As suggested by my good friend, who sometimes act as my voice of conscience and to whose views I fully concur with, All-Blogs (otherwise known as the National Alliance of Bloggers) must turun padang (go down to the fields) in Ijok and campaign for freedom of speech for Bloggers.
This campaign, also the first, in the history of bloggers, must see heavyweight bloggers like Sheih @ kickedefella, Rocky, Jeff Ooi, Nuraina Samad, Marina Mahathir, Elizabeth Wong and Raja Petra Kamaruddin, meet the Ijok people, or at least their respresentatives to tell them there is such a thing called blogger, bloggers united, alliance of bloggers, and freedom of speech.
In this campaign, which should be participated by all if not most of All-Blogs committee members, should take the opportunity to tell voters, why blogs are important, not only for free speech, but for nation building. Explain to them the role of bloggers (some) as watch dogs of the nation, and for some, as reporters or bearers of truth. Tell about the new media, and how it is sweeping the world over. Tell them that people do not anymore rely on one single newspaper for reports, or the truth, as many of these can be unreliable, depending on who their paymasters are: government or opposition, or even non-governmental organisations.
What All-Blogs can do is draw up a referendum and present it to the two election candidates: Parthiban and Khalid. The document, which is morally binding, should include articles of freedom of expression and respect for all bloggers. It must also oppose absolutely any attempt to restrict or control bloggers by registration with the government or the ilks of it. And lastly, it must get the commitment of the candidate to not only promote but protect the freedom of bloggers.
The candidate who supports the referendum gets our (blogger) support. The one who doesnt: siap lah kau (be prepared you). For other bloggers like me, would be churning out posts after posts about All-Blogs activities in Ijok. It’s also a short cut to solidarity among bloggers. For in a very exciting way, this adventure, not only get bloggers involved in the election process, it’s also a way for cheap publicity lah!
I also suggest All-Blogs to team up with writers and journalists from WAMI (writers alliance for media independence), who I think, will be campaigning in the by-election for media freedom. Like I said earlier, All-Blogs must never be exclusive, but inclusive and try to engage all forces, especially bloggers who also write in Malay, Chinese, Tamil and Indigenous languages like our East Malaysian friends.
So, what do you think, Mr. President – Rocky? Is All-Blogs prepared for this?