KUCHING, June 25: Volunteers came to the aid of volunteers today as Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) donated 60 food packs to needy families through grassroots-driven community welfare initiative #JagaSamaDirik.
A community initiative supported by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), #JagaSamaDirik has been active throughout the movement control order (MCO) channeling much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontliners as well as food aid to families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s food contributions from the AZAM Sarawak organisation and its members will be distributed this weekend to 60 families in rural areas including Bau, Padawan, Samarahan, Serian and Asajaya.
”As a development communications NGO, it is our responsibility to help alleviate the economic repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent movement control orders, especially for the needy families,” said Acting Chairman of AZAM Sarawak Datu William Patrick Nyigor who handed over the food packs today.
For Jasmine Wong, person-in-charge of food aid by #JagaSamaDirik: ”Actually all the volunteers initially did not know each other however everyone showed wonderful initiative in donating and wanting to help this campaign. It is very heartwarming to know that the community is giving their support to us.”
”On behalf of SMA, we would like to recognise the collective efforts of our talented startup and tech communities, the hundreds of selfless volunteers across Sarawak, and the NGOs, including especially AZAM, for this organic effort to make a difference and support the frontliners, and our fellow Sarawakians. It is a testament to the unity that we have as Sarawakians, that we all try to look out for each other, to #jagasamadirik,” said Hazwan Razak, Head of SMA’s Digital Village Unit.
The food packs were made up of essential food items such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, crackers and noodles.
Established in 1983, AZAM Sarawak is a non-governmental and voluntary organisation which seeks to facilitate development efforts in Sarawak through development communication. Its target groups comprise community leaders, rural communities, youths and women, development front liners and government servants, media practitioners, school children and the general public.
AZAM members comprise development and communication professionals from the public, private and corporate, media and civil society sectors.
Also present during the handover were AZAM Sarawak Honorary Secretary Mohamad Ariff Irwani Azahari; Chairman of AZAM Sarawak’s Social and Community Development Committee Dominic Chuo and AZAM Sarawak deputy chief executive officer Rosalind Yang Misieng.
In the age of social media influencers, anybody with a smartphone has a thirst to be a content generator; to be an opinion leader; to earn money through likes and shares; to have a sexy Instagram, Facebook or TikTok account to earn money from.
Most of the time, however, we doubt our ability to produce content that people will be interested in.
Here’s where YouTubers like Sugu Pavithra and Dimas Pratama buck the trend, answering the question “What can I blog/vlog about?”
Dimas Pratama is an Indonesian oil palm estate worker. His first video “Trik muat sawit main tunggal” went live on Feb 22, 2018 and was viewed 3,587 times.
Since then he has garnered more than 170,000 subscribers and posted 396 videos (and counting).
To date, his most popular video is “Beginilah menghidup keluarga kecil ku” which was posted July 5, 2018 and has been viewed over five million times. It runs just shy of 5 minutes, and is just him loading the lorry with oil palm bunches against a very “menyayat hati” track.
Among the videos of his work on the oil palm estate are other videos offering viewers a slice of life for foreign workers labouring away in the out-of-sight oil palm plantations.
His channel is very much a personal vlog. Besides his daily work, viewers will discover the day he lost his job due to his YouTube channel, his last day at said job, saying goodbye to his wife as he leaves to work away from home in Malaysia, and even his first paycheque amounting to RM1,122 from his new employer at a Malaysian oil palm plantation.
So what is Dimas’ appeal?
He doesn’t follow any SEO formula, his videos go over the recommended 3-and-a-half-minutes length, sometimes the camera is shot vertically, other times his colleague’s fingers are on the camera lens, but he’s very honest and plainspoken, two values which appeal very much to the Malaysian and Indonesian masses.
His video “Gaji pertama dari YouTube di hambur2 kan” will give some insight on Dimas’ appeal to Malaysians and Indonesians as we see him donate part of his first YouTube paycheque to an orphanage and a portion to buy his son a bicycle.
On Mar 26, 2020 his wife took her turn to be featured on his channel as she unboxed his YouTube Silver Play Button which was sent to his home in Indonesia.
For those who don’t know, the rankings for YouTube Play Buttons are as follows:
– Silver Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 100,000 subscribers.
– Gold Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass one million subscribers.
