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Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Anwar Ibrahim’s Style Revisited: Never Stop Asking

In Blogging, Malaysia on October 1, 2008 at 11:49 pm

( I suggest you read this in stages as it’s a long one. Answering a simple question: Is Anwar our only choice? If not, what can you do).

On 25th Sep, I wrote a post about Anwar Ibrahim’s political style.

Briefly, my point was Anwar is an opportunist in politics. For all his reformer credentials, his ideology is closer to Bush and the neo-conservatives such as Wolfowitz, Cheney, etc. than a believer in constitutional liberty or liberalism.

The neocon government of Bush lied to the people and their Congress (our Parliament), imprisoned individuals on nothing more than hearsay in Guantánamo, dismissed public prosecutors who refused to bend justice and stood up against the White House, and, in recent days, belligerently asking for tolerance from the American people and support from Congress in the latest Wall Street crisis.

The American public knows how to stand up to their politicians – Bloomberg’s reporting on the recent USD$700 billion bailout plan:

The plan would benefit “a bunch of rich good old boys,” said Seattle bicycle messenger Mark Pilder, 39, on a break from his downtown deliveries. “They’re not going to lose money. They’re shifting the burden to taxpayers. The ones actually making the decisions aren’t in danger of losing any money.

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Blog – Short break

In Blogging, Malaysia on September 29, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Taking a break from the raging mediocrity in our ministerial Cabinet and as Malaysian blogs go into narcissistic navel-gazing mode: speculating about opportunists (unprincipled politicians) and who will be made next Emperor of Malaysia (next PM), I will be going off for a week.

Meantime, my posts on Anwar seem to be gaining notoriety and, in blogs, you have to read them chronologically for what I’m saying. You can click here if you want to.

As for Mahathir, here’s my posts.

If you find yourself all alone with nothing much else on, here’s my top 3 posts:

  1. For a better Malaysia – Tony Fernandez, Jeremiah and me;
  2. MalaysiaKini – remaining Web news after Malaysia Today?;
  3. Alternative vs Mainstream Media in Malaysia.

Finally, the next post will probably be a discussion of what one commenter, Outsider asked – one of which – Anwar is the best of the worst, what choice do we have?” See the comments in full here.

Simple, but good, question. May be difficult to answer for some. I will try next week – Monday, 6th Oct.

Meantime, Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysians.

“A matter of choice” / Updates / ‘kickdefella’ support

In Blogging, History on September 18, 2008 at 5:20 pm

A fellow blogger has commented that he just started a new one called Cendana Blues~Addicted to Politics. His other blog is: Recovery From Drug Addiction (in Malaysia).

As he made some comments here, I decided to reciprocate.

Here’s my post:


Hi Mat,

Saw your comments at my blog. Thought I’d put in a word or two.

In particular, you mentioned:

“Since politics is generally a dirty business, I’m gonna get dirty and be dirty too.”

Well, it doesn’t have to be dirty.

Those who stoop so low will always be caught – in Malaysia or elsewhere. Some may take longer – like Stalin, some quicker – like Bush. No one is an island.

Read the rest of this entry »

A new template / What just happened?

In Blogging, Malaysia on September 15, 2008 at 8:24 am

As you can see, this is a new template. For several reasons:

1) It’s a cleaner look. No more clutter on the wings.

2) Better navigation. All links are now below. The top links – words between vertical bars – are the new pages. Also, the ‘Home’ which was duplicated in the prior theme is now removed. The landing page should be obvious, “Our Table?” … or not.

3) As requested, I’ve added info on my background = “Who and Why”.

4) This theme is from Derek Powazek, an ‘old’ web designer (in internet years). He writes for A List Apart, one of the oldest blogging sites around, and one of the first sites based entirely on CSS. Very nice site.

5) I don’t normally use RED as the contrast colour, but in this case it sure works.

On Malaysia’s lack of integrity: Badawi really screwed it up over the weekend. It appears the POLICE decides who to detain? What about the A-G? What about the Cabinet? I’m not quite sure if the police force has the authority. I have not read the legislation, but delegating to the police is the lowest I have heard.

More importantly, amongst other absurd developments, ministers are now not making decisions on ISA matters because, get this, ‘we are politicians‘.

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20 years on – Malaysians still blinking like Magoo

In Blogging, Mainstream Media, Malaysia on September 12, 2008 at 5:48 pm

I know I said I’m going quiet.

But this is where we are today – 20 years after the dismissal of our Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas and 2 other Supreme Court judges (Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Seah).

