Nazrudin Habibur Rahman

‘It’s a double-edged sword’

Nazrudin Habibur Rahman, the TV3 host of Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan, tells Amalina Kamal that social media can both unite and break us apart.


1) HOW DO YOU VIEW THE WORLD TODAY WITH TECHNOLOGY AT PLAY?
With open arms and quite a bit of apprehension. Growing up during the days of dial-up connections and the excitement of setting up my first email address, it’s remarkable that we have achieved so much progress in the past 25 years. The world (today) is your oyster!

Although there have been inspiring breakthroughs for society to benefit from, thanks to the innovations available, our lifestyle is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways.

Social media and the freedom to say what you want, regardless of the consequences, have just as much potential to both unite and break us apart.

Looking at what’s trending nowadays, it seems our youth are more set on highlighting each other’s differences.


2) HOW WAS IT WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED YOUR CAREER BEFORE THE INTERNET BOOM?
My first television stint was for a local Disney programme on TV3. We used to get three sackful of mails from across the country every week, from letters and pictures printed on photo paper to artwork and sketches (mostly of my trusty stuffed ladybug co-host Bubub) — all of which I cherish.

I still remember the day I announced to our viewers proudly . “Kelab Disney Malaysia now has email” but, after a few months, nothing beats opening a handwritten letter because it’s personalised.


3) HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOU WANT TO TURN BACK TIME?
Indeed I have. My children live in a world much different than mine. I pity their generation, building character in a virtual world, to be subject to so many dangers online, to make important decisions at a young age and follow rules they don’t understand.

My hope is that my children become good people and help others who cannot help themselves.

They are growing up in an era where instant gratification is the norm, which is why they must learn to be mature, even before they understand what maturity means.


4) WHAT WAS YOUR ONE SOCIAL MEDIA NIGHTMARE?
My comment on the recent arson case of a tahfiz school was horribly misinterpreted. Netizens went nuts and some even said horrible things about my family. I refuse to delete the insults. If my children read them one day, they will learn that the ill language is not acceptable, online or in real life.

It’s best to be real on social media. I do portrayals when I work in front of the camera and so the last thing I want to do is to fake it on social media.

To be honest, I was quite late getting on the bandwagon. My trusty compatriot, Daphne Iking, set up my Instagram account. Since then, I’ve more or less treated social media as my journal and only share significant parts with fans.


5) WHAT IS/ARE THE DIGITAL TOOL(S) YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
My smartphone and GoPro. Production folks and cameras cannot be separated!


6) WHAT TECH-BASED INNOVATION WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE?
I would love a fridge with an Internet connection that will remind me when supplies are low. Even better, it can automatically order from the supermarket where the items are delivered within a day. That would be awesome!


7) WHAT GO-TO FOODIE APP OR WEBSITES DO YOU RECOMMEND?
The Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan application. I cover more than 150 restaurants throughout Malaysia each year and I have been doing this for five years straight!

We are still working out the kinks and bugs but the JJCM app will host an extensive database of local eateries.


8) WHAT ARE THE WEIRD INTERNET TRENDS YOU HAVE STUMBLED ON?
Nothing is too weird for me, but taking pictures/making videos that endanger your life. that gets my goat. People are literally dying for hits! A popular YouTube star just got arrested for shooting her boyfriend point-blank (that is surely manslaughter) just to get views and hits!


9) DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE YOUTUBE CHANNEL?
National Geographic for my love affair with nature, Monster Bug Wars and EvanTube.


10) WHAT’S THE ONE MOMENT WHEN TECHNOLOGY TOOK YOU BY SURPRISE?
I was in South Korea and visited the bathroom for the first time.

There was this panel there that was really high-tech. After some experimenting, I learnt how to navigate it. I’d say that a smart toilet is definitely needed in every home!

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