Bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee are now being charged for publishing a ‘seditious’ photograph on Facebook of themselves eating bak kut teh with a Ramadan greeting and posting content that could possibly stir religious hostility.
Resorting to utter gutter politics is akin to swimming in the cesspool without a care. That’s how those faceless pro-Umno bloggers who spun a lie regarding an innocent son to get at the father came across – filthy and smelly.
Can we blame the bloggers for the sour and humourless dispositions of our politicians? Perhaps, they’ve been eating too many sour grapes and have no means of expressing their frustrations in a more positive or creative way, muses Grumblestone.
Here we are again facing another Merdeka celebration that for some seems a chance to exhibit their patriotism in conventional or unconventional ways. Whatever way you do it, is seen as some kind of political statement, even when it may be merely a means of self-expression. Authorities in this country may not have reached the stage of open-mindedness found in some other countries. Our politicians lack humour and the ability to laugh at themselves or their silly mistakes. They’re as sensitive as ‘touch-me-nots’.
In the US, even George Bush and Bill Clinton can laugh at themselves. Brits laugh at their royals and politicians from time to time. But in Malaysia, some of those holding political power seem to see themselves as ‘divine beings’ whose names should not be taken in vain on pain of being sledge-hammered with sedition, the ISA and other humourless and draconian rules.
In contrast, other countries like the US, UK and Australia suffer their nathional flags and effigies of their leaders being burnt and trampled on by protesters in foreign countries. Rightly, foreign protesters can do whatever they like on their home grounds as long as their governments tolerate it. There is no cause for a diplomatic incident as one does not tell one’s neighbours how to live their lives. Yet, again, we bristle up like porcupines and wag fingers at the neighboring populace beyond our jurisdiction… tut,tut,tut.
Yes, we should celebrate our ‘Merdeka’ in a big and ostentatious way, but for some, quiet patriotism suffices. Yet, the apparent festivity and ‘smiley-ness’ of the whole thing with fluttering ‘jalur gemilang‘ from car roofs and buildings leaves a somewhat artificial after taste. We are 53. Have we matured and grown wiser or have we missed maturity and gone straight to senility, falling into dementia instead?
This anniversary sees hard-sell talk of 1Malaysia and anti-racism, but is the reality convincing enough? The hard-sell on anti-racism is somewhat loaded on one-side. Like a dice used by the jackals always winning by means more foul than fair.
So can we blame the bloggers for the sour and humourless dispositions of our politicians? Perhaps, they’ve been eating too many sour grapes and have no means of expressing their frustrations in a more positive or creative way.
Happy Independence Day, Malaysia!
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Worried about the worsening traffic congestion in Penang, bloggers today launched a campaign to bring trams back to the state in a move towards modern, sustainable and environmentally friendly transport.
Zaharom Nain explores the world of blogging in Malaysia. Bloggers are providing a real alternative to the mainstream media and countering the distortions and unravelling the propaganda. No wonder the authorities are sitting up and taking notice.
Charter 2000-Aliran is deeply disturbed by recent developments that could restrict the space for freedom of expression over the Internet and curb the democratic right of bloggers to air their opinions. It is especially worrying because the Internet is one of the few avenues left for concerned Malaysians to freely express views and gain access to information that is normally not carried in the mainstream media.
Charter 2000-Aliran is deeply concerned by the recent defamation suit brought out by the New Straits Times Press against bloggers Jeff Ooi of "Screenshots" fame and Ahirudin Attan ("Rocky's Bru") for their allegedly defamatory postings.
The shouts of joy that greeted the election of Abdullah Badawi as prime minister have now turned into whispers of apprehension, notes Angeline Loh, even as the media abdicate their responsibility.