A report was released 2 weeks ago, ‘Review of the 1998 Judicial Crisis in Malaysia (26 July 2008)‘ and 20 years on, Malaysians are still like blinking Magoo, the famously nearsighted character who always admonished himself, “Oh Magoo, you’ve done it again!”. Sound familiar?

Oh Malaysia, you’ve done it again Raja Petra of Malaysia Today was detained today under ISA (Malaysiakini).

There are many who see the event in 1988 as a political cause celebre – the famous Karpal Singh asking Mahathir to apologise, a blogger believing Mahathir has every right to condemn the report, and Malaysia’s Bar Council members posing for photos and getting authographs on the report.

Is that it? Politicians writing letters, Bar Council Presidents (current and former) taking photographs and others issuing statements? Let’s not pass the buck so much anymore, and raise the bar a little this time – let’s understand what happened in 1988 and repercussions it has on Malaysia today, 20 years later.

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Gone quiet

In Blogging on September 11, 2008 at 12:00 am

Think I’ve been a doing bit too many posts. Will be mucking around and rebuilding a few servers for awhile. Unless there’s something to blog about I’ll be doing the home project. Meantime, I’ve made my recent posts available on the top right.

The post “For a better Malaysia” is popular – click on ‘Disconnected‘ category on the left below to read.

Finally, I’m running out of ideas so anyone would like to give me requests / ideas / thoughts would be good. Don’t hesitate – have a go, tell me.


PS. Politically, it’s a mess at the moment, so I’ll post on politics after the dust settles.

Malaysia vs The World (Malaysiakini vs EFF)

In Blogging, Malaysia on September 10, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Dedicated to:

All in Malaysia who do not run online businesses and therefore might not appreciate the intricacies of network protocols, hacks, or web services:

Against anonymity: Generally, Malaysians – including Premesh Chandran of Malaysiakini – think it’s a form of cowardice because bloggers avoid disclosure of their actual identity on their blogs. This, he believes, is the same as not showing your idenity to our government. To this I say, its flawed thinking because, in Malaysia, the government requires less time than watching a Batman movie to figure out who you are for many, many reasons. Look, there’s no Data Protection Act, nor right to privacy in Malaysia. Hence, to claim you are releasing your actual name and thus is not a coward when criticising the government is just grandstanding. Our government knows who you are anyway. Nicknames, real names, false names are useless. The point: Don’t be fooled by grandstanding as you’re not anonymous to our government.

[NOTE: Updated 12th Sep, I know readers don’t normally read comments. Please note Premesh Chandran of Malaysiakini has commented on the above paragraph, pls see his point under the comments section]

What can you do? Unless you log in from jurisdictions with strong privacy laws, don’t for a minute think our government can’t figure you out. Even then, privacy is eroding in such places. Another way is counter-measures to anonymise your online surfing, but even if you use tor – they still might find out. So, you can’t do much.

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Malaysians, what do we want?

In Blogging, Malaysia on September 10, 2008 at 8:30 am

For several of my previous posts, I’ve fallen into a habit of emphasising letters written to Malaysiakini because they are well thought out and makes a point. So, here we go again.

A well-written letter at Malaysiakini by Keith Leong, ‘Reject Sectarian Violence‘, has made several points which all of us can be proud of.

The most important is in the middle where Keith says:

What is necessary for the creation of a just and unified Malaysia is a citizenry that is active, virtuous and conscious of both their rights and responsibilities.

So, as a duty and responsibility, I will take up the challenge of UMNO Youth Secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, when he said on 8 Sep 2008 (The Star), there was ‘deafening silence‘ on the inappropriate actions by Anwar to become our next Prime Minister. Abdul Rahman also asked:

Where are the voices of NGOs, Bar Council and bloggers who had voiced loudly the need to protect the rights of people?

My posts on the irresponsible words and actions of Anwar Ibrahim are here, here and here (chronologically). More importantly, I have also questioned our current Prime Minister here and our former Prime Minister here.

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Malaysiakini and The Nut Graph – same old, same old

In Blogging, Mainstream Media, Malaysia on September 9, 2008 at 3:54 pm


Had a funny one and a half day, running around with my electricity provider. Thought I had missed my bill payment (which I did) but it wasn’t that, just a crocked fuse. Anyway, I paid them $600 for a few months – think I’ll need to learn to generate electricity just to stop myself going broke.


Right, let’s get to the point.

