Friday, July 27, 2007

Why is Malaysia so unique?

Bintan (Indonesia), Friday:

Blogger crackdown in Malaysia. No, I haven't fled the country.The day they brought in RPK for questioning, I was at the KLIA on my way to Bintan en route Singapore for a regional IT conference and media awards. I have been
invited as one of the judges for tonight's media and blogs awards. Needless to say, the delegates - from Australia, the UK, the US, Asean, and China/Hongkong - have been hounding me with questions about what's going on back home.

David Chavez Dizon, a journalist with ABS-CBN, asked me over dinner at Kelong last night: "What makes your country so unique that the government thinks it can come after bloggers?"
I was struggling with the question, when he shot again. "If I blog something bad about your country, is your Government going to come after me in Manila?"

Geoff Long, one of the finalists in the technology blog category, said he found the government's treatment against RPK, and earlier Nathaniel Tan and the suits against Jeff Ooi and I by a pro-government media group, daunting.

Even the executive chef at the resort we're staying, a Malaysian who reads blogs to keep tabs or the goings-on back home, is disturbed by the threats to detain bloggers without trial.

I am due to make a presentation in an hour's time about journalism and the IT industry back home, and a bit about the blogging scene. I guess you know what these delegates (who include senior execs of technology companies and vendors) would be wanting to know about. The news about RPK's grilling hasn't just affected us, it has spooked them as well. We read this morning in the (Singapore) Straits Times about RPK's allegation on Umno using cyber-troopers to undermine blogs and Norza's pathetic defence.

What do I tell them?

I guess I'll start my presentation with: "Ladies and Gentlemen, Malaysia is a unique country, indeed".


  1. Anonymous2:12 pm

    Malaysia is unique in a sense where either you love to hate or hate to love.
    But with our moral upbringing values handed down by our fore fathers, we will make sure Malaysia will be country of tolerant,peaceful,freedom and multi racial harmony.

  2. I can understand the pain u go thru. I cringe when i see malaysia come up with the occasional terrorist links.

  3. You, Jeff, NaT and RPK would have been the perfect 'All-Stars' team to represent our objection and resentment on blogger prosecution. It's so simple and clear: Bloggers = Rakyat, Prosecuting bloggers = prosecuting Malaysians.

    Thank you for making our voices heard over there, Rocky!

  4. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Malaysia is a unique country, indeed.

    It supports diversity in form but not in substance.

    It widens roads, then puts dividers to stop cars from parking.

    It writes policies to affirm but practises them by denying.

    It levels the playing field by digging a hole for one, then heaps the dirt dug up on the other.

    It is run, some would say run down, by a bunch of blinkered bumptious buffoons good only for ballooning budgets beyond their bail-outs by bull-shitting the benevolent with its bravura. Indeed behold bojo's boleh-land. Gimme a buxomic broad any day.

    Ladies, and gentlemen. Malaysia is indeed a unique country. It is constantly at a crossroads. So entrenched in their limited way of thinking about how to tackle change in today's world, their leaders continue to be formulaic about how it should respond to new paradigms. For them as a constant,and thus to the loss of the nation, change is an option they want to do without.

    Their entire rationale hinges on their belief that as the government, they are responsible for the wellbeing of the society. While that would seem a self-evident remit for any country, we must however remember Malaysia is a unique country. Thus it is not so self-evident as one may think. Some say, dream.

    For instance, the government is supposed to be made of component parties. Yet we have the youth wing of one telling the equal partner of another to shut up. Indeed some will say this is a master-slave, slave-master syndrome. Like Die Hard 1.0's Helsinki Syndrome of Nakatomi Tower's fame.

    Second, we wonder if it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Some of the elected act as though they are not of the people but the new feudalistic warlords of wonderland. Others use their executive powers like they are not practising government by the people, only government by proxy in the interest of their asset holdings. And again there are others still who certainly don't govern for the people. They only appear to govern for the people but in fact are doing it for themselves and for their relatives and cronies.

    Otherwise what good business reason can you produce for votes being bought for less than the price of an airticket, economy-class, plus a sewing machine thrown in, and for fence-sitters, the deal is sweetened with a two-nights three-days no-questions-asked stay at a five-star hotel?

    Indeed, where would we find land bought at 3 psf resold at 25 psf in order to build a ftz that now sits idle at 4.6. Billion?

    It remains to say they are creative. Creative in accounting and creative in giving excuses. In the global war for talent, they would win hands-down in one category. Lying.

