REACHING politicians to hear their thoughts or highlight your problems has never been so easy.
Just log on to Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/) and you can find many of them giving their opinion on current issues, telling their followers where they are and what they are doing.
Topping the list is none other than Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) with 33,000 followers.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek (@drchuasl) — who had earlier urged every MCA leader to join Twitter — tweets actively, too.
The ministers who are making their presence felt on Twitter include Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (@ Hishammuddin), Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (@liowtionglai), Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil (@ ShahrizatJalil), Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong (@ weekasiongmp), Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin (@ Peterchinfahkui), Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (@ MukhrizMahathir), Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Gan Ping Sieu (@ganpingsieu) and Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong (@chuaty).
Among the MCA leaders who have joined the bandwagon are former Subang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng (@hwabeng), former Wanita MCA chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Pandan MP Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat (@talk2otk) and MCA presidential council member Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn (@fongchanonn).
Twitter is not always about serious issues for Selangor MCA Youth Chief Dr Kow Cheong Wei (@drkowcheongwei), who sometimes tweets about his plants and fishes.
To him, Twitter provides an interaction without border. He can discuss his political views and send out motivational words or wishes to his followers.
On politicians from both sides criticising each other on Twitter, Kow said he would not support meaningless quarrels.
“Politicians should challenge with facts, debate on differences and display their talents while at it,” he said.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (@Khairykj) interacts heavily with his followers, while MIC Youth chief T. Mohan (@MohanThangarasu) sets an example for his youth members in using Twitter to disseminate information.
“My youth and Putera boys are very active on Twitter. I monitor their tweets although I don’t always reply. But when there is a need, I answer their questions.
“Twitter makes it easier for them to get some important facts and data from the party leaders,” he said.
He added that he used Twitter to counter allegations towards MIC and Barisan, besides keeping himself updated with the happenings around the world.
“Twitter also provides a platform for transparent and open discussions,” Mohan said.
Former Kelana Jaya MP Loh Seng Kok (@ LohSengKok) likes Twitter as it is a speedy and straightforward way to reach out to his friends.
“I joined Twitter just recently to keep track of the “most talked about” topics and to get the latest news even before it is published in the news portals.
“For me, I mostly tweet about political and social issues. On Aug 27, I tweeted that the Constitution of Malaysia came into force on that day 53 years ago, which was an interesting information to share with all,” he said.
In addition to those who were mentioned in an earlier story (Staying updated through social media on Jan 30), the MPs and assemblymen in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor who have joined Twitter are Klang MP Charles Santiago (@MPKlang), Hulu Selangor MP P. Kamalanathan (@PKamalanathan), Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo’ Lo’ Ghazali (@Docmarjan), Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (@DrDzul), Selayang MP Willian Leong (@Selayang97), Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah (@n_izzah), Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng (@limlipeng), Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah (@SivarasaRasiah), Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San (@ lauwengsan), Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan (@mallaw), Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah (@Ean_Yong) and Teratai assemblyman Jenice Lee (@jeniceleeyh).
Seputeh MP and Kinrara assemblyman Teresa Kok (@teresakok) said she was influenced by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang (@limkitsiang) to start tweeting.
“Lim was the one who got us started on emails and blogs years ago. Lately, he always talked about Twitter and it caught my interest and so I decided to find out for myself what it is all about,” she said.
She provided updates mostly on her whereabouts, the press conferences she had, her thoughts on current issues and if time permits, her jogging sessions.
“I try to avoid fiery arguments on Twitter. It is for me to share what I see, feel and think for my friends and followers to know me better,” she said.
Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo (@GobindSinghDeo) agreed that some people abuse Twitter.
“We listen when there is constructive criticism and refrain from engaging in unnecessary conflicts,” he said.
The Twitter user since April added that he liked Twitter for its spontaneity and convenience, besides updates that were informational, short and straight to the point.
Some councillors, too, make use of the social networking and microblogging service. They use Twitter to provide updates relevant to their jobscopes and programmes initiated by the councils, among others.
Councillors who can be found on Twitter include those from Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) Sufari Tinnin (@joe_Sufari) and Dr Loi Kheng Min (@kmloi), Petaling Jaya City Council Tiew Way Keng (@ TiewWayKeng) and Latheefa Koya (@ LatheefaKoya).
MPSJ councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran (@rajiv4malaysia) said Twitter is a fast and easy way to communicate with the residents.
“Sometimes, the residents also highlight their problems to me through Twitter,” he said.
Source : The Star