You might be wondering why I’ve titled this post ‘I’m Chinese’.
The theme of ‘Aku Cina’ is part of the reason why this blog came into being. Partly it’s also my reaction against the Malaysian First posturing — both by the DAP sloganeers and online commentator(s) who employ the ‘Malaysian First’ handle.
I find the anonymous commentators who use ‘Malaysian’ in their pseudonyms, e.g. ‘Anak Bangsa Malaysia’ and variations of it to indicate their own Malaysian-ness par excellence as well as the thrust of their superior comments, to be a great turn-off.
Since my blog has been the subject of speculation and spurious allegations, it’s best that I answer them now.
The readers here
You may have noticed that this blog is bare bones.
The ‘About Me’ page has no other description except one word ‘me’. The photo on the page is to make my identity public so you can recognise me if you meet me on the street.
I’ve not put out any Mission or Vision statements nor provided any commenting guidelines or disclaimers. But even without any stated rules, we’ve done better than alright.
Excluding spam, this blog has so far received 1,202 comments over the last four months.
Out of this number only 3 comments have been disallowed because of personal attacks and foul, abusive language: two from a DAP supporter — same IP address, once using the monicker ‘Penangite’ and another time ‘Lim Ah Kow’ — and the third from an anti-DAP commentator. This puts my censorship at a mere fraction of one percent / 99.75 percent of readers’ comments have been approved.
My friends are astounded at how polite the people are who participate here, considering that it’s censorship-free albeit moderated.
Other comments — a very small handful — have been published with certain words asterisked or edited because I do not wish to get sued by allowing libel by third parties. I tag a note to published comments when this is done — sentences have been deleted only in a few cases.
The above screenshot is from Free Malaysia Today which I’m not linking as the portal has temporarily suspended its Comment facility and readers’ responses are no longer visible. I believe FMT has taken the correct step as allowing comment was like giving flowers to a monkey the way some irresponsible readers had behaved.
Because I’ve been critical of DAP, it had become too tiring to write for the English new media as my articles drew not only the Mrs Smith kind of comments but a barrage of other allegations by the DAP crowd.
Those readers do not counter with facts but resort to character assassination. It was just taking up too much of my time and energy to monitor their defamation.
To answer the accusations.
Nobody’s paying me
By Mohd Maiyidin [Comment #10] who wrote: “Hidup Guan Eng! Kan baru-baru ni PM lantik 1000 bloger utk merepek dan ini adalah salah seorang dari mereka.”
No, I’ve never been appointed by Najib Razak to merepek and the PM doesn’t know me from Adam.
Nor have I ever been paid a single sen by Umno or MCA or any BN component party or the government or any vested interest to write this blog.
It’s purely my own thoughts.
Considering some of the quirky, personal interest stuff that have been uploaded like Top 5 Happiest Songs, Antara pemain drum terhebat dunia and quasi-crystals frying pan, it boggles the mind that some people think I’m receiving a helluva lot of money for operating this blog.
Journos amusing ourselves
I’ve taken to blogging possibly for the same reason as other journalists (former and practising), e.g. A. Kadir Jasin, Ahmad A. Talib (Pahit Manis), Ibrahim Yahaya (Dunia Tiger), Bujai and too many others to name. Writing is what we’ve been trained a lifetime to do and it’s in our blood.
Speaking for myself — I’m opinionated.
Content-wise, it’s not all that difficult to maintain a blog for those of us who have been professionals in the field.
Other than that, we just need a computer, Internet connection and to remember to pay our electricity bill. WordPress and Blogspot hosting is free; our time is money but we’re contributing that pro bono.
I’m no longer in journalism.
I have a day job. I’m a researcher. My boss would prefer to keep his organisation at a distance from what I do here. Like other bloggers, say SatD, I don’t talk about work.
While on the topic of SatD, he’s also been accused before of being an “Umno cybertrooper” because of his devastating critiques of the opposition. It’s not an accusation that I credit and this sort of knee-jerk kicking merely reflects the lack of maturity in our public discourse on politics.
Victim of smear campaign
While bloggers like me are targets of a politician’s hatchet men, look who’s got a large pool of press secretaries and a gargantuan media department (can we say media militia?)
