Bloggers guild formed

The Blogging community in Malaysia has been agreed to be formed. Last evening, no less than 50 bloggers met at the NPC and agreed to form the first body of bloggers in Malaysia. A protem committee was elected and Ahiruddin Attan is the President.

The big names of Malaysian socio political blogging were there. Raja Petra, Rocky, Jeff Ooi, Dato’ Ron Ahmad and Zahrin Md Yassin are some of the bloggers who enjoys high hits. Others, like Dato’ Ahmad Reejal Arbee, who doesn’t not have a dedicated blog, but in total support, was there too. Some even flew in from out of town. Some couldn’t make it.

The report in MStar online (www.mstar.com.my), late Thursday 5 April 2007:

Penulis blog tubuh ‘pakatan nasional’
05-04-2007 10:55:23 PM
Oleh SALHAN K. AHMAD

KUALA LUMPUR: Di tengah kritikan dan tuduhan terhadap blog dan laman web yang didakwa tidak bertanggungjawab dan menipu, sekumpulan penulis blog hari ini mencipta sejarah baru dengan membentuk “Pakatan Kebangsaan Penulis Blog”.

Lebih kurang 40 orang, termasuk beberapa tokoh dan penulis yang popular di ruang siber, hadir di sini untuk mengasaskan sebuah organisasi rasmi penulis blog.

Mesyuarat sulung itu yang diadakan di Kelab Wartawan Kebangsaan (NPC) memilih 12 orang ahli jawatankuasa penaja.

Ahiruddin Attan dipilih sebagai presiden, Jeff Ooi (naib presiden), Nuraina A. Samad (setiausaha), Tony Yew (bendahari) bersama lapan orang ahli jawatankuasa seperti model struktur organisasi NPC.

Dua penulis blog popular Patrick Teoh dan Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz turut dipilih sebagai ahli jawatankuasa.

Ahiruddin dan Ooi sekarang berdepan dengan tindakan saman oleh kumpulan New Straits Times (M) Press dan beberapa pegawai kanan syarikat gergasi media tersebut.

Dalam ucapan awalnya, Ahiruddin selaku pengerusi mesyuarat itu berkata penubuhan jawatankuasa itu penting untuk membolehkan perlembagaan persatuan digubal sebelum permohonan rasmi dikemukakan kepada Pendaftar Pertubuhan.

Organisasi itu boleh berfungsi sebagai wadah membela nasib penulis blog daripada masalah-masalah yang bakal mereka hadapi, tambahnya.

“Seperti yang saya alami kini apabila disaman oleh NSTP, saya merasa amat kesepian. Saya merasakan dengan adanya kelab seperti ini, kita akan dapat bersatu untuk mempertahankan hak penulis blog,” katanya.

Pertubuhan itu juga, katanya, boleh menganjurkan kursus-kursus penulisan, antaranya bagi mendidik penulis blog tentang implikasi perundangan di negara ini.

Sejak blog menjadi bahan diskusi umum, bersama kenyataan-kenyataan yang dianggap kontroversi daripada beberapa menteri, pertemuan ini kali pertama dan terbesar pernah diadakan di negara ini.

Di Dewan Rakyat semalam, Timbalan Menteri Tenaga, Air dan Komunikasi, Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor melontarkan idea untuk mendaftarkan penulis-penulis blog.

Langkah itu, katanya, bertujuan mengawal penyebaran bahan negatif dan fitnah di internet.

Dalam kenyataannya kepada agensi berita AFP hari ini, Shaziman berkata pendaftaran itu perlu bagi memudahkan kerajaan menjejak kegiatan penulis blog, seperti yang pernah diperkenalkan di beberapa negara lain, termasuk Singapura.

Bulan lalu, Menteri Penerangan Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin menggesa akhbar-akhbar tidak memetik sumber daripada laman blog ketika melaporkan sesuatu berita kerana sumber itu “tidak boleh dianggap sah.”

Beliau juga dilaporkan kecewa kerana terdapat blog yang tidak dikemaskini dan memaparkan maklumat tidak tepat sehingga menimbulkan rasa tidak selesa dan kekeliruan kepada pembaca.

Datuk Ruhanie Ahmad, bekas anggota parlimen Barisan Nasional, yang hadir di mesyuarat itu berkata kerajaan tidak sepatutnya melabelkan penulis blog sebagai anti-kerajaan kerana pandangan yang dilontarkan oleh golongan ini kebanyakannya relevan dan perlu diberikan perhatian.

