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Feb 17, 2008

The MOST Scary news EVER .....

The cyber troopers, under the supervision of Umno Youth executive secretary Shahrul Zaman Datuk Yahya (standing), hard at work checking the Internet for the latest updates.

The cyber troopers, under the supervision of Umno Youth executive secretary Shahrul Zaman Datuk Yahya (standing), hard at work checking the Internet for the latest updates.

IT is said the pen is mightier than the sword. But with the advent of information technology, the "pen" may have just been replaced by the innocuous keyboard.

Cyber troopers battle for voters

Today, news can travel around the world within seconds via the World Wide Web, with millions getting the latest information via the Internet.

Realising the potential of the Internet to get their messages across, political parties have begun to embrace the new technology, setting up websites where they provide updates on their activities and disseminate information about the party and issues affecting the country.

The public, too, has taken to the Internet, discussing issues and rumours in blogs and forums. With the general election set for March 8, comments, views and rumours are being posted in greater numbers and at greater speed.

Political parties are also logging on to blogs and forums to keep an eye on what is being discussed by the public so that they can get a feel of what moves the younger set, as most Internet users are said to be young people.

Freedom to post views and comments has also resulted in some people posting false information or spreading rumours.

To counter rumours and misinformation, some political parties have members on standby to post replies and counter arguments.

Umno Youth, for instance, has established a team of 30 volunteers to keep track of gossip on the Internet. Umno Youth secretary-general Da- tuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said these cyber troopers had been active since 2003.

"The level of activity increased when we realised the importance of fighting rumours, as a lot of accusations and half-truths are being spread via the Internet. We have decided to fight this cyber war head-on."

The team monitors the websites of opposition parties as well as those leaning in favour of the opposition.

"We monitor the contents of the websites and forward the information to our members via the short message service (SMS). We have close to 4,000 people nationwide in our database."

Abdul Rahman said as "undesirable elements" had been spreading rumours via SMS, the team had taken steps to counter these rumours via SMSes too.

On an average, the centre sends up to 40,000 SMSes to those in its database. Abdul Rahman estimates that this will rise to about half a million as the polling date nears.

"Those who wish to receive email from the command centre can email media.pemudaumno@gmail.com to be added to our database.

"The opposition always says the government is not doing enough. We give the people, especially the younger generation, the facts. The opposition can talk but these facts and the figures don't lie."

In 2004, the team provided a live webcast -- www.pilihanraya.cc -- on election updates and programmes where participants discussed issues pertinent to the polls.

The cyber troopers command centre, at the Umno Youth headquarters in Menara Dato' Onn, is under the direction of Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Gerakan Youth chief Datuk Mah Siew Keong said Gerakan Youth was also monitoring the websites to keep track of the sentiments of Internet users, especially the younger generation.

"We keep track of blogs as well. They give us valuable input on how we can counter some of the misinformation that is being spread. Our members do the monitoring.

"Our investigation shows that the Internet plays a major role in influencing people, especially those living in urban and semi-urban areas."

The DAP, too, is in the thick of things, keeping an eye on postings on the Internet to get feedback on voter sentiment.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the Internet allowed it to reach out to the urban constituencies. The party had even placed television commercials on YouTube.

"As broadband penetration has increased to a substantial level, it allows us to conduct an 'on-the-grounds' campaign. The Internet appeals to the urban constituency, which coincides with our profile."

No2umnO - Cyber Troopers in my kampung also called 'SERBA TERLUPA'.


Anonymous said...

bang, backup URL ade ke? kot kene hack yg nih camnerr....kalu nengok cyber trooper meno jawap kat forum grak reformasi, jwpn tak 'reconcile' dgn rupe bentuk cyber trooper meno nih...ui

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