malaysia context, this is totally against what we practice in our culture and beliefs.

Bandura (2008) also finds that behavioral, cognitive and affective learning can be achieved not only direct experience but also vicariously by observing the actions of others and the outcomes that they engender. The online users find any post on nudity or sexual explicit may not be harmful as they’ve seen on the Internet and as a result, their actions of posting such photos or videos is harmless and they think they have the rights of doing so.

However, the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum (CMCF) has already provided the Content Code that we should abide. Under the Guideline on Content; Indecent Content states that materials which are offensive, morally improper and against current standards of accepted behavior including nudity and sex and Obscene Content are prohibited. Many users may not aware of this Content Code and they might be offended by any actions of such prohibited content.

Overall, the recent studies by scholars show that mainstream mass media content have the potential to stimulate adolescents to produce and distribute their own sexual self-portrayals (Vandebosch et al.,2015). As far as the SCT is concerned, the online users are influenced by the behavior they adapt through the social media society.

 

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It’s A Scam!

by Joven Junip

It’s a scam. A phrase we have heard very often because it means that someone had been scam out of their hard earn money. What is a scam? According to the Cambridge dictionary, a scam is an illegal plan for making money, especially one that involves tricking people. It involves tricking someone of their money in simple term. The Businessdictionary.com defined it as a fraudulent scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group, or company in an attempt to obtain money or something valuable. Scams traditionally resided in confidence tricks, where an individual would misrepresent themselves as someone with skills or authority i.e. a doctor, lawyer, investor. Now with this definition, it is clear to what a scam is that are hotly debated in our local and international media. In this era of information technology, more and more information is shared among those online, hence we are more vulnerable to scam. According to Dr. Frank Mcandrew, PhD, a psychology professor from Knox college, Galesburg Illinois in his article entitled “Why We Still Fall for the “Nigerian Prince” Scam” at phycologytoday.com gave a general reason on why we still fall for this kind of scam even though we are highly educated. He mentioned that most of us profess unrealistic optimism about our own futures, our grades will be better next semester, a new job will be much better than an old one, and our next relationship will be the one that lasts forever and research shows that we consistently overestimate our knowledge, our skills, our intelligence and our moral fiber. In other words, we truly believe that we are savvy and that nice things are likely to happen to us. In my own experience working for a government agency that handle bankruptcy in Malaysia, fear of the unknown seems to be the reason why many people fall to the scam. For instance, in May 2018, we received 6 complaints. That were from those whom had the ability to question the scammer and check with us about the call they received from the high court employee or from a prominent lawyer firm. In which that they’re told they have a bankruptcy case and have less than 3 hours to bank-in a certain amount of money to this particular account if they don’t want to be declared bankrupt. These people whom does not know how bankruptcy presiding are all about and fear of being declared bankrupt, would just pay that demand. There was never a case to begin with. Those who came to ask for explanation on the matter are the lucky ones to escape such scam but we wonder how many people that had actually paid the demand? Normally these people as Dr. Frank say, is overconfident on their own knowledge and skill, would never report the crime because again, fear of being ridicule by others for not being able to distinguish between a real issue and a scam. An article in The Star newspaper on 24 September 2018 written by Chelsea L.Y Ng and Fatimah Zainal about the scam that was reported in Malaysia recently which is known as the Macau scam. The victim who is an account executive admitted to embezzlement and indirectly cause her bosses to be sacked because the embezzlements. What she did all because of love towards a British man that she only met once. Due to the future romance, she was fooled into giving millions to the man in 2013. This is a classic case of the Macau Scam which in a way, a variant of the Nigerian prince scam. In my view, this is not a direct scam but poor choices of the victim to actually do an act of crime by doing embezzlement to supposedly help out her lover. She knows it was wrong even before she noticed it was a scam so why did she did it? Was it in the name of love? It was the poor choices of an uninform individual that created this situation. According to the Star journalist Malaysia that is said to be prime hunting ground for the Macau scammers. There are a few survivors of this scam whom aim individual ability to handle panic situations. Intimidating their victims is also another technique, claiming to be a police officer coming to arrest them. Senior citizen is also their main target because senior citizen thought to be more prone to panic and are not able to think straight at the situations. Countless reports had been done by victims from various country around the world, but the authority sometimes would never able to get the culprit because the criminal would have withdrawn the money right after the money is bank in and by the time the authority launch an investigation the account would had already been closed. To get those whom open the account to be charged with scam they would need evidence and normally the victim would only have the phone number which can easily change and register under a different name, account number which could already be closed. No paper trail because it was on the phone information and it was time sensitive actions. The criminal would They always use the time factor to trigger the panic and hence get the victim to comply to their demands. Another characteristic that the victims would easily fall to is their flimsy attention to detail. For example, if the scammer used this particular bank as his reference, those whom are sure they do not have any business with that bank would not have fallen for such tactics but then again if their doubt occurred because once they did apply for something but cannot remember when or if it ever got approved, this is when the scammer would have a door opening to grip the victim to believe their scam. Always understand the procedure of what the scammer are trying to convince you. Time is always a factor in the scammer plan, if they do not allow you time to gather information on the matter and even time to gather fund for example, it most certainly be a scam. More information is your amour against such scammer. Hence it would be worthwhile to invest in some time to understand how things work.

