I usually can be persuaded to see reason, but this is not one of those times.
The reader's comment:
The updates of PM's official appointments will be in the email, opinion polls will be conducted via email. You'll also be invited to dine with the PM as his FB Friends have enjoyed. An email between PM, Government and The Prople.
What's so hard to understand it's functions? The entire government will pay a listening ear and update you on national matters. It's an effective means of communication with every individual rakyat. There will be times that you need to deal with a government agency, the email will help you because you'll have excess to the relevant department and get updates.
My response to the comment:
I don't deign to speak on behalf of anyone else but myself. So here is my two sen worth.
1. There is no way that I would want to dine with the PM. There is absolutely no need to. He is not a celebrity, but merely a civil servant who should be carrying out his official duties (which by the way, do not include wasting public funds).
2. If there is a facebook page for his fans, it would be redundant to have email to communicate with his non-fans, unless he is trying to win us over for political purposes. In that case, it is illegal to be using government funds for personal interests.
3. Opinion polls can be conducted on the PM's blog. Anyone wishing to give any feedback would be able to do so on the official site. Bear in mind, feedback can sometimes be negative (even though constructive) and most companies do this under conditions of anonymity. An email address would ensure only positive comments see the light of day.
4. As for its functions, updating us on national matters is what the newspapers should be doing, only they were not so biased. If an email account was necessary for a citizen to be updated, we would be doing those with no internet access a great disservice indeed.
5. "The entire government will pay a listening ear.." That statement nearly had me falling off my chair from laughing. For a moment, I thought the reader was being extremely sarcastic. Whatever this current government may be described as, it is not a "listening" government. Most governments around the world sit up and listen when its citizens take to the streets. This government tear-gasses them and sprays them with chemical-laced water.
6. As I have briefly mentioned earlier, access to relevant departments within the government is already available via the official website. All they need to do is to create a feedback form.
I appreciate that some readers are able to see the other side of the coin and perhaps play devil's advocate as well, but one must not be naive and gullible to the workings of the government.
At the end of the day, most Malaysians know that the government undertakes projects based on how much personal interest is at stake, not the best interests of its citizens.
This is about making money.
The company that secured the project of developing the email system has even admitted that this is a financial lifeline for it.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Tricubes Bhd admitted today the 1 Malaysia email service is a financial lifeline for a company at risk of being delisted from Bursa Malaysia, adding it is targeting 5.4 million subscribers without a guarantee the government will use it.
When there are free webmails available like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and so many others, spending millions of ringgit to develop email accounts is an utter waste of public funds.
It really is like trying to sell ice to an Eskimo, as one critic put it.