Sunday, June 1, 2008

Be Independent, Online Opinion Pollsters Urged

By Lim How Pim of Borneo Post
Posted by Violet Yong
30th May, 2008

Yong advises operators not to be biased or only favour certain parties

KUCHING: Organisations offering online opinion polls will only be seen as credible if they are unbiased and do not favour certain parties, said Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.

FIRST TO HIT: Yong works the mouse to launch Pollster Sdn Bhd. Standing at right is Pollster director Goh Yong Tat.

She said operators of such online services must act independently and handle questionnaires and views as well as polls results in a way that these would serve as reliable public reference.

“What I would want is for all independent views collected to have no biased editing. The survey must be done without fear or favour so that more people would want to give their views and suggestions,” she said when launching Pollster Sdn Bhd, a home-grown polls and opinion survey company at Jalan Pending here yesterday.

Yong felt that criticism received should be seen as constructive means for various agencies, be they public and private organisations, to improve their services for the betterment of the community.

“Those agencies involved must view the results of the polls as constructive criticism. We will then be able to improve from mistakes,” she said, adding that continuous monitoring of public opinion was necessary to ensure greater flexibility in action and decision making.

She thus called on the people to make full use of the online mechanism to enable their voice to be heard ‘loud and clear’.

Noting that Pollster would conduct surveys without any personal overtone, besides offering reliable feedback for all, Yong said respondents should stay away from vicious personal attacks and be sincere in their views.

She was also pleased that the company had engaged a team of analysts and activists to identify national and local issues for the setting of questionnaires while results would be published live on the site.

Yong, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) woman affairs committee member, said Pollster should not be linked to any political parties so as not to be viewed with doubts.

“It is very important for this sort of companies to be independent and unbiased. When reliability is a question mark, it will be useless to go on,” she said, adding the online-survey company would serve as another cost and time effective portal to gather public views given that almost everyone used the Internet nowadays.

Meanwhile, Pollster Sdn Bhd’s polling system ensures confidentiality of votes cast through cyberspace on various political, economical, social, religious and environmental issues and concerns.

Its first topic touches on local government such as matters pertaining to appointment and election of mayors, councillors, additional costs in local council election process and grading of councils.

One of the upcoming topics will be on calls for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down as Prime Minister and Umno president.

Other topics which Pollster include are wealth distribution, transparency, human rights and the law, crimes, education, religion, significance of various political parties, alternative media and lifestyle.

The company also carries out marketing surveys for commercial products and services on a confidential and non-disclosure basis. These surveys could also be conducted through phone calls and short-messaging service (SMS).

Intending members of the public can register at while public comments and feedback can be delivered to

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