Perhaps it was meant to be a late discovery for me – I only started to blog in mid-2005. However, over the last 2 years or so, my blogging experience has evolved, from writing on personal experiences to general & socio-politics areas and from writing with terrible English to an acceptable level of the language.
The free flow of “internet news” has helped me to see things in a different aspect, be wary of statements by people in power and see how certain things in this country not being run as it should be. Perhaps there is a logical explanation that is being done by the government or politicians but when their actions affect the livelihood of ordinary citizens, there is bound to be a strong reaction.
In some countries, the reaction can come in the form of protest, a general strike and even civil war but in this country, being who we are, Malaysian, we then to react silently. Many of us talk about it at coffee shops whilst having our favourite teh tarik & roti canai, few write about it in emails to friends or blog about it and a handful led the public protest. This is how it has been going on for many years.
So, why lately the Government or rather the politicians in Malaysia are so afraid of blogs? A surprising response considering when the rest of the world is using blogs as a mean for effective communication tools.
Many attempts and threats have been made to paint bloggers as irresponsible, liars and in some cases, traitors. When some spooked politician talks about getting the law to go after bloggers or getting the bloggers registered and closely monitored, it is quite clear that they are missing the point, big time. And when this is picked by the main media, some of my friends even called me up and asks whether this means I am going to stop blogging?
It looks like a case of missing the wood for the trees.
So, why they worry? Is it because they worry the public may find out the bad things about them (it is not that the public does not know about it)? Or worry the public may be misled by the “lies” concocted in blogs (tough call when certain “lies” end up as the gospel truth)?
Both way, they are wasting their breath and here are the reasons why.
1. Information cannot be curtailed
If it was 1907 as mentioned by Raja Petra, it would have been a whole different story. Key and sensitive information can be kept hidden or destroyed. You can even kill the source.
But this is 2007 when pages & pages of information are obtainable at the press of a button. If one source is curtailed, there is always another source to look for.
Information these days travel “faster” than the speed of light. So, by the time a strategy is formed to curtail such information, millions would have read, understood and even analyzed it.
2. A blog is not the only source
Just because some blogs look more visible when displaying sensitive information – that does not mean that information is “traveling” only in blogs.
Emails are another powerful communication tool that has been second-rated all this while. And in some cases, it is more powerful than blogs in the sense that people who do not have access to internet can get the same information in their inbox and at a press of a button can be forwarded to countless receptions.
And you also forget the politic talk at our local coffee shops.
3. People are getting smart
If you think that if in the past, the people have always listened to what the government has said without raising any questions or concerns, then you will be wrong to assume that the next generation will do the same.
Probably being Malaysians, you may not see a large street protest but that does not mean the new generation Malaysia do not protest.
Education and impact of globalization have opened people’s mind to think more critically.
So, is blogging really that bad for the country? Some politicians think so. What do you think?
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