Thursday, April 05, 2007

National Bloggers Alliance

The Pro-Tem Committee
Ahirudin Attan, in his speech to welcome fellow bloggers this evening, spoke of why there was a need for a national alliance of bloggers.
Most importantly -- to promote blogging and to protect bloggers.
Ahirudin, better known as Rocky said the idea to form the alliance came about following the lawsuits against him and Jeff Ooi.
"When I found out I got sued, I felt alone. Really alone. Comforting words from friends and fellow bloggers followed. Of course, that helped. Then, Bloggers United, a virtual united gathering of bloggers in cyberspace came about, thanks to Sheih.
"But, in time, after speaking to several bloggers, I felt that we need to be a solid gathering of individuals in order to protect ourselves. I don't think anyone of us should be alone when something like lawsuits hit us.
"I was lucky to have lawyers defending me pro bono. But I'm not sure if they are able to provide a similar service if there are more and more lawsuits against bloggers," Rocky said.
He said that bloggers were not under seige yet but they soon will be, given the attacks by certain members of government including Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin. And just yesterday (April 4) Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Mansor suggested that bloggers register with the ministry.
I beg to differ with Rocky on this. I believe that bloggers are already under seige.Precisely the fact that attacks on them have been consistent and unrelenting.
These attacks will not cease because I believe there is paranoia (of bloggers).
Rocky also pointed out that the attacks were actually aimed at a small group of socio-political bloggers and on-line writers who have been pretty critical of what they perceive to be excesses and abuse (of power) in and by the government.
"So hanya nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga, or because of nyamuk , and we are the nyamuk-nyamuk, they are setting fire to the kelambu", he remarked.
On this, I do agree. But what a sad state of affairs.
I believe that these "pain-in-the-butt' bloggers are the target of the attacks by ministers and government representatives and officers.
Bloggers have been demonised. Bloggers equal anti-government.
The message to the people is that bloggers cannot and must not be trusted because they are liars.
But this attempt to discredit bloggers only serves to present acknowledgement of their influence.
Yet, at the same time, the government cannot seem to be acting against just this small group. Hence the attack against b l o g g e r s.
You wonder if these government representatives are aware of the existence of thousands of blogs in this country representing a cross-section of interests.
There are many bloggers who do not blog about politics!

Some 50 bloggers turned up for the meeting. Among them were Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Ruhanie Ahmad, Syed Imran, Malik Imtiaz, Haris Ibrahim, Zaharin Yassin, Susan Loone (who flew in from Bangkok), Elizabeth Wong, Eric Woon, Nizam Bashir (who drove up from Malacca), Amir Hafizi, Rusdi Mustapha, Norzuhaira and Stephen Francis. Also there were Mob1900, QueenB, Anon fr.Miri (who flew in from Miri), Mat Salo (all the way from Kalimantan) and BigDogDotcom, Paul Yusoff and Shar101. Elviza came but had to leave just before the start of the meeting. She had to attend a wedding.
Rejal Arbee who writes for KMU and Agenda Daily chief editor Rosli Ismail were also there.

This first gathering of bloggers was held at the National Press Club in Kuala Lumpur. A pro-tem committee was elected to work towards the formation of the National Alliance of Bloggers.
And what do you know : our two blog brothers -- Rocky and Jeff Ooi - who are being sued for defamation have been elected pro-tem president and vice-president respectively. But, here's the full list:

President: Ahirudin Attan
Vice President : Jeff Ooi
Secretary: Nuraina Samad
Treasurer: Tony Yew
Council Members: Patrick Teoh, Bernard Khoo, Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz, Syed Jamal Al-Idrus, Elizabeth Wong, Rajahram Ramalingam, Annuratha K, Ami Husni and Soon Li Tsin.

The pro-tem committee will meet soon to draw up the Constitution, identify sources of funding, and submit the necessary papers for the Registrar of Societies.
The initial address for the Alliance is the office of Malaysiakini, the on-line news portal. Tea was subsidized by a Datuk blogger.
Click here for m-Star's report.

22 comments:

Apandi said...

Sighhhhh. Letihlah. There are a thousand and one other things that this country need doing and we have this sort of crap coming from so called leaders. I think that if all of them were to start with the intention of sincerely serving the nation and its people, these crap would not happen. Ni tidak, semua nak membesarkan tembolok and using the party as a vehicle towards that end. That is why with a slight tweak they become jumpy. Bangang.

I just wonder, which datuk will get the contract to implement this stupidity - stupidity to us, opportunity to them.

de_kerinchi said...