    Thus, where's the responsibility for the well-being of society that they say they have to show? Up to now, for each minute of the last thirty years, none has answered this question to anyone's satisfaction in our country. And that is the bottomline.

    Ladies. And gentlemen. It used to that the way is crooked when giving excuses. Now time is money, and so they give it to you straight - in the face. Take the billboards scandal you would have read in some of our blogs. Now the incumbent says he wasn't privy to the deal. And the prior holder says he is already retired. Having eaten the cheese from the owner's larder, the cat is now trying to catch its own tail after coming out of the bag as if this circus show will throw charm water over the eyes of the gullible public.

    If Malaysia is so good at this type of football, why is it out of the Asian Cup League, you may ask. Well, ladies. And gentlemen. Let me tell you why.

    It is because our politicians keep shooting everyone in the foot. Not satisfied with themselves, they do the same on everyone else. We have become a nation of walkers on crutches. That's what we are.

    And that is why, Ladies. And gentlemen. Our special forces armoury still don't know where all the bullets have gone. Heck, they can't even ask who has the authority to commission a termination.

    Prejudices are a norm in our unique country. The same prejudices that vote our politicians to office are no different from the prejudices they in turn practise on the brainy bloggers of our boleh-land.

    Neither should their institutions be made veritable mockeries of integrity. For instance, anti-corruption agencies should neither be anti-functioning, nor corruptible, nor, agents for any party.

    And that is the situation we have before us, Ladies. And gentlemen. It has become a total and complete supply chain, end-to-end, of wealth and power from cheating, lying and killing.

    The Malaysian bloggers community is Malaysia's LAST line of defense. The Dark Lord is coming. And he is making use of his mind-bending hold on the citizens so that they will continue to support a regime that has sucked this country dry.

    Where others have breezed ahead in record time, ours are standing still in a world where to stand still is to relapse which means that each step forward in the future will take twice as long and uses four times as much resources. Patently, i tell you - we can't afford those luxuries.

    Thank you.


  5. Anonymous3:26 pm

    Tell them Malaysia is NOT truly Asia if other Asians think we act funny.

    Tell them we are unique, one of a kind, and we will continue to confound everyone by our absurdities, stupidities and shamelessness.

    Tell them we are a country that is ruled primarily by a party who has a "NO" in its name.

    Tell them we constantly dream we "Boleh" when we get 5-0 drubbings by everyone in soccer and in everything else.

    Tell them we have a sleeping PM who spends more time OUTSIDE the country than inside.

    Tell them our Education Minister says "Shaddup".

    Tell them our Police fear investigating themselves.

    Yes, tell them Spartans what is happening in Bodohland.

    Then have a few Bir Bintan.

  6. Anonymous3:36 pm

    Malaysia...Truly Asia?Familiar tag-line?

  7. it's sad really :( keep going Rocky.

  8. i've given up explaining. no use as nothing changes.

    -The Man Who Sold The World-

  9. Anonymous4:22 pm

    very very unique. half the time the DPM is running the show coz the PM is always away for holidays and official functions.
    very very unique. half the time the MPs shit venom whenever they open the mouth. If you try to enlighten them, they either resort to name calling ( the infamous shout "stupic, stupid, stupid) or they threaten you with a keris or OSA/ISA.
    Very very unique. The crime rate has been soaring for the past years and the police is short handed and the common people are crying for protection. Yet, they waste time and resources in responding with lightning speed to reports made by the powers-to-be against harmless bloggers.
    Indeed, very very unique and also very mystifying.

  10. Anonymous4:25 pm

    Malaysia is Truly Unique.

    The Malay is not a race but a people defined by constitution based on their cultural practice and religion.

    Your religion is not what you practice but who your parents were if you are not a convert.

    Our democratic process only applies to lesser citizens and our PM is not for election.

    Local Govt and all Civil Servants are the lackeys of the ruling UMNO party.

    The "son of the soil" title is not based on your birth right but on the shade of skin colour and religion.

    Allow me to conclude, Malaysia is Truly Screwed Up.

  11. Anonymous5:10 pm

    here we go again another threats to the rakyat.
    malaysia is a unique country or
    malaysia is a mafia country.
    do they have the skill to debate to fend off critics ?
    their stupidity are the real threats to our truly asia.

  12. A blogger that I spoke to in Bombay concluded that Malaysia is indeed truly Asia! ;-)

  13. Anonymous5:21 pm


    You mean you are intimidated by the foreign critics and by the local ones like WALLA?

