To blog or not to blog

In the Dewan Rakyat today, Opposition Leader YB Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Barat) asked the Ministers, Menteri Besars and MPs to have their own blogs and make it interactive, in the Blogosphere, so that they get closer to the rakyat and their personal thoughts are shared with everyone.

In response to that, Deputy Minister, Energy, Water and Communications, YB Dato’ Shahziman Abu Mansor (BN-Tampin), said the Government have no problem with any Ministers, Menteri Besars and MPs to blog.

Some of the MPs already started blogging. Lim Kit Siang, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, M. Kulasegaran, Fong Po Kuan, Husam Musa and Shahrir Samad are known for their blogs.

It seems the Opposition YBs are more actively into blogging because they suffer from acute lack of coverage by mainstream media. So alternative media, naturally, especially cyberworld tools like blogs and websites, are favourites to these Opposition politicians. It works quite good as well, as more and more people surf into the political segment of Blogosphere.

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YB Dato’ Shahrir Samad’s (BN-Johor Bahru) (www.shahrirsamad.blogspot.com) blog intrigues me. Although he is a BN MP and Supreme Council member of the ruling party, UMNO, he still blogs. It seems that this his second blog, although he have had a website since 1999. This blog has attracted attention by many fellow bloggers like Rocky (www.rockybru.blogspot.com) and Nuraina A Samad (www.nursamad.blogspot.com), noted in their blogs that this one time BN Back Benchers Club President is also a Blogosphere savvy character.

After going through his latest blog (about two weeks old on Friday), one cannot help it but to notice that Shahrir’s response to the comments are made in third party address. Hang on! Why should Shahrir refer himself in third party manner?

Then, it is so clear to me. Shahrir don’t actually blog. He gets someone to do the postings and moderate all the comments. Someone even “cut & paste” my article (dated 1 April that lambasted Shahrir to his narrow minded response to Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s speech in Kulai), in one of his comment threads and yet still no response from him, as the blog owner.

I learnt the truth. This blog is actually managed by a professional IT technician. The reason his earlier blog is no longer operative because it was spammed by too many comments, in response to Tun Musa’s call on 21 March to uplift the NEP status in Iskandar Development Region. The technician lost the password and was unable to moderate these comments. Shahrir don’t have the password to his own blog? So, his simple solution; start a new blog!

No wonder his tagline is “Yang terbaik dikalangan kita“. It sounds like a poor literal and adulterated translation from Lord Jeffrey Archer’s “First amongst equal”. It is more clear that Shahrir’s blog is not about his own thoughts and aspirations. Probably like the former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Shahrir gets other people to write for him.

So what is the point of a politician and public servant like Shahrir to have a blog, but someone else is doing all the reading, posting and responding to the comments? Blogs are supposed to be interactive, personal and direct interactions between surfers and the bloggers themselves. The blog is supposed to serve between an MP and the rakyat.

It seems Shahrir defied the basic concept of blogging. So his blog is just a poor PR job, to cover the untrained eye that this MP is progressive and up to date with the ‘peoples’ media’ tool. In actual fact, he is no different than other BN MPs, who are so comfortable having the luxury of access and coverage of the mainstream media.

Maybe Shahrir should attend the Bloggers United formation of physical body this evening at NPC and learn from bloggers like me or better still, more veteran bloggers like Jeff Ooi (www.jeffooi.com) and Rocky the “acceptable” code of conducts of blogging; the dos and don’ts.

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To the upcoming Bloggers United body, best of luck!

 

 

Published in: on April 5, 2007 at 00:12  Comments (4)