Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Government's
Losing Battle
Against Bloggers

By Ibnu Hakeem

The Government’s ostriches are definitely wishing that they did not have to stick their heads out of the sand. Whenever they pull their heads out of the sand they seem to see Bloggers charging at them from every direction and scaring the holy stuff out of them. The Bloggers have definitely made the Government’s ostriches panicky and put them on the defensive. Ostriches are not designed to panic. If they do, they run helter-skelter in a most ungainly fashion and start looking like chickens.

One Government ostrich has accused 80% of Bloggers of being ‘unemployed women’. Then, in anticipation of the General Elections, this ostrich already started using the tried and proven trick of frightening the Chinese voters with the ‘May 13’ riots. He has linked racial riots to people venting their frustrations too freely on the Internet.

Another Government ostrich has gone around crowing that he has called newspaper editors and told them not to reproduce any ‘anti-Government’ articles published by Bloggers. Does this mean that ‘pro-Government articles’ from the same Blogs are okay? Ostriches must learn to be more specific.

Yet another ostrich has said that Bloggers write lies. This is the ostrich that has a propensity to lie in the Mongolian prairie and then cover up its mess with plastic - of the C4 variety.

Firstly, the Internet is not a new phenomenon. The 10th General Elections in 1999 saw the first widespread use of cyberspace to conduct a cyber war between the BN Government and the Opposition parties. The use of cyber space went up many more notches in 2004.


But the Government was not too perturbed with the Net and the cyber war at that time. So why is the Government so afraid of Bloggers now? I read a very simple yet concise analysis by another unknown Blogger of why the Government is so afraid. His reasoning was very simple and logical.

In 1999 and 2004, the BN Government only had to deal with the ‘cyber warriors’ from the Opposition. This was an easy job to do. There were two main reasons why it was easy to handle the Opposition’s cyber war. Firstly, the Opposition in Malaysia has always been handicapped. PAS is maybe a creation of UMNO and has become the BN’s secret weapon to frighten the Chinese and also the Malays with their nonsensical outbursts. DAP still remains a non-starter. After 40 years of beating around the bush, they still have not been able to elucidate a clear program or vision for all Malaysians, especially for the majority Malays. Minus the BN’s frequent bungles and fumbles which provide such good fodder for the DAP, what remains of the party is still a chauvinism which only attracts a fringe element amongst Chinese voters. Parti Keadilan was doomed from the beginning. There is nothing much to say about that party at all.

The second reason why the Opposition’s cyber warriors could not dent the BN Government in 1999 and 2004 was because BN itself had many capable psywar writers and cyber specialists who easily defeated anything thrown up by the Opposition. The Internet and the media were infested with pro-Government writers (yours truly included) who really trusted in the Government - despite all its faults. It is the trust that was important - and trust always carries with it hope to tide over any lean times. The Government was not perfect, no Government is, but we had faith that we could somehow get ourselves involved in the process to effect positive change. Hence we defended the Government tooth and nail on the Internet. Unfortunately, this trust and hope is now gone with the incompetence and corruption of the present leadership.

A large number of Malaysians and most certainly almost all the Bloggers have lost faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. All of us are most certainly patriots who love this country, but we just don’t trust the leadership anymore.
And it is this same group of patriotic writers and Bloggers who are now so strongly criticising the leadership of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. This is the reason why the Government is finding it difficult to neutralize the Bloggers. These Bloggers also have strong links and sources from deep within the Government. Often they are able to expose news and other detailed insider information which has caught the Government with its pants down.


Blog-driven embarrassments that come to mind are the three Emergency Ordinance detainees who allegedly bought their freedom for RM5 million, the purchase of an RM200 million super-luxury Airbus jetliner for the Prime Minister, the RM600 million bribe to the 191 Umno divisions, the USD50 billion ‘foreign loan’ con-job, the Umno Supreme Council meeting that discussed how to sabotage Tun Dr Mahathir is the Kubang Pasu division elections, the Oil for Food scandal implicating Abdullah Badawi, over RM200 million losses incurred by a Government GLC in a failed venture overseas, as well as numerous pictures and videos of the Prime Minister sleeping at public functions and meetings. The wastages and poor management of Malaysia Airlines including the purchase of expensive paintings for millions of Ringgit at a time when the airline was making massive losses was also exposed by courtesy of Bloggers.

