Bloggers boycotting Galas & Batu Sapi

In the heat of so many reacting to Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim’s over reacting action of making a Police report against Supremo-Bloggo-Journo Datuk Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan’s posting of “Who gets Santa Rais’s RM 1 Billion handout” on Tuesday, it attracted overwhelming attention. It became a media news item which was carried by TV and all MSMs.

So many, be it politicians, journalists, members of the corporate world or even common friends shown termendous solidarity and support for what happened to Datuk Rocky.

Naturally, the bloggers came in full support of Rocky. It is just like and how bloggers of diverse interests and political standing came together when Rocky and Jeff Ooi were sued by Dato’ Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan and NSTP in January 2007. The solidarity was so overwhelming that National Alliance of Bloggers (All Blogs) was formed on 12 April 2007.

Most of the strongest critics to Rais’s over-handed-ness and immature police report action are the pro-Government bloggers. They came out almost immediately in full force and attack mode on Rais’s action, the speed how the investigations developed and making comparisons against other cybersphere controversies which should be bordering more damning wrongdoings such as ‘sedition’.

One of the call was blogger Jailani Harun’s asking these bloggers to “Stay away from Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections”, as a sign of protest. Right wing bloggers especially this lot have had immense contribution in previous by-elections carrying electron-speed news from area of operations to the watchful eyes of political media consumers and addicts. They effectively dispel a lot of issues raised by the Oppositions when mainstream campaigns were almost ultra sluggish and via cybersphere managing nationwide perception on how BN was countering national issues including the controversies from the ground.

Bagan Pinang, Hulu Selangor and Sibu by elections demonstrated clearly the dedication and effectiveness of this small band of bloggers. Their resources deployed were far less than MSMs but proven highly effective.

Jai’s call created ripples throughout and even at Leadership level. They knew we were very serious because esprit d’corp is a virtue that bound these bloggers together and we stood by that code religiously for the last 40 months or so. Boycotting by-elections mean that BN is under handed on the cybersphere front and the Leadership knows very well that they could no longer ignore the blogging fraternity in their campaigns.

As such, this blogger have had a chance to meet up with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yasin within this week. He was very concerned on the development of Rais’s police report on Rocky. In our brief discussion, the UMNO Deputy President did express his personal disagreement on the over-handed-ness action and was cautioned on the repercussions that resulted from the police report made. This blogger conveyed to Muhyiddin that in the dismay of anger, it was the intention of our band-of-bloggers to “Boycott the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections”.

Muhyiddin was quick to react and ask us not to take such actions. “Please help the party. This is not about Rais”.

He was right. This is not about UMNO. This is all about Rais making a police report as an individual. He happens to be MT UMNO member and Cabinet Minister in charge of information, which is supposed to include the cybersphere. Never the less, in this episode he took the adversarial instead of engaging approach. That is unbecoming of him, especially in the age of digital democracy and the role that blogs play in the mainstream politics.

Muhyiddin is one of the UMNO Leaders who understood what we could do for the party and the value of the cyber-political node in the current challenges of digital democracy which bloggers offer with dedication for him to execute his job as the Deputy President and Deputy Chairman of BN. He has been very open to engage bloggers throughout and even ever open to take our criticisms. For that, he earned termendous respect from this small pro-Government blogging fraternity and we value his leadership.

Thus, we the small band of bloggers shall just go against Rais on this. We shall heed Muhyiddin’s request and continue on our cyber-political role in the upcoming by-elections. Rais should learn how Muhyiddin managed to win our respect with his engagement approach and open-ness to embrace the power of digital democracy.

However, it is not without a condition. Our call for Muhyiddin as the UMNO Leader whose job is to ensure the operations of BN by-elections is that he better ensure that Rais will not turn up during the campaigns. If he does, then please don’t expect us to be there. Crude but very honestly, we loathe the sight of an educated and cultured man who cannot control his tantrums!

Then again, Rais must be able to tell beyond his private office’s circle that almost the whole country is mocking him for the police report he made against Rocky. There is even a call to ask Rais be sacked. In history, this is the second time a Cabinet Minister made a police report against ‘slanderous and malignant accusations’. The first time was a man name Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim in 1998, after Khalid Jaffri’s book “50 Dalil” was out. We all remembered what happened to him there on.




Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 10:05  Comments (28)