Sunday, April 13, 2008

Blogs: A Lethal Weapon?

I was about to do something else online when I came upon this posting in Laman Marhaen about a blogger from Melaka, and I found myself the want to write about it and dropping everything.

Blogs, as one ameno minister once said, "are the domain for housewives and the unemployed", or something along that line. The statement was off course not true but the minister or rather, ameno, just had to find a fault or two with bloggers whose influence was far more reaching than the traditional media which consist of Press and Broadcast. And the bloggers referred to by the minister were people like Rocky's Bru, Roslan SMS, Penarik Beca, People's Parliament, Maverick, Al-Husseyn, and quite a number more - normal everyday people who were hitting out at the government, namely ameno. Though the main battleground for the General Elections were still conducted on the ground - closed-door ceramah, house-to-house visits, and even the Print and Broadcast medium, its shift towards the Internet users was fast and rapid and the PRU12 proved to be the Baptism of Fire for not only those said bloggers, but the Internet as a medium for the dissemination of news to the public. Could it - the Internet - challenge the Print and Broadast, was the question on many political analysis's lips.

Post PRU12 now has shown that though the Internet penetration level in Malaysia still leaves much to be desired, it - like a newly introduced weapon in any war - could and did wreak havoc on the BN and had their propaganda machineries torn to shreds! How could this be? How could individuals who were not even working in unison with each other, defeat the well-oiled propaganda machineries of the BN which employs literally thousands of people, some state-of-the-art equipments, and hundreds and millions of ringgit just to finance their messages to the mass?

Perhaps, the public were simply awed by this 'new-found' toy. Perhaps, they were mesmerised by the writing skills - the simplicity of language and the audacity of the writers. Or perhaps, just like the shock-troopers of conventional warfare who put fright into their enemies, these bloggers literally shocked a somewhat docile public with the truths of their revelations. Well, rather the opposite to the shock-troopers, but it worked all the same.

Now, before I carry on, let me assure you that in no particular way am I going to asses into the situation above. This entry is with regards to a particular blog and how the owner-writer and his ilk are trying to emulate the success of the prePRU12 bloggers.

Quite recently, some BN top goons, oops, rather impolite of me, I apologise. What I mean to say is, some BN top goons admitted their oversight in recognising the Internet as a medium for news dissemination, or perhaps in their case, propaganda dissemination. Their huffs and puffs having been largely ignored, that they literally cried foul over not only the bloggers, but also the success of alternative parties usage of the Internet, even calling the PRU12 as 'Not A Level Playing Field' (read here). Imagine: abuse of public funds and machineries(RTM, various ministries equipment and manpower), daily prints and publications as well as radio and television networks that can reach out to millions, against the Internet penetration in Malaysia which is still very much limited in coverage, and with many individuals who were not even paid! That, is what those goonies are calling as 'Not A Level Playing Field'. Hmm...quite similar to the illegal regime in Middle East are saying about having to fight the Hamas and the Hizbollah! Maybe it slipped the regime's mind that they are getting something like US10b financial aid ANNUALLY from the US, mainly in the form of latest weapon technology.

Or perhaps the Gulf War is a more suitable way of looking at it, where after a decade of food, medicine and weaponry blockade, the US, aided by many countries invaded Iraq! Post invasion, the US Military said "it was a tough war"; could it have been any easier? I'm digressing, pardon me.

Post PRU12. Now perhaps slightly the wiser, the BN finally acknowledges the lethality of the Internet and are encouraging their leaders and supporters to utilise it as well. Great! Apart from the television, radio, daily prints and periodicals, abuse of state's funds, machineries and manpower, now they resort to the Internet! Will the field now be even? I don't think so.

Blogs and sites are, as mentioned earlier, a form of weapon, or could be likened to it. In the hands of a master or equally versatile person, it can wreak havoc on the enemy lines. But in the hands of a lesser, it can be self-destructive!

Take the former MB of Selangor, for instance. Personally, I have not been to his blog, nor do I care to. On the first day it was announced to the public, I read it received something like 650 comments from readers. On the second day, it was about 300. Then, on the 3rd day, there were about 50 only, a far cry from the first day! Now I have not heard about it since. Could the declining popularity be due to perhaps the lack of substance in the blog? Wait, who were the people who commented there? Were they supporters, or were they critics? Irrespective. Back to the declining popularity of the blog, perhaps it was 2 things combined: lack of substance and critics? I couldn't care less, I'm glad to say.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, this entry is about the blogger from Melaka. No, its not DocTA, as he is one of the likable bloggers from that state. It is however, about the Chief Minister there. In trying to lift the BN's banner, or should I use the Malay proverb - menegakkan benang basah - he too has begun writing. Unfortunately, on his 8th posting, he received far too many flaks he than can handle, and has temporarily stopped. The reason he cited: "LAMAN blog pendua saya di Wordpress ditamatkan bagi memudahkan kemas kini dibuat. Terima kasih - DAR". And that too came under flak! Read his article and the comments here. There, you'll find the link to his blog.