Bank Negara Malaysia: Malaysian Houses Are Not Affordable by most Malaysians. The reason why.

Written by: Mikhail Muttaqee Mahayudin

Figure 1: via NST

Bloomberg reported on 11 October, that most Malaysians do not have the capabilities financially to buy houses. As the homes that is sold on the market are too expensive.

“Rising home prices have added to the grievances of Malaysians grappling with the cost of living since a goods and services tax started two years ago, and as the government removes subsidies on daily items including petrol and sugar,” the report read.

Figure 2: via Bajet.com.my

Based on Bank Negara Malaysians (BNM), Malaysians are unable to afford houses is not due to the strict lending rules on loans but because the houses are not simply affordable. This was also mentioned by the previous government Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani speaks about the mismatch between housing and supply demand. Because of the oversupply of high-end properties which as a matter of fact what most Malaysians can’t afford. There is also no demand for it.

BNM with the launch of “Housing Watch” a platform that provides information on the issues of development related to the housing market in Malaysia. Consumers are provided with information that is related to policy measures and home financing assistance, among the platform. The data shown on the website is that loan approvals are for key cities that near 70% or higher. This further shows that the bank does not need to loosen the lending but actually to the effort for the property industry to cut cost according to the supply and demands.

The growth of household income does not tally with the growth of house prices. The demand for housing is greatly affected by the household income. But the household income is so much lower than the house price hence, some Malaysians could not buy a new house.

“It’s a tricky situation,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive officer of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs in Kuala Lumpur. “I don’t think it’s right to say that there’s no problem with financing. But lending rules have to be both strict and balanced at the same time, otherwise, we’ll have more non-performing loans and that is not good for anyone in the country.”

Comparing to global standards Malaysia was 4.4 times the median annual household income in latest available data, which make the housing market majorly unaffordable.  About half of the people living in Kuala Lumpur own a home Demand is set to rise: the median age of Malaysia’s 31.7 million people is 28 years and the nation’s urban population is growing at an average 4 per cent a year, among the fastest pace in East Asia, according to the World Bank.

The issue of not having enough income and houses being too expensive. The developers should focus on building houses which people can afford not building expensive houses and then tries to push the consumers to buy the houses. This is beyond some consumers to pay.

Some developers are slowly starting to fill the demand. Mah Sing Group Bhd, the nation’s third-largest, is selling apartments within 5 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur’s centre with prices starting from RM328,000 for a 650 square foot unit. That’s within the maximum price a family on the city’s median income could afford.

In order to overcome this issue to decrease the affordability, BNM proposed five strategies

  • Centralising affordable housing initiatives
  • Reducing the cost barrier to provide more affordable houses
  • Rehabilitate the household balance sheets by enhancing financial literacy
  • Improve the rental market by strengthening legal framework
  • Setting up a housing database and applicant registry to plan and allocate affordable housing

Therefore, if this problem is unchecked it will grow more over time. Let’s hope the authorities will implement the aforementioned strategies to overcome this issue and make houses in Malaysia more affordable.