– Diamond Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass ten million subscribers.
– Custom Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 50 million subscribers.
– Red Diamond Creator Award, for channels that reach or surpass 100 million subscribers.
What can we learn from vloggers like Dimas? Looking back at Era’s Fir Afandi and Afick Wazai who talked at the Sarawak SocMed Influencers programme jointly organised by AZAM Sarawak and Koperasi Belia Inovatif Sarawak (Kobis) in 2019, it’s about knowing your target market.
During their forum session, the men behind the aunties Mak Cik Bawang “Champion”, disclosed their own experience trying to win over the hearts of a Sarawakian audience.
According to them, Sarawakians like the everyday man. Thus, a content creator’s material has to be relatable to all levels of society and reflect Sarawak’s humble roots and culture, which can be seen with the popularity of vloggers like Ngektsai and the Mak Ciks themselves as they feature commonplace and ordinary people (with a twist).
A brief glance through the comments sections on Dimas’ own channel will show that viewers throughout Malaysia and Indonesia also share the same preference as they share how they are touched by Dimas’ humility and sense of gratitude.
He also shares a special something with established YouTubers, and that is authenticity.
YouTube channel “Sugu Pavithra” may have first begun on Jan 28, 2020, but housewife S. Pavithra, 28, and husband M. Sugu, 29, have already garnered 670,000 subscribers and more than 23 million views for their 80 over cooking videos to date, with the highest viewed being “KARI AYAM PENCEN PALING SEDAP” with 2.1 million views.
There’s no fancy camera work, only Pavithra’s pleasant voice as she eloquently delivers cooking instructions in fluent Malay as she and her husband prepare Indian fare together before sitting at the end to eat with their two boys.
Within the first four days of uploading their first video, they gained 5,000 subscribers, immediately becoming eligible for the YouTube Partner programme, allowing them to monetize their channel and help them earn an extra side income.
During the movement control order period, their family that resided at the estate where M. Sugu worked at resonated with many viewers who couldn’t travel or go shopping under MCO restrictions, on top of having to make ends meet during the global Covid-19 economic downturn.
The influencer marketing scenario
Upwards of 25 million Malaysians were on the internet for the year 2019, making influencer marketing essential for startups and businesses hoping to connect with the consumer market.
That being said, the Malaysian content market is still untapped territory, with the highest Malaysian YouTuber racking up to 2 million followers compared to 8 million by a Thai YouTuber.
When asked about what was behind the appeal for “Sugu Pavithra”, YouTuber Cardock (otherwise known as Fadhil Mohamad Isa) said that what made the husband-wife unique was their sincerity and authenticity, as well as Pavithra’s fluency in Malay which helped her engage with a broader audience.
“It’s as I’ve taught others in my courses before, it’s actually not that complicated; all you need is a YouTube account, just start creating your videos,” said the former TV9 news presenter.
“Be Malaysian,” was the advice from AnyMind Group’s Senior Influencer marketing strategist Bvern Yip to the next generation of influencers hoping to gain popularity and stand out among the 50 million creators on YouTube as of 2020.
She was speaking at the Sarawak SocMed Influencers programme jointly organised by AZAM Sarawak and Sarawak Multimedia Authority in collaboration with Koperasi Belia Inovatif Sarawak (Kobis) in 2019. Themed ‘Influencers with a cause’ the programme is part of the Sarawak government’s effort to promote digital Inclusivity and aimed to instil the first wave of social media influencers with emphasis on creating good and impactful content.
During the programme, Yip pointed out that the popularity and global recognition of Thai adverts and kampung-style cooking shows from Cambodia, Vietnam, China showed that there were no barriers to gaining worldwide viewership.
“Upgrade your production quality and content. Be more knowledgeable to attract your audience,” she said, adding that educational content like how-to videos, edutainment or content related to our daily lives like parenting, renovating, or mechanics are still lacking in the Malaysian content market.
YouTube content creators like Li Ziqi are proof that this formula works. Tapping from her own background living in rural Sichuan province, she documents her life in the countryside cooking the region’s fresh produce and making her own daily needs like furniture, or even lipstick, using traditional methods and relays it with stunning, tranquil visuals.
Today, this internet celebrity has 50 million subscribers from China, and 8 million from overseas.