    You mean you can't stand up to them and speak up for your country?

    You mean like RPK you are convinced your country is going to the dogs?

    You mean bloggers are incorruptible? You mean they are all pure and noble in deed and intention?

    Tut Tut Rocky! I'm so disappointed!

  14. Anonymous5:24 pm

    Tell the delegates the truth. Government trying to control bloggers because that's the only and last frontier in information dissemination that they cannot control or to big to control and bloggers are something like a samurai with double edged sword. Be careful where you swing it and it could hurt both ways and rakyat in the middle of those swings.

  15. Eh Rocky..
    Lu Rock lar brader..
    relek je ar.. kasi tau diorang, yang kito org maysia.. bukan sekadar unik shj. Kito hebat... blog kito dapat perhatian seluruh dunia.. ini sudah patut dikagumkan...

  16. Hi Rocky...say hello to Phua Chu Kang for me if you see him!

  17. Anonymous8:07 pm

    Just tell them the truth.

  18. yo bro,
    we don't have to burn the whole house down just to rid of a few rats we ?? try getting rid of the rats only !Then we can once again walk with our heads high ! But don't forget to tell them we have the highest number of morons per sq. feet in all the region- our parliament !
    Cheers bro and Godbless !

  19. we have a great country.
    but you know what you can say about certain not-so-clever people. no apologies needed.

  20. Anonymous9:07 pm

    It is unique cos I've been trying to get RPK's blogsite - and couldn't.

    hmmm... wonder why ..

  21. The ‘keris’ is raised
    Up in the unknown sky
    Searching for bloggers
    Looking for white goats
    To sacrifice

    On the altar
    The light shines
    The loud voice in the air
    Nobody dares to breathe
    The ‘keris’ hovering near by

    Many events had happened
    Digging holes buried gold
    Paper money flying
    It is hard not to grab it
    So nobody is sinless
    The sacrifice can’t be had

    Only those without sin
    They can throw the first stone
    They can’t do it
    So make fire to scare
    The opposing camp
    Telling them there is no such thing
    As freedom in cyber space

    Every criticism is binding to laws
    The government wants bloggers to stop
    Hitting them with alternative views
    The leaders in the government
    They can’t accept it
    They don’t want people to know
    “What they did last summer?”

    The bloggers are patriotic lot
    They love the country
    They don’t want the soil of the land disappear
    Don’t the government leaders know it?
    You will see them
    When the election is near

  22. "If I blog something bad about your country, is your Government going to come after me in Manila?"

    Hmmm either they shut down the malaysian blog or pay some militant in Manila to send you a pack of C4??? hehehe

  23. Rocky!
    Hope you are okay so just cover your backside and be on constant alert. I am on one island in the region drinking prosecca, a fine Italian champange!

    And I don't really care anymore about the country and the Morons! Just want to enjoy life and then to die peacefully!


    PS. Tell RPK he has the country supporting him dont fret!

  24. Anonymous12:33 am

    Aiyah, Rock, u ah u ah, hv 2 pose so difficult question. I hv bin scratchin my brain out(literary) u know!

    Now let me think ah ..........

    Ahhhhhhhhhh, got it Eu-e-re-ka!
    No news is good news! Tat's our uniquelessness!

  25. Yo Rocky,

    Get back home soon and forget the rumour about you 'running away'.

    Frankly, I've not seen Walla being so opinionated like this before.

    And OFF's contention that bloggers can be 'all' corruptible, if not some.

    Woooo...There's something brewing within the blogosphere that's got 'everybody's' panties all bunched up.

    Let me put it this way...

    I spoke with some people tonight and ask them to put forward their thoughts and experience on the old games we used to play in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and 'document' these games for the sake of our cultural history.

    These were games we played together without even considering the colour of our skins. We were only interested in knowing whether it was a time or season to fly a kite, catch a spider, buy the best top and break the other person', etc.
    Sorry, ladiez. It was a 'guy' bunch therefore most of the stuff we spoke on were...uhhh..guy games.

    There's this 'official' announcement that there's not so supposed to be any conflicting 'other' events commemorating Malaysia's 50th anniversary except those 'sanctioned' by the government.


    Are the rakyat so dumb as not to know that there is something actually really unique about Malaysia that it should be hidden from themselves?

    Our PM and his administration may be so but I ask you...are you blind?