Significant Comeback at a Significant Age : Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

by Anida binti Mohd. Tahrim

Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad is a figure who was born on July 10, 1925. Happily married to Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali, Tun Dr. Mahathir was a Prime Minister of Malaysia for a period of 22 years from 1981 to 2003, administrating Malaysia as the longest serving Prime Minister before the recent comeback. Tun Dr. Mahathir who was born and raised in Alor Setar, Kedah became a medical doctor and started his political career in 1946. In 1976, Tun Dr. Mahathir rose as the Deputy Prime Minister, and in 1981 Tun sworn as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Tun Dr. Mahathir however plunged a bombshell in the midst of the three days national conference of United Malays National Organization (UMNO) by announcing his resignation on June 22, 2002. This article will discuss various perspectives and angles on how the international media approached and evaluated this significant prolific individual, not to mention the success that he has brought to the opposition parties for winning the recent GE-14, but the opportunity to get to know also who is Tun Dr. Mahathir from their eyes of international media.

In 2015, Post Magazine, a British magazine which first published in 1840 posted a write up with a headline of “Why Mahathir Mohamad Can’t Keep Out of Malaysian Politics”. The article highlighted on how Tun Dr. Mahathir adapted to the life of an ordinary person the moment he stepped down on October 30, 2003. Tun Dr. Mahathir spoke to the writer, Chris Wright on June 20, 2015, 12 years after he has resigned as a Prime Minister that it was very unsettling for him to move away from a position of power to being just an ordinary person. Tun Dr. Mahathir even thought it was a good timing for him to relax and write his memoirs. Jokingly shared that he should retire and not to interfere in any political matters, knowing that policy is not implemented correctly triggered him to have his say. The discussion also led to a query on Tun Dr. Mahathir’s view on the freedom of the press. Chris Wright quoted Tun Dr. Mahathir explaining that there is no such thing as an absolute freedom of the press, not even in the most advanced countries in the world. Tun Dr. Mahathir emphasized that ‘there are things you just don’t say’ as it may destabilize the environment of a nation that has three races and 29 different tribes.

Due to the long tenure as a politician, his observation continues on any matter involving Malaysia political scene. The significance of his age has always been a part of news and media headline. Based on the article published by Mail Online on the 8th January 2018, with a headline of ‘Malaysia’s Mahathir, 92, Eyes Comeback in Opposition He Once Crushed’, Tun Dr. Mahathir was stated as a leader who is helming the opposition party that he used to opposed to when he was in power. Mail Online or also known as dailymail.co.uk is the website of the Daily Mail, a newspaper in the United Kingdom also wrote that Tun Dr. Mahathir is seen as the oldest leader who will be back to his post as a Prime Minister if his coalition party wins in the general election. In related to the success of the opposition party winning GE-14 headed together by Tun Dr. Mahathir, Bloomberg, a private media company headquartered in New York wrote an article with a headline of ‘Mahathir Wins in Historic Malaysia Power Shift’ highlighted that his objective is not to seek revenge but to reinstate the rule of law. Bloomberg also quoted a statement by Bridget Welsh, a political scientist at John Cabot University in Rome who specializes in Southeast Asia stating that the situation occurred is considered as Malaysian tsunami across the board and the country with Tun Dr. Mahathir as the game changer. BBC News through a news article on 7th May 2018 with the headline ‘Malaysia Elections: Could Mahathir Mohamad Make a Comeback?’ started the article with a description of a video where Tun Dr. Mahathir was looking in the eyes of a young Malay girl explaining that he is already old and has little time left to rebuild Malaysia, perhaps because of the mistakes that he has made in the past.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, a figura who is going strong at 92

 

With the victory of the historic GE-14, news of Tun Dr. Mahathir sworn as the latest Malaysia Prime Minister was published by many international media, highlighting his shocking comeback at his remarkable age, sworn based on a stunning result and the impact that he will implement as the latest Prime Minister. Financial Times on May 10, 2018 published an article with the headline of ‘Mahathir Sworn in as Malaysian Premier After Stunning Poll Win’, while Al Jazeera came out with a straight forward headline which was ‘Mohamad Mahathir Sworn in as New Leader of Malaysia’. The Telegraph concluded the ceremony by emphasizing Tun Dr. Mahathir’s age as the highlight of their headline, ‘Mahathir Mohamad, 92, sworn in as World’s Oldest Elected Leader After Shock Win in Malaysia’, while The Wall Street of Journal instilled an impact of foreign investment in Malaysia by sharing a headline ‘Malaysia’s Mahathir Sworn In, Signals Tougher Line on China’.

 

Tun Mahathir sworn in as Malaysia’s 7th Prime Minister