Just read this at Malaysiakini (subscription required).
On April 5th, the National Alliance of Bloggers was born and a pro-tem committee was set up.
Some excerpts of the article:
Rather than fading into oblivion in the wake of the ‘attacks’ from the powers-that-be, bloggers here have banded together to form an association – the National Alliance of Bloggers.
Ahirudin said the alliance was not formed merely on the impulse to protect themselves from the authoritiesâ€™ hostility.
He said while some bloggers often tell â€˜painful truthsâ€™ about those in power, they have yet to come under siege as a whole.
The alliance could also serve the positive aim of promoting blogging and improving its membersâ€™ skills and knowledge through training and educational programmes, he added.
The bloggers, who agreed unanimously to the proposal, set up a pro-tem committee that would oversee the write-up of a constitution and registration of the alliance with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
These are the heads and council members of the alliance:
This was the result of a recent proposal by Malaysia’s Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor to make mandatory the registration of bloggers, a move Malaysian bloggers believe will only stifle the local blogosphere and increase hostility among those who blog, and those who are being blogged about.
Most of Malaysia’s mainstream-media are government controlled or owned, and because our ex Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir has promised not to censor the Internet, cyberspace has become a hotspot for those who wish to report – and read – real news.
A video of the report shows Rocky listing the reasons for the Alliance:
- to promote blogging (setting the record straight about the different bloggers out there to, say, the government)
- to protect bloggers (mostly on legalities)
Thoughts on such an Alliance: I think unity is necessary where the territory is unchartered, and such is the blogging environment in Malaysia. Having a physical group of people, people who are well-known and respected in the media and other industries, people who are heard and read all over the world, is at least a substantial stumbling block for a government that can suddenly change its stance on free speech on the Net tomorrow.
Questions: How will setting up such an Alliance help change or drive policy? How can the Alliance help with problems such as cyber-bullying, which is bound to happen as blogs become a mainstream source of info and news for our country?