The handshake that draws criticism

Posted: 27 Feb 2014 10:04 AM PST

For the first time since taking over the Home Ministry 9 months ago, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi came under heavy attacks from pro-Umno social media players, just because he was the guest of honor and gave away prizes at the World Bloggers and Social Media Award 2013 event in the capital on Wednesday night.

He drew fury from bloggers (actually they were not informed nor invited, and they never heard of such an event) who thought the government was behind it.

Worst still was when he have away prizes to winners, including pro-Opposition news portal Malaysiakini which Zahid himself sharply criticised as 'propagating lies and racial sentiments' not long after the 13th general election.

His picture with Mkini editor-in-chief Steven Gan made some pro-Umno social media players that Zahid was having a change of heart about Mkini.

Some even pointed out that the event was organised by the Home Ministry when it was actually the work of one Malaysia Social Media Chambers and well-supported by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

I do not think Zahid's standpoint on Mkini and other pro-Opposition news portals and blogs has changed, and it was nothing wrong for him to give away the prizes at a 'social event'.

In his speech to the 300-strong crowd at the awards gala dinner, Zahid urged social media users to be truthful in their postings.

"Today, the entire pattern and mind shift of people are geared towards getting a collaborative effort to resolve issues," he said.

"I hope this healthy trend of being connected continues and people can blog freely, knowing what to express at the right place and time."


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