DEAR EDITOR – Thanks for allowing me to write my views on some issues that are of interest. Two issues that have dominated our Media recently are the “proposed” extension of parliament and the security agreement with China.
As rural area resident, I see a lot of misinformation being circulated on these two controversial subjects and the sad thing is that it being absorbed by the rural populace and it is becoming a common discussion topic.
With the lack of proper and correct information in our rural areas, people cannot make proper judgement nor make informed opinions on such issues of national interest. Furthermore, they succumb easily to false information pedalled by “keyboard activists” through their social media platforms and various Facebook groups who have their own agendas.
In addition, comments in the media by political leaders, civil society, advocacy groups and individuals are vague and often get distorted by individuals who pass it on to others in their community. For instance, just the other day I overheard someone say that China is going to build a military base on Mary Island because it is uninhabited.
This information Gap is like a dangerous ticking time bomb. It must be addressed and diffused by relevant government authorities.
Government should use available community networks such as constituency committees, ward development committee, youth group, women’s group etc ..to explain in simple terms why it is undertaking this courses of action.
I believe that the rural population has the right to access this information.
First-hand information conveyed by our political leaders and their constituency staff on these issues will help to quell any doubts and stop misinformation that may later cause unwelcome problems.
In the past, such policy undertaking by past governments was never an issue with the rural people due to lack of information flow. Today we are all connected and this has led to another issue.
Rural dwellers are vulnerable and preyed upon by elites in pursuing their own agendas. Misinformation is being used as a propaganda tool and often rural dwellers support a cause without fully understanding it’s nature nor it’s repercussions. As such, they make unfounded, baseless and misguided comments when discussing these two issues.
In summary, reliable and factual information is important for everyone. Lack of information can lead to further confusion and increased problems in society. Please include as rural dwellers to access this information otherwise we will be led blindly again and again !!