How Is Edisi Siasat — The Malaysian Watchdog Account — Spreading on the Internet Like Wildfire?

Twitter is the new frontier for the press. It is an open platform where anyone can post anything. But this also means that the public is also allowed to be a watchdog.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Recently, the Twitter account named ‘@edisi_siasatmy’ posted a report of alleged corruption within the ranks of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM); specifically, it claims that a handful of senior PDRM officers are involved in cases of malpractice, abuse of power and corruption.

The expose is said to have been sourced from anonymous whistleblowers.

It is said that the PDRM is currently investigating the authenticity of the report, but the fact remains that the storey is already being widely circulated on the Internet.

This begs the question, how is Twitter becoming the new medium for news dissemination?

Is it because of the anonymity of the platform, allowing the user to remain anonymous while posting their message, thus making it difficult to trace back the source of the information?

Or is it due to the ease with which one can post messages on the microblogging site, which allows anyone to send out a tweet without having to go through any verification process?

In the past, the only way to get your voice heard was to write letters to the editor, which would then be published in newspapers. However, this method of communication is now being replaced by social media.

Social media has become the preferred mode of communication, especially among young people, as it is more convenient, faster and cheaper than traditional methods of mass communication. Citizen journalism is also gaining popularity, as the public can easily share stories on the Internet.

Edisi Siasat My is a Malaysian corruption watchdog group, which is said to have been set up to investigate and expose corrupt practises within public institutions. The account is said to be composed of ordinary citizens who are fed up with the lack of transparency in the government.

Such groups, which are usually formed by disgruntled individuals, are known to be highly critical of the government, but they do not necessarily have the backing of the general public; they are often seen as being on the fringe of society.

However, this particular group has gained the support of many Malaysians, who believe that the PDRM is not doing enough to curb corruption.

This scenario brings hope to the common man, who believes that the government will be held accountable for its actions.

But what is the truth behind the allegations made by the Twitter account? Is the information true or false?

The downside of a free press is that it can be used to spread malicious lies. The PDRM must be careful to ensure that the information being disseminated is true; otherwise, the reputation of the police force could be tarnished.

If the allegations are proven to be false, those involved should be taken to task.

But all-in-all, the spread of information on social media is a good thing.

It is a sign of the times, where information can be shared instantly and freely across borders. With whistleblowers like Edisi Siasat My, we can be sure that the public has a voice in the corridors of power.

After all, the Fourth Estate, the press, is the guardian of democracy: it is the watchdogs of the people.

And if the PDRM is unable to prove the authenticity of the information, it should be prepared to take legal action against the person who posted the statement.

There is a saying by the great George Orwell, “In this country, intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.”

I am sure that this is also true in Malaysia; the public is becoming increasingly aware of the need to be vigilant in the fight against corruption.

The tool of the trade for the modern day journalist is the internet. And with the advent of the internet, the role of journalists is changing.

Journalists are no longer just reporting the news but also becoming active participants in the process of gathering information and spreading it.

In the past, journalists were passive observers of the events around them; a top-down approach.

Nowadays, the media is more interactive. The public can now be part of the story.

With the help of the internet, the public is able to be an active participant in the process of gathering information and sharing it with the world.

This is called ‘citizen journalism’: the practise of using the internet to gather information from various sources, including social media, and then publish the information on the web.

It is my hope that the citizens of Malaysia will continue to be vigilant, and use the power of the internet to hold their leaders accountable.

We must not let the corrupt remain unchecked.

Let us all be the eyes and ears of the nation.

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