Tahniah Kak Nuraina..

Kata Tak Nak said...

An alliance of Datuks have urged the government to take serious actions against bloggers whom they claimed are responsible in spreading lies about the government. They call themselves DATUKS-AGAINST-BLOGGERS-WHO-LIED-ABOUT-THE-GOVERMENT-AND-ALL-GOOD-AND-INNOCENT-DATUKS ALLIANCE. They have adopted a logo which depicted two hands exchanging cash with a submarine under repair in the background and a gaping rectum excreting double 'R'.

The alliance has submitted a request for RM4 billion to start work. They said that they needed the money to buy a computer with a dial-up internet access and rentals for an office in the 4th floor of a very large building. They added that they amount is groundworks only after which they would submit for more money to the EPF and PETRONAS.

It is learnt that they are also suggesting that any Datuk who could apprehend an unlicenced blogger would be paid a handsome reward and be given 1000 APs to import used, over-priced, undeeded fighter planes from Ethiopia and Somalia. Ordinary citizens, would ,however, be given a letter of appreciation and discount Nasi Kandar coupons, but they have to pay for their flight to Perth from their own pockets.

Rocky's Bru said...

Ena, you are not wrong. Bloggers are, indeed, under siege. From gobloggers like Zam, Fak, Shaziman, and corporate leaders who don't think they need to engage public feedback in the form of bloggers. But i believe if bloggers don't do anything more than just blog about these "attacks", they will really come under siege soon. So far we have only see two lawsuits. I believe there'll be more. Some quarters want to keep the pressure on bloggers using means that will tire these bloggers, spiritually and financially. That has not happened to Jeff Ooi and I because of the support we get from you, Sheih, Zorro, Elviza, RPK, Bigdog, A Voice, Rusdi (who has started a blog called Seri Menanti, I was told), Hasrul, Anon Fr Miri, Susan and many, many more. But moral support alone will not help us fight the titans. We'll need organisational strength, better financial resources, and planning. We'll need to work on bridging gaps and expanding the Bloggers United coverage.
If the siege continues, so will our strength grows. But not if we don't have allies.

Thank you.

rapat_umum said...

Tahniah Kak

Teruskan perjuangan dan terus suksess

Hi&Lo said...

Nuraina,

Excellent line-up united by a common purpose. Greater heights can be achieved in creating social consciousness, interest in general things and promote charity.

With the birth of this alliance, bloggers will gain mileage in credibility.

Nuraina, syabas to your appt which a lesser person won't dare shoulder the heavy responsibility without any material benefits.

May the National Bloggers Alliance inspire a new Malaysia defined by its sons and daughters.



This is also a milestone in giving voice to the man in the street unencumbered by corporate and political interests.

raden galoh said...

Kak Ena,
Congratulations to you and those elected...May the force be with you all

A Voice said...

Be it NABM or NAB or NBA, I immediately agreed to Rocky's proposed acronym of All-Blog.

It sounds like All Black. Three things comes to my mind with the sheer mention of All Black - Being the best, Doing it in style and its famous Haka War Chant.

Their Haka chant is as below:

Ka mate, ka mate
Ka ora, ka ora
Tenei te tangata puhuruhuru
Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra
Upane, upane
Upane kaupane
Whiti te ra.

Meaning:

It is death, it is death
It is life, it is life
This is the hairy man
Who caused the sun to shine again for me
Up the ladder, up the ladder
Up to the top
The sun shines.

– Haka (1810), Chief Te Rauparaha (1768-1849)

What will be ours? Hakuna Metata (Don't worry)? Why not?

Us, if we can cliam as, Right is fighting the Might and Idiot - hopeless PM, hp6 ministers, tiga suku parliamentarian, court-happy corporate, LKY-snoops, chicken scared party members, ...

And yet, we brave ourselves. Perhaps we are braving it. Or perhasp, we are just not worried ... Hakune Metate.

Que sera sera All Blog. We will do it and we will enjoy doing it.

sesat said...

Congratulations to all the elected committee members of the NAB. I believe the formation of this national alliance is a step in the right direction. I am sure the alliance will go a long way towards fighting to uphold the right to free expression, promoting blogging and protecting bloggers.

Mat Rempit Hubris,Carthage said...

Dear Jalan Sudin,

Congrats.

