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Monday, March 13, 2006

Public voting in Malaysia

Want to tell your policiticians how you feel about certain issues?

In Malaysia you now can. The government launched its public opinion poll system last Saturday, making Malaysia one of the few countries in the world where opinion polls are conducted by the public sector. The public can vote via online webpages or SMS to state their opinion regarding certain issues.

This is really one of the first countries to embark on such a journey and is proof of the openness and transparency that the government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants to embark upon.

The question, however, is the workability of this initiative. Will the webpages be updated? Will they work constantly, even when many hits hit them throughout the day?

And, most important. What happens to the result? Such polls or initiatives create expectations. Will the public be informed about the results, the outcome and conclusions?

Overall, it is an interesting experiment. Clinton "ruled the US" successfully by getting in touch with the voters using Focus Groups. I wonder if the Malaysian government will succeed in this initiative.

(By Asia Business Consulting)