COMMENT | “Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole on social media. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential customers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.” - Wikipedia
“A member of the executive branch of a government who has been appointed to the cabinet, the group of leading policymakers, advisers, and overseers of governmental departments who report to the prime minister.” - Wiktionary
“A conflict of interest (COI) is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, and serving one interest could involve working against another. Typically, this relates to situations in which the personal interest of an individual or organization might adversely affect a duty owed to make decisions for the benefit of a third party.” - Wikipedia
I’m sorry for starting out by quoting these definitions. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of Malaysians, both lay people and cabinet ministers, I feel that their ignorance requires that we define it clearly so that they understand the argument that I am trying to make here.
First of all, I will state the obvious. I strongly believe that a cabinet minister cannot use his or her influence to promote any business or corporation with the intention of increasing that business or corporation’s profit. That would be a conflict of interest because, err, just refer to the third definition above.
Let’s bring attention to the debacle regarding our Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, and local soft drink company Hausboom founder, Azri Zahier Azmi. Apparently, promises were made whereby the minister would promote Hausboom to the cabinet and on his Instagram page. And apparently, these promises were not fulfilled.
The war of words between the two individuals on social media and the news media has gone extremely viral. Of course, both defended themselves rather aggressively. But that isn’t the point, and neither is it important what both sides of the argument are. No one could care less about the details of who was right or wrong in their deal.
What is of significance is that all of these are just strong points that justify the fact that cabinet ministers should not be promoting businesses. It is problematic in so many ways. Not the least would be that it could create so many opportunities for it to be abused by both sides. Who is to say that there wouldn’t be any ‘under the table’ transfers happening?
I am not implying that this is the case with what has happened recently. All I am saying is that something like this might create the opportunity for it. If, in fact, there is an independent committee that determines who is deserving to be promoted by the minister and ministry, let the method of selection be transparent so the public can see it...
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.