Me and some of my friends, have been discussing the idea that bloggers, for their protection and development, be represented in a more organized and formal manner. (In fact the development of blogging is not just good for bloggers themselves but more importantly the society that it informs and educate) . And viola! ..National Bloggers Aliance!Wow it seems as if our prayers have been answered.(None of us are bloggers by the way,just concerned people.U can say our concerns about the blogging environment in Malaysia, are somewhat akin to the many Malaysians out there who have never voted before but are as genuine in their love for this country as those that have)

But my initial elation has been abit dampened by what i read on Pasquale's blog.Is it true in not so many ways, that the people who were going to hold the pro term positions have already been decided in advance?That they are generaly people who are close to the "powers that be" in the blogging scene and were elected on that basis?

That is how i interpret what he wrote. To be fair i could be wrong.( if you may,I would really be grateful if you can have a look at what he wrote and inform us readers whether its an accurate representation of what took place or whether my interpretation of what he wrote is wrong)

BUT if it contains some truth, than i hope that such a tendency will be rectified soon.One of the great things you bloggers have on your side is berkat, which stems from your original intentions which are truly noble.Just be careful, in the hustle and bustle, to not do anything which may compromise it or is anyway incongruent with your original intentions.

My appoligies if i appear pontificating in writing this comment.And neither is it my intention to burst anybody's bubble.I am just expressing a very sincere concern.

It'll be truly tragic,if at its very inception, the National alliance of Bloggers have already acquired some of the negative traits of the very entity that it criticizes.

But if the concerns that i raise are unfounded, then my sincerest apologies for sounding alarmist.

All the best.

My prayers are with the National Alliance of bloggers.May it always be guided by idealism and never participate, whether in thought or in action,in anything that is inconsistent with the noble intentions and ideas that gave birth to it.

Salam.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

mat rempit hubris, carthage,

thank you.

mat rempit, by now you should know never to take everything Pasquale says seriously.
Certainly, what he has written about the election of the National Alliance of Bloggers, is a real tease.
Pasquale is not a liar. But, he was taking real good shots at what happened.
Let me clear the air (I will deal with Pasquale later).
There was no such pre-decided line-up at all.
Please dont take what he said seriously.
I was laughing reading his piece.
So should you.

shar101 said...

Mat Rempit Hubris, Carthage,

Pasquale has always been passionate with his writings and he has never failed to elicit poignant thoughts amongst us.

The future of NAB is now in the hands of the pro-tem committee members and may they all stay grounded on terra firma as they push forward onto 'uncharted waters'.

They are standing up to be counted.

Can Pasquale do the same?

Anonymous said...

mat rempit hubris wrote: "But my initial elation has been abit dampened by what i read on Pasquale's blog.Is it true in not so many ways, that the people who were going to hold the pro term positions have already been decided in advance?That they are generaly people who are close to the "powers that be" in the blogging scene and were elected on that basis?"

This joker Pasquale is a special officer in the DPM's office. Yes, Najib Razak, one of those "powers that be".
That's why he was not nominated la.. Raja Petra can confirm this because RPK knows all the Najib's boys who are trying to stop him from writing bad about Najib in the Malaysia Today.

Alliance, be careful of this Joker Pasquale.

Mat Rempit Hubris,Carthage said...

Dear Jalan sudin,

I am greatly comforted by what you wrote.Thank you.

In fact i have so much to say on how much reading blogs means to me that i will probably bore you too death.

Anyway again terima kasih.

Salam.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Congrats Nuraina and the whole line-up. Now the challenge is to sustain and get stronger.
I have faith in you lot up there.

Anon. Fm Miri said...

Kak Iana,

I'm back home. Although I was not able to spend much time with you, it was a pleasure to meet you for the first time. After this more to come sis.

Adios

Mat Rempit Hubris,Carthage said...

Tp anon 332am,

Thank you for your coment. i'm sure your sincere about Pasquale but to be frank i dont care if he serves the 'powers that be'or not.All i care about is the quality of his opinions, and generally they are superb.Additionaly , even i myself, have been accused by Kata Tak Nak, of being a hired hand without evidence and i know that's bullshit.So to me, if what Pasquale says makes sense than i will listen to him, if it doesnt i wont and if it requires verification from another source, than i will try to obtain such verification.

To Shar101,

As far as i am concern, Pasquale, even ONLY as a commentator, has already contributed to the local blogging scene and indirectly to the creation of the NBA.

