pic courtesy of Leo Foo
You know guys, when I hear of the Six Degrees of Separation theory, I can’t help but think back to this statement I made when I was an old teenager. Some kind of contradiction in terms there, I know, but that would lead to another story, for another day.
This is the statement I made, numerous times since. Before you were a politician, doctor, teacher, before you were Malay or Chinese or Indian, before you were a Muslim, Hindu, Christian…whatever, and before you were a male or female, or even your mother’s child, you were a human being created of a race of humans, by God. That fact makes us all brethrens.
This is a fact that start occurring to me increasingly as I take my baby steps into this virtual world called the Blogosphere. For instance, I don’t know Nizam Bashir from Adam, and neither does he know me. But thanks to a project that this fellow blogger initiated months ago, I am today writing my bit for 50 Posts to Independence.
Who’s directly responsible for this? My newfound friend and a gonzo blogger that I have a lot of respect for. This original Orang Minyak, Mat Salo, blogs from his lonely outpost off the isle of Borneo. A man of deep thought, an accomplished storyteller who relates tales of his travels with that nonchalance that draws sniggers often and a literary finesse that leaves me mind-fucked. He thought me fit to continue this tradition and so he tagged me. Thanks my friend, it is a high honour you bestowed on your fellow Malaysian that you’ve met only a few times.
The blog has brought together Malaysians of various creed, background and God knows what differences. Yet this has increasingly proven (at least to me) a colour blind medium. How amazing is that?However, perhaps the most significant prize I’ve gained since blogging is the joyful realization is there are many, many Malaysians out there who are intelligent, wise, care enough for their motherland (even if they reside abroad) and brave enough to write about what’s right and wrong with it. The icing on the cake is that I see shared concern of the state of affairs in Malaysia that goes beyond partisan lines, beyond class distinctions and most importantly in this multiracial country IMHO, beyond race and religious differences.Now, that may have been a surface value that government propaganda prefers to publicly flog with meaningless slogans and songs, but a semblance of unity has emerged among Malaysian Netizens that I find real.
I saw it during at the onset of the lawsuits against Rocky and Jeff Ooi, when intrepid bloggers Susan Loone and Sheih rallied bloggers behind them in a rare show of online solidarity. I see it in the sharing of timely satirical posters of Mob 1900 which makes its rounds at many people’s blogs. I see it at the Mee Rebus gatherings at Kak Maria’s, where jokes are as rampant as exchange of news, views and ideas. I saw it in the many postings and comments in support of embattled and persecuted bloggers like Nathaniel Tan and the indefatigable Raja Petra Kamarudin.
Most of all, I see it in the passion with which people respond to an issue that affects the nation, when carried in a posting by Rocky, Jeff, Aisehman, Zorro, Shar 101…hell, I could go on. This kind of discourse was unheard of in such magnitude during the pre-blog era, with the exception perhaps of MGG Pillai’s forum in the 90s (God bless his departed soul). So in my contribution to 50 postings, I would like to salute bloggers of Malaysia, who in such a short period of 4 years, have made an impact on the socio-political landscape of country, enough that the mainstream media sits up to take note, and The Powers That Be rattled.
Maybe we can be the agents of change, towards a more equitable, cleaner, less corrupt Malaysia. This is my birthday wish as a Merdeka child.
Here are the others that preceded me.
50, 49, 48, 47, 46, 45, 44, 43, 42, 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, 36, 35, 34, 33, 32,31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 , 6, 5, Mat Salo at #4 and now me.
As someone relatively young, I choose to tag that fount of experience, Cikgu Bernard Khoo or Uncle Zorro as I call him, so that he can contribute to our collective learning as only a teacher can. Uncle Zorro, the torch is yours at #2.