Among the more popular Bloggers who takes pot shots at Abdullah Badawi is Sang Kelembai (Zaharin Mohd Yasin) who - despite being unceremoniously and hurriedly fired from Umno by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi - still is a strong supporter of Umno. As Sang Kelembai would say, the blood in his veins is Umno. Then there is Datuk Ruhanie Ahmad, formerly the right hand man to former Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam and once a Member of Parliament himself. Datuk Ruhanie or Ron writes in his popular Blog ‘Gerbang Ruhanie’ and Mayaputera. Other well known Bloggers include the anonymous ‘Aisehman’ and ‘Cuit Sikit’ who are definitely Government men too.

‘Rocky’s Bru’ is penned by none other than Rocky himself or Ahiruddin Atan, formerly the head honcho at the Malay Mail which is part of the Umno media empire. The other former stalwart of UMNO’s media empire is none other than Dato Abdul Kadir Jasin - the Scribe - whose Blogspot carries intuitive analysis of the goings on in the country in very precise Malay. Both these Bloggers are extremely popular. Marina Mahathir, daughter of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, also pens her own ‘Rantings’.

But the strangest bird that ever flew the coop is Malaysia Today’s Raja Petra Kamarudin - a most interesting Website owner and Blogger who is fighting his own crusade against corruption, abuse of power and general incompetence - these three being the hallmarks of the Abdullah Badawi administration. Petra was once upon a time director of the Free Anwar Campaign - another Web-based campaign to free Anwar Ibrahim from imprisonment. Petra was strongly identified with the Opposition party Keadilan but has since become a strong supporter of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed - himself the foremost critic of the Badawi Incompetence. Malaysia Today attracts over 1.7 million ‘hits’ a day - an enviable superlative in Blogspeak.

With his wide networking, well placed ‘Deep Throat’ informers, and disarmingly friendly character, Petra has the most admirable penchant of making news scoops. According to him, more and more disgruntled people from within the corridors of power also contact him to volunteer information.

When reading their Blogspots, none of these Bloggers come across as being supporters of the Opposition. What is clear is their unhappiness with the incompetence of Abdullah Badawi. This is what irks the Government and makes it extremely difficult for the Government of Abdullah Badawi to reply to Bloggers. They are not dealing with Opposition bumpkins. They are basically dealing with their own people.

Special Team

Government sources say that the leadership has requested the Ministry of Information and one other Ministry to set up special teams to answer the Blogs. One of the suggestions was for Government operatives to penetrate the Blogs and post rebuttals but this method failed because the Government operatives turned out to be uninformed and generally incompetent, quickly exposing themselves and the Government to even more ridicule. There is very little love for Government incompetents on the Blogspots and neither are prisoners taken.

Another Government suggestion was for the creation of pro-Government Blogspots. But this idea too was a non starter. Firstly, the estimated cost was in excess of RM500,000 per annum. Secondly, it would be an open admission that the Ministry of Information, the Government owned media, and all the resources available to the Government have failed to satisfactorily answer the Bloggers. It was also an uphill task to get good writers because most of the pro-Government writers were now the Bloggers themselves. Bloggers also operate out of patriotism and love of country whereas Government operatives work for other inducements. The Umno headquarters has a 35-member ‘cyber-patrol’ whose job is to surf the Internet and reply to comments in the Blogs. But they are not doing a very good job at it.

This is what the Government is up against this time. Of course, the easiest and cheapest cost solution is for the Government to show more competence but this appears to be easier said than done. The alternative is the Bloggers’ main beef as well as the cheaper and easier solution - get rid of the main cause of the incompetence and replace the Prime Minister with a more able and suitable candidate. Otherwise the Bloggers will have an easy task ahead of them.


Malaysokmo said...

Ibnu Hakem @ Bapak Ron, semuanya itu hanya Bapak ibnu punya teori. Bapak ibni bisa katakan macam-macam, namun yang pasti Bapak tahu apa yang sebenarnya berlaku. Bapak Abdullah semakin dihormati oleh kami kumpulan yang kecil-kecil dan rakyat bawahan. Kami akur dan amat yakin sekali Bapak Abdullah berjuang demi kesenangan kami. Bukan seperti Bapak Ibnu dan yang lain-lain yang tidak tahu atau tidak mahu bersyukur. Perencanaan pembangunan yang disampeikan oleh Bapak Abdullah melegakan kami, kami yang jadi pemborong binaan atau tukang bina bangunan dibantu, bapak-bapak nelayan dibantu dan bapak-bapak petani dan peladang dibantu. Mungkin Bapak Ibnu dan Bapak Ron sudah kaya, jadi tidak perlu lahi beterimakasih. Aduh, sedih sekali, ini perlakuan orang yang tidak tahu beterimakasih. Sampai bila Bapak ibnu dan Bapak ron akan begini, DUlu kok zaman Bapak Mahathir pun dikeji, masakini zaman Bapak Abdullah pun dikeji, nanti kapan zaman Bapak Najib pun Bapak Najib akan dikeji, Waduh, apakah kerja bapak-bapak semua hanya kerja mengeji? Waduh, hebat sekali begitu ya.

alexo said...