Yip recommended the 5Ps for content creators: passion, positioning, production quality, price and professionalism.
The duo behind Mak Cik Bawang Champion Afick Wazai and Fir Affandi are also proof that working the local angle is a winning formula.
Era Sarawak radio deejays Fir and Afick, the men behind the very relatable makciks Kak Aji and Minot, had started making funny content and videos five years before, after meeting each other through radio.
Responding to a challenge by their management to increase their social media followers on Facebook and Instagram four to five years ago, they admitted that initially they didn’t know what video to shoot, but already had a following on radio for their humour and funny on-air content, which they brought into their videos.
They did 4-5 minute skits and then slowly built up the promotion and the engagement through FB and Instagram. Their FB page had more than 4,000 followers at first, and then it jumped to five digits after that.
Even though they hit their five-digit target by the end of the year, they realised that nothing really stuck in people’s minds even though they garnered a few hundred views and shares for their videos. But they weren’t memorable at the time. So they needed to find something that would make them recognised and easy to remember.
The Mak Cik Bawang Champion characters were an idea that came to them at the time while they were in the studio making a video for Era. They found a white fabric in the studio, which they still use to this day, and tapped into the typical Malay ‘makcik’ character, what they usually talked about, their mannerisms.
They filmed, edited and uploaded the 3-minute video (all by phone) at 5pm, and then discovered by the next day that it had reached 100,000 views.
They discovered that the video went viral when a lot of people shared the clip through WhatsApp and how people were describing it, calling it “champion”. They knew that the next video they made had to feature the word “champion”, and that is how their characters, Kak Aji and Minot, became celebrities.
Today Mak Cik Bawang Champion endorses a lot of products, and lot of people have said that their business has increased due to the coverage, which is the role that influencers play.
For those who wonder which way Sugu Pavithra will be going by the end of the year, so far the husband-wife YouTubers have received gifts from Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and a special mention during his speech announcing the Penjana Economic Recovery Plan on June 5.
On June 10, Pavithra and her husband announced that due to the conflict between their flourishing YouTube career and his work on the estate, he would be focusing fulltime on producing content for Sugu Pavithra.
1. Memandangkan PKP yang dilanjutkan selama dua minggu lagi sehingga 14 April, saya memohon kerjasama semua rakyat Sarawak untuk mematuhi PKP dengan terus berada di dalam rumah.
2. Sekiranya kita mematuhi dengan tegas kepada PKP, ada kemungkinan yang baik bahawa kita boleh membendung COVID-19 memandangkan kita terpisah dari Semenanjung Malaysia oleh Laut China Selatan dan ia seharusnya memberi kita kelebihan untuk menghentikan rangkaian jangkitan.
3. Pada Mesyuarat Keselamatan Negeri yang diadakan pagi ini, dua jawatankuasa kecil telah dibentuk, iaitu:
(i) Jawatankuasa Kecil Rantaian Bekalan Makanan yang diketuai oleh Timbalan Ketua Menteri, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan
(ii) Jawatankuasa Keselamatan yang diketuai oleh Timbalan Ketua Menteri, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr. James Jemut Masing
4. Kami (Kerajaan Sarawak) akan meningkatkan kawalan sempadan kita dan memantau lalu lintas orang di sempadan kita dengan negara jiran untuk mencegah “import” virus korona.
Pakej Pakej COVID-19 Sarawakku Sayang
5. Kita akan memantau dengan teliti kesan wabak COVID-19 terhadap orang awam dan kita juga akan memantau pelaksanaan pelbagai inisiatif ekonomi.
6. Kerajaan Sarawak akan mengkaji dari masa ke masa kesan PKP terhadap ekonomi dan akan berusaha untuk mencari penyelesaian bagi membolehkan rakyat kembali menjalani kehidupan biasa.
Penstabilan Transmisi COVID-19
7. Sejak pelaksanaan PKP pada 18 Mac 2020 hingga hari ini, tren transmisi COVID-19 (kes positif) di Sarawak didapati telah stabil, dan oleh itu saya merayu kepada semua rakyat Sarawak untuk terus mematuhi PKP dan tinggal di rumah.