The above screenshot is Penang Umno chairman Zainal Abidin Osman talking about Lim Guan Eng in Saturday’s FMT article ‘Stop blame game, Umno tells Guan Eng‘.
If someone is critical of his administration, he responds by trying to link the person to either Umno or BN,” said Zainal.
The screenshot below is a Malaysiakini reader’s comment on the condemnation by Consumer’s Association of Penang (CAP) of the proposed park as being a threat to the environment.
Malays got it wrong
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve been accused of being “a DAP Trojan horse”. The screenshot below is taken from the blog Pure Shiite where the readers there are happily Helen-bashing.
I am not anti-DAP.
My criticisms are in the same vein as how some Malay bloggers appeared critical of Umno when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was in charge. They were and are not anti-Umno.
My position is that DAP needs a regime change because evangelists have hijacked the party leadership and do not represent the Chinese ethos. However, there’s little chance that the current DAP superstars will be ousted.
If you’ll look that the pie charts from the 2010 census, the stats show that Chinese make up 24.6% of the Malaysian population. Comparatively Buddhists, Taoists, Confucianists and agnostics make up 22.2% of the overall Malaysian population. Only a very few of the Chinese are Christian.
Yet Christians have a disproportionately powerful voice on the national stage through the DAP. Seekor kerbau berkubang, sekandang kena luluknya. Guan Eng, Tony Pua, Hannah Yeoh, Teresa Kok and David Nga Kor Ming are all evangelicals.
My involvement in journalism
SatD’s reader Road Runner (screenshot above) made another accusation that I “used to work in mKini and other opposition media”. That’s a lie.
For the record, I’ve never worked in Malaysiakini.
I contributed a column sometimes weekly but more usually fortnightly. A columnist is just that, like The Star‘s Azmi Sharom for instance who is a Universiti Malaya lecturer or Zainah Anwar who’s an activist.
Columnists just e-mail our article to the editor and we do not clock in at the media office.
I did my cadet training and started my career in NST and after that worked both full-time and later part-time in The Star. If Road Runner believes that both these papers are “opposition media” then I must congratulate him for successfully turning them over, if only in his mind.
I’ve never written for The Malaysian Insider.
My blog has been aggregated by The Mole.
I do not get any payment from The Mole. Below is a screenshot of Desiderata — Y.L. Chong’s blog — also saying the same (something that can easily be verified with a host of other bloggers).
Umno bloggers network
Aggregation of this blog by The Mole and Rocky’s Bru has led some detractors in Pakatan to hold me guilty by association.
It’s true that my blog is on the blogroll of some pro-Umno bloggers. You’ll have to ask them why they like my writing. Whatever their reasons, I appreciate their moral support.
I am particularly grateful to Dr Novandri Hasan Basri (who was given the honour of reading the 1Malaysia Social Media resolution recently) as well as to A Voice (Another Brick in the Wall) plus Rocky of course for the web traffic that they’ve been sending my way.
Even though these guys are pro-Umno, they give space and link opposing views. Unfortunately the pro-Pakatan bloggers (you know who they are) do not make the same allowance. I’m not on their blogroll with the exception of Crankshaft, a Hartal MSM member.
So much for the DAP ‘Trojan Horse’ conspiracy theory (roll my eyes).
Other things you should know
Thank you for reading this far.
Don’t blame me if at the moment my blog commentators seem predominantly Malay and skewed to the pro-establishment side.
It’s not my fault that the pro-opposition supporters don’t wish to read BM which is the main language of my postings. (This one is in English because I’m tired and having a slight headache and it’ll be too taxing for me to write in BM in this condition).
I do not have a Twitter account.
I do not operate or write in any other blog.
The scan of the Tamil paper front page (scroll to top) is a teaser. It’s quite easy to spot me in the photo as I’m the only non-Indian. I’ve put it up for the benefit of my (erstwhile?) reader OverseasBumi.
As for the other barb that I live in an ethnic enclave isolated from Malays, yup that’s right. I can speak BM with ease because I practice talking Malay to myself all the time.