Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New colonialism in the Internet era

Salleh Said Keruak

To relate the history of colonialism would require a thesis and can never be given justice in a short Blog posting. I shall try, however, to explain in the shortest possible manner why the world and countries like Malaysia face the danger of being colonised and what form of colonisation we are talking about.

In the past, for more than 2,000 years, colonisation has always been through military intervention or occupation. However, the Emergency in Malaya, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, etc., showed that military might was no longer enough. It takes more than guns to dominate a country.

While the US used the military to fight the Korean and Vietnam Wars without much success, the British successfully used the fight to win the hearts and minds of the people. And that is why Malaysia is not a Communist State today, one of the few countries to win the war against Communism.

Malaya was too important to the British and they could not afford to lose this prized colony. Britain was practically bankrupted by WWII and Malaya contributed to two-thirds of the British economy. Without Malaya Britain would have taken a far longer time to recover.

Today, military occupation can no longer be applied. The superpowers need to colonise countries such as Malaysia through economic domination and through what some would crudely call ‘mind control’. You need to dictate public opinion and guide the thinking of the people. And with the popularity of the Internet this becomes possible.

The media -- plus the banks, of course -- is very crucial to what we can consider this new form of colonisation. It is basically colonisation of the mind. It worked 100 years ago when the west first embarked upon controlling a country by determining how its people think. And nowadays all it needs is the media, the social media included, to bring down countries if the right strategy is applied. 

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