I say tak usah temberang lahh..
sejak Dollah jadi PM kehidupan kami rakyat biasa semakin terhimpit, semua kerana dasar2 yg sedikit pun tidak menguntungkan kami rakyat biasa. Mungkin kamu kontraktor2 boleh digula2 kan dgn kontrak2 dan projek, tapi kami rakyat biasa dah nak muntah tengok muka Dollah kak TV.
by the way, kamu orang Indon ke?

Berita dari gunung said...

Saya rasa sukar untuk menyebut perkara yang buruk tentang orang lain. Bila serangan kelihatan agak peribadi dan dibawah tali pinggang, saya lebih selesa berdiri jauh dan memandang.

Isu yang diketengahkan ialah blog yang kini bercambah merupakan ancaman kepada kerajaan. Tentu sekali!!

Lebih menakutkan lagi ialah setengah blogger adalah yang pernah dan sedang terlibat dengan media perdana. Mereka ini tahu banyak dan networking mereka pula bukan sedikit.

Lebih menakutkan lagi ialah ada isu-isu yang sukar dijawab. Tanpa jawapan yang menasabah, isu akan kekal isu dan menjadi kudis.

Saya yakin, bahawa kerajaan yang berwibawa dan terbuka mampu menangkis semua serangan. Tapi jika kerajaan mengambil langkah berdiam diri, ramai nanti terus menganggap kerajaan tidak sensitif dan tidak peduli apa-apa.

Akhirnya kita perlu akui, yang berkuasa tetap kerajaan manakala bloggers tetap menjadi rakyat yang masih sayangkan negara.

Akhirnya kita harus akui, kuasa tanpa jiwa tidak bawak kemana.

InMine said...

Malaysokmo wrote "Bapak Abdullah semakin dihormati oleh kami kumpulan yang kecil-kecil dan rakyat bawahan. Kami akur dan amat yakin sekali Bapak Abdullah berjuang demi kesenangan kami."

What a load of s*&&t! I am rakyat bawahan and I feel the pinch. During 1997-1998 economic crisis, the government acknowledge there was economic problem and took action to remedy the situation. But in 2007, instead of admitting that we have economic problem, the government (especially your Bapak Abdullah) prefers to stick the head in the sand and urged the citizen to gamble at KLSE, so that the cronies can cash in. Who got burn? the rakyat bawahan (excluding me since I do not gamble at KLSE).

lamandau said...

Memang betul ckap ma;laysokmo Pak Lah dihormati 0leh kumpulan kecil yang mendapat upahan saperti nya! This a glaring example of komentar upahan yang membuat komen for the sake of inducements. Sebab itu argumennya agak meleset dan 'shallow' sperti tuan nya juga.
Apa yang harus pihak berkuasa buat is to address the issues secara professional, bukan menghantar petrus(penembak misterious)yang tidak tahu ujung pangkal sesuatu isu. Hanya sekadar nak defend bapaknya sahaja!
Ambil lah penulis2 yang bijak kalau nak tembak orang. Who are you compared to Datuk KJ, Ron dan lain2 otai journalist! Saya meyampah yengok catatan orang spt malysokmo.
Your arguments must be sound so as to gain people's confidence! Don't make a mockery of yourself and the institution you represent!!!

de_kerinchi said...

Aggreed with alexo

Rakyat yang sebenarnya tertekan,cuma ingin membetulkan sikit kenyataan alexo,

hanya kontraktor-kontraktor kroni,yang boleh tersenyum manja...

Berita dari gunung said...

Baru-baru ni.

"Dah habis semua projek diaward. Pada siapa lagi.. hampeh. Spek dan skop pun tak siap lagi dah tau siapa dapat"

Sembang kawan-kawan, sambil minum.

Seorang kawan mencelah " hell with it"

Mika Angel-0 said...

relax, bro
tengok the maverick?
namanya nor mat yakob
better than david blaine
berani hentam sama dia?

i hope you are okay
enam lawan satu
like the six finger man
- it's bloody obscene
and pathethic
but you asked for it!

wake up!
get up!
you carry a proud name!
(unless you pretend to be one)


saya yakin malaysokmo adalah melayu yang bijak. jadi, kalau nak jadi askar upahan, janganlah ceykai sangat. apa pun Ibu Hakeem adalah Ibu Hakeem bukannya Ron atau sapa-sapa yang lain. kalau ikut movie uncle sam, askar upahan selalunya kumpulan elit. malaysokmo gi mana ya?