Sunday, March 23, 2008

Principles and Practice of Blogging

My Principles Of Writing

When I first started this web log one month ago, I asked myself in the first post that probably no one had read just what was it that I was trying to achieve.

I didn’t know. I still don’t, to a certain extent.

The Truth is Important
I was determined not to write anything that I am not authoritative enough to. I am not going to lay half truths and frank lies because the mainstream media has already claimed that role. If I were to write anything factual, it would be something that I am personally going through and living in – my niche in daily life. That is why I write about healthcare and education and Sabah and Project IC in a somewhat authoritative manner. I am sure of what I am writing and most importantly, I can face my conscience every day.

Freedom of Speech
I respect the freedom of speech. As Voltaire said, “I may not approve of you say but I will defend to my death your very right to say it.” I’ve learnt from a young age that everyone has opinions, even though they might not verbalize it, as evidenced by the high number of readers in most blogs but the small number of comments. As this is my web log, I am free to write my opinion the same way you are free to criticize. My responsibility as blog owner is to ensure that I will criticize tactfully and with reasons or evidence. Apart from that, the rest is beyond my control like whether one chooses to criticize my opinion or attack my character instead.

Equality for All
Malaysians live in a land of inequality and injustice. We have different rules and standards set in practice for the UMNOputras and Bumiputras, Malays and non-Muslims, BN politicians and opposition, East and West Malaysians. Web logs are different, at least most of them. In this one at least, no one will be denied due credit or spared from criticisms. BN or DAP, PKR or PAS, NECF or JAIS – if I feel and am of the opinion that something rotten needs to be written about, I will and will do so without fear or favor. As a non-partisan Malaysian, I am not obliged to toe the line set in place by any registered organization. I may have voted for a particular party in the general elections or go to a church of a particular organisation, but that does not mean that I am prohibited to speak my minds when my thoughts nag me to. I have my thoughts and I will use them in the way I see fit. If I am to be proven wrong later, I will gladfully eat humble pie.

Emotions Matter
My recent posts criticizing the NECF seem to receive very emotional backlash, with the comments revolving around my character and motives rather than the argument itself. I welcome all your comments and read them through and through. I will not remove any comments unless these are written with malicious intentions to anger or hurt any particular community. I understand that some issues have been projected by the BN government to be “sensitive’ and “touchy” though I personally think that these are overexaggerated. This blog was never intended to be a people-pleaser. I have accepted the fact that no matter what I do or say or write, there is no way I can please everyone and anyone. Therefore, the onus is on readers to decide how they will respond a certain post. Should we be emotional and angry when someone we adore and respect is criticized or do we ponder over it with reason and logic and rebut accordingly?

A Different Viewpoint
I am no political scientist or qualified analyst. I am not trained in statistics or history. There are many learned and authoritative personalities out there who write theses and books and volumes on a wide variety of topics. If there was something I can offer Malaysia and the world, it would be a different perspective - a naïve, questioning viewpoint on the events that are constantly unfolding around us.

Thank you for reading.


CK Tan said...

with the BN starts to invade the blogosphere, seems like it starts to stir up now with the all-blogs no-blogs kind of thing.

just keep doing gd work on ur blog and all-or-no it doesn't matter.

take k POTS

Anonymous said...

Perils Of Blogging Without Fear

"In this one at least, no one will be denied due credit or spared from criticisms. BN or DAP, PKR or PAS, NECF or JAIS – if I feel and am of the opinion that something rotten needs to be written about, I will and will do so without fear or favor"

Your candour is laudable. It's like a much needed breath of fresh air and I take my hat off to you. However I question the wisdom of blogging without fear or inhibition particularly when blogging about dodgy practices. Can one truly blog without fear of repercussions? Ever heard of the ominous Internal Security Act 1960 or considered the implications of having the ISA in this day and age?

As a reader of this blog I appreciate your courage, candour, acerbic wit and caustic criticisms and I am certain these are the qualities which attract repeat visits to this blog (everyone clamouring for more of the same). But can the same be said about your detractors, the authorities and the ruling party of the day? One wonders if they would take kindly to it. After all they are not known for their breadth of minds are they? If memory serves, I seem to have read somewhere that they are of the opinion that bloggers especially the vociferous ones are a nuisance and that such bloggers must be cut down to size.

Although I have but a nodding acquaintance with your blog (after all it was a mere few days ago that I discovered this blog by sheer serendipity) your posts (those few that I’ve read) take a detailed, insightful, probing and provocative look at the issues of the day. You sound like someone of exceptional perspicacity and seem to have exhibited an astonishing breath of learning (a trait which will undoubtedly hold you in good stead). Most of all you write from the perspective of an underdog.

It’s well and good to blog such thought provoking posts but can one truly, truly blog without fear. Bear in mind that opinion pieces that hit too close to home or are too close for comfort can often be fraught with perils and pitfalls.

I really don’t mean to rain on your parade and I’m really just thinking out loud and playing devil’s advocate.

Candour is a double edge sword is it not?

Q8-) Thinking out loud kindred spirit