DATUK PATINGGI (DR) ABANG HAJI ABDUL RAHMAN ZOHARI BIN TUN DATUK ABANG HAJI OPENG
KUCHING: In line with Sarawak’s Digital Economy strategy, virtual reality (VR) technology will become an increasingly important and accessible tool in various industries as we move towards realizing Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).
To become familiarized with the potentials of this technology in realizing Sarawak’s digital economy, Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak), Sarawak Development Institute (SDI) and Faradale Media-M (FMM) board members and staff organized a familiarization visit to D-Virtual Park on 10 March 2020.
To be officially launched on March 23, D-Virtual Park will be the first virtual reality (VR) theme park in Borneo.
Located at Serba Dinamik facilities and Smart Hub in Kota Samarahan, the site also houses the Serba DigitalX FabLab (community and innovation lab) and SDx Studio (co-working space) and are among the key developments of the Smart-Integrated Project that includes the one-of-a-kind D-Virtual Park, ESports Arena, and D-Tamu (digital kiosks for hawker centres and local traders).
“This is the new lifestyle and community hub that can boost creativity and innovation. Thus the establishment of Serba DigitalX (SDx) as an innovation and creative hub will become a hotspot for talent and creative community to work on projects and share ideas. This initiative will not only provide an ideal environment for makers, creators, innovators, but also position Sarawak as the preferred location for startups to grow globally,” said Abdul Qaiyum Alidin, General Manager (Operation), Serba Dinamik IT Solutions Sdn. Bhd.
D-Virtual Park offers a variety of VR entertainment including a VR Speed Cruiser, VR Elevation D’Luxe, VR Gyrate, VR Gatling Gun. VR Knight Rider, and many more.
“Besides being an amusement centre, the idea behind D-Virtual Park is to create an ecosystem for the younger generation to be able to channel their creativity and it will be beneficial for many people,” he said.
Apart from familiarizing members with the facilities, the visit was also to explore potential collaborations and linkages between Serba Dinamik and the greater AZAM group in future programmes and activities.
A total of 23 board members and staff of AZAM Sarawak, SDI and FMM participated in this visit and experienced the games available at the D-Virtual Park. AZAM Sarawak board members that attended included its Acting Chairman YBhg. Datu William Patrick Nyigor, Honorary Secretary Mohamad Ariff Irwani Azahari, board members YBhg. Dato Norhyati Mohd Ismail, Alice Wee as well as AZAM Sarawak and SDI CEO Lelia Sim and FMM Managing Director Dr Maria Corazon-Cortez.
It is understood that the official launch of D-Virtual Park will also see various Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed between Serba Dinamik and other agencies.
For more information, contact AZAM Sarawak Communication Officer Nissa Normin at 082-411799 or email email@example.com
Forty six representatives of the local community in Sarikei completed a one and half days workshop today called Randau Digital organised by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) in collaboration with the Sarikei Resident Office.
Closing the workshop at the Sarikei Innovation Centre this afternoon, Madam Felicia Tan, Resident of Sarikei called on the local communities in the division to equip themselves with digital knowledge and skills to participate in digital economy.
She urged the people to take advantage of Sarikei’s potentials as a Food Basket in central region to utilize digital technology and platform to improve the production and marketing of Sarikei’s food products not only locally but also internationally.
The participants comprise Ketua Masyarakat, Ketua Kaum, local entrepreneurs, and youths from Sarikei, Pakan, Julau and Meradong districts.
The workshop programme aimed to enhance awareness on digital economy among the local communities and, to encourage rural communities to take initiatives to ensure that their communities are digital-ready.
This programme featured speakers from various relevant agencies including a representative from SMA who spoke on Sarawak’s digital economy strategy. Meanwhile, a representative of Pustaka Negeri Sarawak spoke on community digital readiness – the involvement of community and library and, a speaker from CENTEXS that briefed participants on technical and digital training programmes offered at the institution. Participants were also exposed to the various steps towards becoming digital entrepreneurs (usahawan digital).
This programme is the third community engagement workshop organised by AZAM Sarawak this year, after the ones in Bintulu and Kapit divisions, as part of SMA’s Digital Inclusivity programme which was initiated in 2018 and will run until 2020.
This Randau Digital is also organised to coincide with Sarikei Division’s Pesta Nenas dan Buan-buahan 2019 which was held from 22 November to 1 December.
Advocating Development Communication for Greater People Participation