Jelasnya lagi, tindakan pihak tertentu meninggalkan komen-komen pro-kerajaan di kaki coretan beberapa laman blog yang bersifat kritikal juga tidak mendatangkan apa-apa manfaat.

“Penulis blog bukannya penentang kerajaan. Perkara yang ditimbulkan di blog mereka adalah masalah-masalah dalam sistem penyampaian kerajaan seperti dilihat oleh mereka.

“Sepatutnya kerajaan kumpulkan komen-komen ini dan memperbaiki kelemahan mereka, bukannya dengan mengupah orang untuk menjawab di blog-blog,” katanya.

Penulis blog terkenal, Raja Petra Kamaruddin berkata penubuhan organisasi itu penting untuk memberi kesedaran kepada kerajaan mengenai kuasa media internet yang sedang berkembang pesat.

“Menjelang 2040, akhbar hanya akan wujud dalam bentuk web seperti yang anda lihat di skrin komputer dan media yang paling berkuasa pada masa itu adalah blog,” katanya.

Penulis blog wanita Susan Loone, yang datang dari Bangkok, berkata beliau berharap keahlian pertubuhan baru itu tidak bersifat eksklusif.

“Ramai di kalangan penulis blog bukanlah yang menulis bahan-bahan politik. Saya harap kelab ini akan membuka ruang kepada semua penulis blog, lebih-lebih lagi kepada wanita,” katanya.

Turut hadir di mesyuarat itu, bekas ketua pengarang Datuk Rejal Arbee, aktivis hak asasi Elizabeth Wong dan dua peguam, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar dan Haris Ibrahim.

This community was formed to promote healthy and progressive blogging, amongst Malaysians. The most important moral victory achieved from this is that the bloggers took to task a self regulatory move on the blogging medium, an intention the Government intended to enforce, as announced by Energy, Water and Telecommunications Deputy Minister YB Dato’ Shahziman Abu Mansor in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Star, Tursday 5 April 2007:


Bloggers may have to register

AT THE DEWAN RAKYAT

BLOGGERS using locally hosted websites may be asked to register with the authorities, Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said.

He said registration was one of the measures the Government was considering to prevent the spread of negative or malicious content on the Internet.

Shaziman said this while winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address for his ministry.

He added that the ministry did not have any problem with bloggers who identified themselves, and he welcomed blogging activities.

However, he said there were about 50,000 websites registered under the .my suffix and there were a lot of avenues for anyone to host websites with malicious content which could harm the country’s security.

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, who interjected when Shaziman was speaking, said the negative comments of several ministers about bloggers reflected their lack of understanding about information flow in cyberspace.

“They should be educated on the vast benefits of blogging, which will help them to interact more with the people. Many politicians overseas already have their own blogs,” he added.

Asked to comment on the matter, Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said bloggers were very aware of their own ethics and responsibility for content on their sites.

While agreeing that there were bloggers who had inflammatory content, he said unidentified bloggers could still be traced through their website addresses.

He added that the problem was also about inflammatory comments by unidentified visitors to the blogs.

Ahirudin Attan of Rocky’s Bru said the move to compel local bloggers to register was effectively the Government trying to control what Malaysians were writing online.

“This violates the Government’s no-censorship policy with regards to the Internet,” he said.

He added that the move would just create fear among the bloggers and would encourage them to host their blogs overseas.

Marina Mahathir, a blogger and activist, said the Government really should “get real.”

She said the move “is just going to make Malaysia look ridiculous in the eyes of the world.”

Blogger Jeff Ooi wondered why the Government was pursuing this course of action.

He said the Government had already set up the Content Forum to deliberate on complaints by any party.


So it seems the bloggers themselves took to task the responsible thing to do, on their own. It only shows the authorities will always be three steps behind, on anything which the MSC Bill of Guarantee has promised not to be done.

Of course bloggers like YB Dato’ Shahrir Samad were not there. Honestly, nobody expect him to be, anyway. It has been defined that Shahrir is not a blogger. He is just a blog theme. It seems someone else blogs under the name “Shahrir Samad”.

Even if he applied to be a member, most probably he would be denied. Too bad, Shahrir!

 

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Published in: on April 6, 2007 at 02:00  Comments (2)