As I mentioned, it's still not a level playing field - they forgot about the brain! Oops!

Last, I just cannot resist putting Amin's song which seem so fitting.


baez-kun said...

rakyat malaysia sudah mampu berfikir! kerana media aliran perdana yang terlalu berat sebelah, rakyat sudah meluat dengan propaganda2 yang kadang2 tidak lojik dan direka, senjata makan tuan lagaknya, internet itu kembali memakan mereka. Apakah mereka tidak tahu rakyat jelata itu lebih bijak dan penuh idea? arus perdana telah berubah, bukan lagi rtm atau tv3, bahkan internet itu sendiri.

yet ive stumbled upon dato seri khir's blog like a few W ago, read it like once and there were like hundreds of comments! in fact many of them are currently heading into the blogosphere, meniru arus semasa katanya heheh

the selangor MB is like waiting approval to get on-air (RTM) @ selangor (this 1-hr per week session) . 2 weeks and more, RTM Crew and etc havent replied. Sigh

Kata Tak Nak said...

Allow me to offer my 2 duit about this. When many took to blogging it was because of frustration with the government and the MSM. Of course some are sponsored by virtue of them being famous personalities but many were unknown and still remain so.

I take myself and you Shah as examples. We are not paid. Heck we pay for the electricity and the broadband access. Why do we do this? I think it is because of concern. We are concern as to where the country is heading. We are concern about justice and fairplay. This is what I call conviction. When the CM of Melaka resorts to blogging, he doesn't have the time to really hit the keyboard. They employ people whose reason for writing is the RM. The quality of their writings depends greatly on the amount of RMs they get. Is there any convictions? I seriously doubt so.
Even opposition leaders do not man their own blogs because of work and time constraints but these blogs are more often than not being run by conscientious volunteers. That is the difference.
The success of the bloggers in the run-up to the last GE is due to their sincerity. yes, they may give out not so accurate infos but who is to blame here?
My 2 duit.

cakapaje said...

Salam baez,

Itulah namanya 'not a level playing field' sebenarnya - kalau berita atau kenyataan Pakatan Rakyat ataupun dari mana mana pertubuhan yang bercanggah dengan pemerintah federal, maka ianya tidak akan disiarkan atau diputarbelitkan! Walhal, RTM itu adalah kepunyaan rakyat Malaysia dan bukan BN.

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

You give you 2 duit, I accept it with gratitude! Cuma, tak dapat belanja je lol!

Seriously though, your comment is precisely my point. Further their lament about the people's use of the Internet and even sms shows their childish mentality. If any, it should be the alternative parties and the rakyat who should be complaining about their abuse of the msm.

baez-kun said...

yet kadang2 org-org yang keje dlm rtm tu sendiri bias. dia mmg rela utk memutarbelitkan. dan tak rela bersekongkol dengan "pembangkang" walaupon bawah kerajaan negeri yang baru

tokasid said...

Salam Shah:

I went to Ali's blog and give my 2 duit opinion about him.

There is a balaci defending him my the name of fosgate(tapi blog dia kosong je).

I am compiling about Ali and Melaka.
Once I got everything in order I'll post it and let Ali know about it.

Anonymous said...

salam shah,
teringat orang rumah kata, "Hah, buat lagi lagu IT, IT. Nyanyi lagi lagu IT, IT. Orang guna betul kang!"

when we start ahead, we stay ahead, inshaAllah.

cakapaje said...


Kita tukar nama dari 'pembangkang' atau 'opposition' kepada 'alternatif'. Sekarang BN dah jadi pembangkan di 5 negeri. InsyAllah, tak lama lagi mereka jadi pembangkang di Parlimen pula.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Doc,

Aisehman! You give your duit to me lah! That Ali guy kaya already what! :)

fosgate...very familiar name but cannot figure where I heard of it. Hmm...entah entah, he's a mercenary paid from the coffers of Melaka State Government! Can never trust this BN'ers!

Nanti Doc dah compiled, kasi kat cek juga no :)

cakapaje said...

Salam Accia,

Orang rumah...? Ni Puan ke abang sebenarnya? :)

Yelah kan, depa yang ajaq kita guna, kita gunalah! Sapa suruh depa pula tak guna dari dulu kan? Cakap tak serupa bikin dalam semua perkara depa tu no :)

Yes...InsyAllah, we will stay ahead. Tapi cek rasa lah, depa nanti buat law memacam nak sekat kita! Dulu nak saman Rocky ngan Jeff Ooi, depa tetiba baru tahu perundangan IT yang depa sendiri buat, tapi tak tahu isi kandungnya...haprak betui depa ni no :)