One must remember that the quality of any blog, is not determine only by the postings of the blog owner, but also by the quality of the responses.And i would dare venture, that part of the reasons why the gomen is circumspect about what's taking place in the blogesphere is due NOT only because of the quantity of the comments elicited but also to the QUALITY of some of those comments. In fact, the QUALITY of the comments is far more important.( as can be ascertain from looking at the comments of one particular infamous commentator who has special privelegdes at one particular blog).

If all the blogs elicited only an ocean of filth, due think the gomen would bother to put in so much effort to discredit bloggers?Why should they, if the blogs are already doing it so well on their own, right?...


Thus to me, in terms of giving comments that are informed, or is thought provoking, and by that, contributing in making blogs a credible source of information, credible enough that is, to cause the 'powers that be' consternation, Pasquale's has already stood up to be counted.

So to repeat(for my benifit Shar, rather than yours) there r a nomber of things involved here:

1) The formation of the National Bloggers Alliance is in part, a reaction to the incessant smear campaign and strong arm tactics being levied at bloggers and blogs by the "powers that be"(PWTB) and their associates.

2)But the PWTB is only bothered enough to do that because, blogs, as an alternative medium of information, have developed enough credibility in the first place.In short, blogs have a following because people trust them,and people trust them because they are credible. If they don’t have any substance, no one, what more the gomen, would give a toss.

3) The credibility and following that blogs have today is partly due to the quality of the blog sites and partly due to the quality of comments elicited. It is symbiotic relationship- the blog owner must have enough quality in his postings to elicit quality comments, but the quality comments will further attract other quality comments. A virtuous cycle so to speak, started by the owner, and maintained by both the owner and the commentators.

4) Whether we agree with him or not,as an individual who provides
honest, thought provoking comments, Pasquale is definitely one of the better ones.And there are only a handful around.( i dont want to repeat that u are one of them ofcourse..hahahaha..oops did that already didnt i).

So in a way Pasquale has played a part in the maturing process of blogs as an alternative source of information and viewpoints that is credible enough to cause consternation to the PWTB whose negetive reactions led to the creation of the NBA.

I hope in all the excitement, no one forgets that.

Additionally, in his latest controversial posting, Pasquale was also asking all of us, from the pro term commitee to the ordinary readers to be vigilant when inspecting our motives, especially when starting something as profound as a National Bloggers Alliance. He gave the example of how in the treatment of RR some blogs were just distilling mob justice( how else would u describe the need to mentioned RR's treatment of women or the fact that he suffers psycological problems in some of the comments,if not in terms of mob justice?... I dont think anyone of us would appreciate, if, in trying to discredit Rocky for instance,instead of fighting argument with argument, the mainstream media highlights his personal follies and habits). There is a tendency for bloggers and commentators to engage in a mob mentality when confronted by anything they dont like and to me Pasquale highlighting this as something negetive, deserves consideration.

Shar, judging from your comments you are a very sober fella, so in parting, i would like to remind you, that a mob, regardless of however noble its original intentions, do not have the capacity to evaluate clearly issues that involve moral ambiguity.

The pro-term committee are now in a sense leaders.As such i hope that they will always lead the crowd rather than are lead by them or play to the galley.

mis_tey said...

Congratulations on being elected secretary of the pro-tem committee of National Bloggers Alliance (NAB).

Anonymous said...

Mat Rempit,
It is this Rusdi aka Pasquale who cast aspersions on Rocky, and it was he who suggested a link with powers that be. These are assertions meant to inflict great damage, more than the Rectum can. So don't forget that. I will judge a blogger/commenter by his last posting/comment, just as I would judge a journalist/editor.
Thank you.
p.s. And the guy is racist as hell. I don't trust him. God save Najib.

- the same Anon

Mat Rempit Hubris dari Carthage said...

Anon,

Its up to you to judge a person by his last comment. I'm sure you'd know better what works for you.

As for me, i will judge a person by the totality of his comments,the explicit and the implicit, regardless of whomever that person is accused to be.It works well for me.

Thus, you can call Pasquale a racist if u like.Myself, I prefer to call Pasquale a frustrated nationalist whose ramblings more accurately reflects his frustrations rather than his worldview .As Nuraina reminded me, to be taken with a pinch of salt.

With regards to him casting aspersions,dont worry honey, i wont forget it.And neither will i forget the context it was spoken in or the many other worthwhile comments that he has made prior to that.

Anyway, thanx for the concern.

What A Lulu said...

tahniah kak!

btw, did you realise that you're the only one in the top4 who doesn't have a pending lawsuit?

zewt said...

Congrats on your appointment. I am sure this is a beginning to great things :)