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Sunday, August 15, 2010

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

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Walski came across this article at The Malaysian Insider on Friday, and he really couldn’t help but laugh. Out loud.


Like, exactly who are these “cyber friends” that Tengku Adnan is referring to? Because if it’s folks who Walski thinks the man is referring to, quite honestly, you don’t need enemies. 
(when “friends” do damage, and more, in the full post)

There apparently is a large number of bloggers and twitterers that are pro-BN (mostly pro-UMNO) and pro-anything-resembling-Malay/Islam-rights. These are quite easy to spot: they are vehemently against Pakatan Rakyat, especially toxic when it comes to DAP, call PKR “traitors to the Malay race”, and paint PAS as an “anti-Islamic” party. It would probably be an interesting exercise to compile an aggregated RSS list dedicated to this group of UMNO “cyber friends”.

Image taken from Blog-list Malaysia, hosting by Photobucket “Friends”, for example, like the über foul-mouthed Parpukari (pictured on the right), who literally has annoyed so many people on Twitter, that it really is a wonder who he’s trying to convince. Walski’s tried, but there’s simply no rational and intelligent way to engage with this one.

But his most rancid garbage can be found on his blog House PK. The trademark of this blog is that the post titles are usually ALL CAPS, which in the cyberworld is indicative of someone SHOUTING ALL THE DAMN TIME.

It’s one thing if Parps shouts about things factual. Most of the time, his shouting involves spewing conjecture, and when he’s not doing that, it’s screaming outright lies.

Take for example what he wrote last Thursday, accusing DAP of being behind a beer giveaway ad in The Star.

Image hosting by PhotobucketClick image to download post (PDF, in Bahasa Malaysia)

And what does he offer as proof to back his claim? Nothing. Not one single iota of substance to back up his accusation and conjecture. And this posting is considered mild, language-wise, compared to what he’s written in the past.

Lambasting DAP seems to be one of the favorite activities of these UMNO “cyber friends”, and creating untrue stories (i.e. big fat lies) are like second nature. Parps is not alone in this department, however. Another blogger, who goes by the handle Papa Gomo, uses pretty much the same modus operandi.

For example, earlier this month, a former Permatang (Selangor) state assembly member Datuk Abdul Aziz Mohd Noh was found dead, with his personal assistant, in what appeared to be a murder suicide (via The Malaysian Insider). In a posting dated August 3rd, without offering a shred of evidence, Papa Gomo pins the blame for the incident on DAP, stating that the party is responsible (full posting can be downloaded here).

Another interesting example would be The Unspinners, who are themselves wildly spinning yarns. Like their recent posting, in which they claim the reluctance of a number of Malaysian Chinese in providing personal and household information during the ongoing 2010 census being because of a syndicate whose aim is to increase the Malaysian Chinese population illegally.

Proof? None. Conjecture? Plenty. Blatant lies? Most likely.

Interestingly, all of the blogs Walski has mentioned above are part of an incestuous network, where one will reference the posting of another in their own “Must Read” posts. Examples of blogs in this network include Taiping Mali, M.I.M. (Minda Intelek Melayu – ironically), AIDC, and, among others.

It is not very clear if these folks are affiliated with UMNO’s New Media Unit (Unit Media Baru – UMB) or not, but on Twitter there is frequent communications between them and the head of the UMB, Tun Faisal Ismail.

Their idea of “countering” negative reporting or blogging against UMNO and BN is to launch ad hominem attacks, whose end result, Walski feels, is two-fold: it makes thinking Malaysians loathe them and UMNO/BN even more, and they end up preaching to their own choir.

Another interesting characteristics of the bloggers mentioned in this post is their opposition to certain progressive personalities within UMNO itself. For example, they really hate Khairy Jamaluddin’s guts, and insinuate that Khairy isn’t fit to helm UMNO Youth.

Walski found it hilarious to think that these are the kind of “cyber friends” that Tunku Adnan is possibly hoping for, to help uplift UMNO’s image. Granted, the article was talking primarily about UMNO’s presence within Facebook, but these blog cybergoons have been wreaking their own kind of mayhem for far longer.

Seriously, with friends like these, who the hell needs enemies?

Walski’s Freedom of Speech disclaimer footnote: In no way is Walski implying that the bloggers and cyber-personalities mentioned here don’t have the right to say what they wish, no matter how skewed their opinions may be. Without proof, one can claim all sorts of things… innuendos, conjecture and lies should be recognized for what they are, and not regarded as “truths” – half, or whole. But the question remains: if other folks have been prosecuted and persecuted for stating things more factual, why aren’t these people subjected to the same stringent scrutiny?