Sunday, December 02, 2007

Once in a while, I do the rounds and read Malaysian news.....

I read BOTH Malaysiakini and TheStar. Why I bother with TheStar, is because you need a point of reference for each side of the spectrum. Then I read the blogs. To get the opinions of the people.

From where I stand, a few things stand out:

  • Nurin Jazlin, the 8 year old Malaysian girl who did not deserve to die the way she did. Looks like a lot of bloggers felt the loss hit a little too close to home. This is happening in Malaysia. And pretty often, too- from what I can tell from a little session with Google. So, Malaysians, what are you going to do about it? I trust that there will be lots reactive responses from the powers that be, that's for sure. Anything proactive at all?

Perhaps something blindingly simple like keeping your children within your sight at all times? This may not be realistically possible for many parents, as angry Malaysian mums might cry out- but there's such a thing as relatives, friends, babysitters and maids.

Dumb it down a bit more for for those who need it: EDUCATE your kids about the dangers that lie out there in big bad old KL (no, this is NOT about which neighbourhood you're in). Sickos and perverts exist. This isn't the same innocent world that we grew up in. DO NOT let your kids out of your sight, hold them close to you. Don't let Nurin die in vain, LEARN from this. May she rest in peace.

I feel pretty lucky that I live in a country where I feel safer than I would in Malaysia, but I would never, never take it for granted for one second.

Are law enforcement officers in Malaysia paid enough to care about people who don't bribe them? Pigs will fly before anyone addresses that little ditty of a question.

Will there ever be education campaigns in the media that target average Malaysian about ways of keeping kids safe from sexual predators? Will it ever be politically correct to show this openly on TV the way anti-dadah campaigns were shown? Will any money be spent on this?

  • Zainuddin Maidin, Malaysian Information Minister, trying to halt the progress that technology (eg. blogs) brings into all our lives. Let's not forget that there are people out there who voted for this man, who will listen to this man because they have no idea what bloggers actually do. Isn't this typical of what Hofstede's research suggests about high power distance countries like Malaysia?
  • Malaysian bloggers. Intelligent, proactive, socially aware, articulate individuals who are making more of a difference than politicians ever will. How? Social networking and engagement. It's just like viral marketing but not quite. Unfortunately, despite the difference made, the Malaysian government still largely consists of neanderthals. Voting isn't compulsory in Malaysia, so it all boils down to who fights the traffic jams, queues up, registers to get to the polls on election day. Anecdotal evidence suggest that most affluent Malaysians couldn't be stuffed to move their arse off their comfy couch away from ASTRO or their laptops to make a REAL difference. Supporting and campaigning for the candidate that you want to represent this country is the most effective way.
It'll be a while before I bring myself to read the same old same old shit again.

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