Saturday, July 23, 2005

Fearless Blogging: omeka na huria

Fearless blogging is found in Jacob George's blog: omeka na huria.

What does "omeka na huria" mean?

It's translated by the blogger as "speak out and freedom of action". This is a core values of blogging type blog par excellance.

I'm honored and delighted that Blog Core Values is on his blogroll.

On his blog Jacob George says, "...I'm no academic or scholar. These writings come from an ordinary Singaporean who has lived here all his life".

His humble, yet highly intelligent, pro-democracy, pro-free thought, Islamic Reformist orientation is quite refreshing and bold, considering his environment and situation.

Jacob George has two other blogs:

Amnesty International Singapore

Committee To Protect Bloggers (Singapore)

Look at a sample post from omeka na huria...


Blogging's potential for S'pore politics not fully realised

July 19, 2005 Tuesday

by Jacob George

Singapore bloggers had their first conference on 16 July 2005 (Sat).

Before I proceed, let me just say that it was good that this conference and get together took place.

There are many different types of blogs discussing many different issues and I support that. People want to write about what they want to and it's their right. Their freedom of expression.

Now to get to what I have to say.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP), in a report dated 18 July 2005, about the conference and blogging in Singapore in general, wrote "But in Singapore, writing online political commentary can be like walking through a minefield."

The report then quoted Wendy Cheng aka Xiaxue, one of Singapore's most popular bloggers, as saying "Citizens are scared. No one wants to find trouble," and "But she avoids political expression.

"I wouldn't mention anything about the government. It's in quite close proximity," she said." {I have re-produced the full SCMP report after my post--JG}

Most Singapore bloggers write about lifestyle issues or what I would call "safe issues".

Of course, there are those who are anonymous who talk about Singapore politics and government.

That's the thing...they are anonymous because they do not want to get into any trouble with the ruling party government and/or it's related agencies and departments.

Of course, there are other reasons why one chooses to remain anonymous. Clearly there are advantages in being anonymous.

Those bloggers who use their actual names, like Ms Cheng, rather not write about such things.

Instead they stick to "safe issues".

These issues can be about one's pet hamster; a lost digi-cam; teenage angst; sexual frustrations and practically anything under the sun. Except for political expression.

Anonymous bloggers who write about Singapore politics and government do contribute to political expression. There's no doubt about that.

But, it would also be good to see more Singaporeans, who blog using their actual names and photos, come out and express themselves on issues of politics and human rights in Singapore.

Just remember this: The PAP government has to be afraid of you and not you afraid of them 'cos We Put the Former in Power.

We can write as concerned citizens. As concerned citizens, born and raised here, we have as much a stake in Singapore's continued development as those people in power.


Way to go Jacob, my blogspot brother.

I say the same thing: government must fear the people, and the people should never fear any government.

The Ukraine oppressed citizens discovered this: "government" is nothing but a bunch of schmucks working in offices. Block the offices, clog the streets of the capitol, government grinds to a halt.

If the tanks start rolling, just get the military to see your freedom point of view. Not too hard to do, since governments usually treat military personnel like crap. How many soldiers are sick and disabled, with little treatment or financial assistance?

Dictatorial, oppressive, corrupt governments can be taken down by the citizens, often in a non-violent manner. This is starting to happen, and tyrants everywhere are nervous, worried, and thus, making stupid, self-defeating decisions.

We bloggers in America and the Western nations must remember our brother and sister bloggers in other countries. Some are risking their lives and fortunes when they blog. Reminds me of our American Revolution forefathers and foremothers, what they sacrificed for our freedom.

"Blog and Die" or "Blog and Be Imprisoned" is what some governments proclaim. And those governments are about to collapse from bad karma. I love it.

Jacob George and all the Islamic Reform bloggers: I salute you.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

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