  26. I second nuraina's comment - Malaysia is a great country.

    Its just that our present government is not up to the task !

  27. Anonymous10:21 am

    Get yourself reported in the Spore newspapers!

    It's a sure way to get noticed by the govt back in Msia! Guaranteed 100%, lah!

    Oh, yah - for a kicker, throw in a little something about foreign investors avoiding places where there is no freedom of information and the press!

    But wait, foreign investors are flocking to the likes of China and Russia.


  28. Sdr Rocky Bru,

    Muhd Muhd Taib (MMT) and his cyber pendekar may not strike fear in the heart's of RPK.

    And I am sure that you and I, and other mature bloggers will NOT fall for his trick.

    We are more or less, as the Malay saying goes "alah bisa tegal biasa."

    We know more than enough about MMT and his pendekar siber to fall victims of their scare tactics.

    But the younger bloggers and posters may fall into this trap. They may stop blogging and debating in the cyberspace for fear of being arrested.

    MMT and his cohort know that they can't easily cow us. But the younger bloggers and posters may fear for their safety and stop blogging.

    MMT may not be a brilliant strategist. But he knows well enough that by scaring off blog readers and posters, the effectiveness of this new medium may be blunted.

    But I don't think the majority of bloggers and blog posters will fall into this trap.

    All that they need to do is to steer clear of those comments that give people like MMT the legitimacy to lodge official complain.

    As the saying goes, there are many ways of skinning a cat, even a big fat one like MMT.

    I have been in journalism for nearly 40 years now and I've seen the situation like this happening many times.

    I've also seen countless pembesar like MMT came and gone.

    Just a it not possible that mainstream editors have a hand in MMT's police report?

    MMT is the chairman of Umno's Central Information Bureau and almost all Malay newspaper and TV Editors are ex-officio members of the Bureau.

    Could they have advised MMT to resort to this line of action?


    Thank you.

  29. Anonymous11:28 am

    Tu dia Anak Melayu darah keturunan raja Bugis.

  30. Anonymous4:07 pm

    Too bad. Does government have rights and authority over bloggers? This is a cyber world man.

    And somemore if they wanna control everything include bloggings, should these people say that they're giving us freedom of speech?

    Keep saying that bloggers are creating troubles to the country as if we're abusing the right to speak.

    they shouldnt have taken over the control of the mass media.

  31. Anonymous6:26 pm

    Come to think of it I agree that Malaysia is indeed unique, because you never hear of politions in Parliament waving weapons. When are they going to start allowing polititions to point guns at others in Parliament? That will be more unique.

  32. Anonymous12:19 am

    well, the country has an unique AG. after a long statement clearing the ex-ACA chief of corruption, I am still blur. maybe I have a skull too thick. But damn, part of the allegations centred around the ex-ACA chief owning assets that didnt commensurate with his income. The long statement by the AG was silent on this.
    Uniquely Malaysia isnt it?

  33. If the ACA is serious about investigations, it should also check the accounts of the family members and relatives. No point just saying the accounts of the one being investigated are clear.

    That they didn't say anything about whether they have done so or not shows omission. Or, worse, commission.

    Rakyat tend to overlook such things in statements made by officialdom because it is about releasing pressure from wanting to see things done.

    Things can be done but more things can be done better.

    Having said this, i apologise to everyone if lately i have seemed to be a bit racist and annoying.

    Just tired of life.

    Thanks for the knock on the heart, shar101 (and proud of you).

    Sorry, Rocky, for taking so much liberty with your blog.

  34. Have you guys notised that Malaysia Today is inaccessible now. When i went in earlier before 10am it was up and working. It's 11.30am and it's gone.

  35. Anonymous1:59 pm

    Malaysia is a unique country because we have the most political poltergeists and "elementals" in power. We should set up a "bomoh university" to rid all these politically destructive pollutants.


  36. Anonymous4:42 pm

    It is indeed very sad if we have too many bloggers who simply like to condemn. The think they know so much about Malaysia but their postings show that they are actually ignorant of Malaysia's hitory. Their actions can cause hatred among Malaysians. We need unity, peace and harmony. It doesn't matter whether one is a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazandusun, Iban, Murut, we should be proud to be Malaysians. Those who do not love Malaysia should migrate off to USA, GB, Australia, Canada or to any other country where they think they can be provided with a 'better life".

  37. Malaysia is very unique in a lot of ways. It's different compared to other countries in terms of culture, beliefs and way of life.

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