Read an article at The Nut Graph, ‘Net TV: Does it click?, which I found quite boring and that’s their choice but anyway, I then saw a comment which basically questioned the relevance of The Nut Graph. Jacqueline Ann Surin, the vaunted editor at The Nut Graph gave the commenter ‘daniz’ quite a retort. So, in the interest of having open exchange, I did my bit.

Here’s my comments to the guys at The Nut Graph and the Jacqueline Ann Surin:


Hello – The Nut Graph and Jacqueline,

I read your article on Net TV and the first question I ask is: how many? How many readers of Nut Graph actually watch programmes online? We don’t have the bandwidth, and frankly, I am not sure most users have an idea of what’s available online in general.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alternative vs Mainstream Media in Malaysia

In Blogging, Mainstream Media, Malaysia, Online on September 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm

A recent report by Malaysia’s Center for Independent Journalism shows that local mainstream media has lost credibility. This is a short excerpt:

The survey revealed that Malaysians were critically assessing the content of the local mainstream media, upon which the majority relied heavily as sources of information. Asked to rate the performance of the mainstream media according to six indicators—ethical, variety of opinions included, variety of issues covered, objectivity, fairness and truthfulness—only 56 percent said they were all met; the figure plummetted to 35 percent when it came to fairness of reporting.

Full report available online – with pdf download at the bottom of the page (beside pics).

In terms of market share, this graph from Google Trends (beta) show that MalaysiaKini is doing exceedingly well. It’s ‘daily unique visitors’, particularly in the past 6 months, is indicative of Malaysians seeking alternative sources of information.

Here’s the graph: Read the rest of this entry »

Raja Petra’s Malaysia Today

In Blogging, Malaysia on September 4, 2008 at 8:00 am

There’s a strongly worded statement out by the Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday and that’s not good for Malaysia:

“The Malaysian government has reneged on its pledge not to censor the Internet by blocking Malaysia Today, and we call for the order to be immediately withdrawn,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s Asia program consultant. “Online curbs have no place in a democratic society.”

From what I gather, it was one article at Malaysia Today that attracted comments which were deemed to be offensive, seditious … or whatever term Badawi’s MCMC uses nowadays.

As this will be a short post, just one question: ever heard of proportionality?

On a more positive note, I believe bloggers of Malaysia are working towards a self-regulatory regime (i.e. Code of Ethics for Malaysian Bloggers), though I don’t have much info on this. This seems a good idea and none too late as any self-respecting profession always does.

As the blog count go up in this country and everywhere else, we seek greater freedom to voice our concerns as a right. Yet, it is also our duty to speak up responsibly. Why else would bloggers tell truth to power?

Finally, the 2008 Memorandum on Media Freedom need your support.

Raja Petra’s lot – see Messrs Brown and Lee’s new media

In Blogging, Malaysia on September 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm

So much happened over our 51st Independence celebration weekend, from the racist remark in Penang, to MCMC taking on Google by banning Malaysia Today (and another 126 sites), to Badawi’s cries for unity (IHT).

To MCMC and Raja Petra’s friends and supporters:

If we were not dismissive of Singapore, we could learn how culturally similiar societies deal with their civil society issues, as they too face restrictions on free speech but they get smart and learn faster. If ony Khairy, Badawi and friends try to do the same.

A succint and intelligent post of Mr Brown about our kin/friends/neighbours down south, instead of that lazy, populist and humdrum Khairy Jamaluddin.

Wished I had it that easy at Oxford.

Blogs and Commenting – Valuing Free Speech in Malaysia

In Blogging, Online on August 30, 2008 at 10:06 am

Funny thing, receiving comments on the blog. I look forward to feedback, but when I get some, I’m disappointed.

The blogosphere is a community of individuals voicing their opinion via the web. We all want to be heard because we care about whatever we blog about, some care about it more, some less. We believe we can make a difference because of the interaction from the community of bloggers and readers, which, compared with traditional publishing is extremely cheap. Hence, when readers respond, the only issue is, have they read the post. Because, if they haven’t, why comment on it?

Which brings me to a comment I received on my last post, ‘Taking sides‘.

It started off with the following declaration: “Freedom of speech Is not freedom to be heard.” Then it rambled on with demands after demands with some questions thrown in for good measure and finally damning the guy I’ve been blogging about.

You know what? Stop.

First, not everyone is sufficiently inspired to blog and that’s fine. But if you believe you have a right to be heard, then you do it, as I do. To start off your comment with ” … not freedom to be heard (sic)”, what do you think I’d do? So, please think clearly, then put your thoughts into words in relation to the post. If you do not care enough to put in the effort to make your point, then I certainly would not bother to read your comment.

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