February 28th, 2008 by Hafiz Noor Shams
Friend Nik Nazmi is running for election and he has produced a video articulating his agenda for his constituency.
At the Malay College, we used to joke that he would be the first among our class to be thrown into prison, courtesy of ISA. We did not joke about him being the first among our class to run for public office.
Friends. Remember to blog about Nik Nazmi tomorrow as part of an initiative to put bloggers into public office!
While I am at it, allow me to touch a criticism directed at the effort made by Siber Party of Malaysia. They wrote:
While we read blogs and we do operate a blog, it is only our platform and website to inform the good citizens of Malaysia about our views and policies on matters that concern all Malaysians.
Which also means we are not going to support a blogger because he or she is a blogger. we want to know their stand, their approach, their policies, philosophies, politics on all things Malaysian and the world. [Between axes. Siber Party of Malaysia. February 25 2008]
I absolutely agree that we should not support a candidate just because the candidate is a blogger. Yet, I need to point out that the criticism misses the whole point of the initiative: the initiative at its heart is about freedom. I wrote ‘liberty’ or ‘freedom’ no less than 4 times in emails that I sent out to probably 100 bloggers and the entry which introduces the initiative.
The idea behind the effort is to put those that embrace freedom of expression into public offices. From these offices, they have opportunities to defend their and our freedom from tyranny. I honestly believe the bloggers whom I have listed believe in freedom of speech, which is essential to blogging. Elizabeth Wong has probably been doing something for liberty when I was in diaper (okay, that is an exaggeration). Jeff Ooi knows what freedom of expression is, especially when it revolves around blogging and I know enough of Nik Nazmi to know that he appreciates freedom. TAs for Badrul Hisham a.k.a. chegubad, well, he is up against the son-in-law.
The crux of the message is freedom. Indeed, supporting a candidate just because he is a blogger does not make sense. I would certain not support a religious extremist‘s candidacy for public office just because he is a blogger.
So, Siber Party of Malaysia, are you willing to reconsider your position?