Saturday, December 6, 2008

THANK YOU MALAY MAIL

THE MALAY MAIL WROTE ABOUT THE "FOUR PAHANG HORSEMEN" AND WE SAY THANK YOU SO MUCH.

"Four Pahang Horsemen of cyber apocalypse"

By N. J. AHMAD December 05, 2008 Categories: Cyberspot

Pakatan Rakyat watch out – Cyberspace, once almost the exclusive domain of the opposition parties, is now witnessing the serious entrance of Barisan Nasional bloggers, much to the delight of their supporters.

And nowhere is this more concerted and leaving significant impact on cyber surfers than the blogging efforts of "Four Pahang Horsemen" – all respected members of society with important positions in the ruling government – who have met the Pakatan head-on in cyberspace through their blogs.

Previously known only within their State, this quadrangular band of "VIP bloggers" who entered cyberspace after the general election last March, are now better known throughout the country and among Malaysian expatriates working overseas.

They started at a time when morale among the BN supporters was at the lowest ebb, after losing four States – and failing to regain Kelantan. However, slowly but surely, they have gained a foothold on the socio-political (SoPo) blogosphere by carving out some cyber territory for themselves.

And the fact that all are able to write well in at least two languages – English and Bahasa Malaysia, and also Mandarin for two of them – has seen these VIPs gaining an ever-increasing number of readers and influence over the months since then.

But more importantly, they have assets that hold them in good stead among the critical blog readers – substance and credibility. Besides these, they appear to be from a new breed of BN leaders – one that is open enough to acknowledge the weaknesses of the coalition while vigorously defending fundamental points, and dishing out hard-hitting criticisms against their opponents.

Pang Tsu Ming (pangtsuming.blogspot.com) – a second-term State assemblyman for Semambu from the MCA, and a chartered accountant by training — started his blog in May with "the desire to communicate with readers and the public through an interactive platform".

After a maiden post that was merely a reprint of a news report from an English language daily about land problems in Pahang, Pang – who also writes in Mandarin – gradually grew in confidence.

As proof of this self-assurance, his latest post is not only in Bahasa Malaysia – it is also titled with something that a non-Malay and Muslim with less knowledge of this community would not have dared to touch on: "Kalau Dah Rezeki, Tak Ke Mana?". This type of post certainly elevates Pang's credibility as a representative of all races, and not just the Chinese.

His blogging compatriot, Datuk Ti Lian Ker (tilianker.blogspot.com) is similarly respected by many Malay readers. Ti, who was previously a three-term state assemblyman for Teruntum, espouses the spirit of cooperation for a common cause despite political differences.

But the biggest sensation among the four VIPs would surely be Datuk Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz (sakmongkol.blogspot.com) – or much better known in cyberspace by his nom de plume of Sakmongkol AK47.

Ariff, a one-term state assemblyman for Pulau Manis, is certainly an enigma; and one who has grown in stature and now wields considerable influence over a disparate audience from all races and political affiliations due to the exceptional quality of his posts.

Besides being prolific – he often writes three posts daily, each the length of this article – Ariff's bluntness, wit and seeming truthfulness add further value to his writings. And no one would doubt or question the intellectual capability of this kickboxer who holds a Masters degree in Economics from Manchester University.

The last of the foursome is from Mukim Dong – an area made infamous by bomoh couple Mona Fandey and Affendy Abdul Rahman with the gruesome murder of former exco Datuk Mazlan Idris – Datuk Shamsuddin Nawawi (dongtalk.blogspot.com), who is the political secretary to Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Adnan Yaakob.

Unlike the more diplomatic Ariff, bowling fan Shamsuddin is a fighter – and one who doesn't mince words in his posts and replies. And he is one who makes "strikes" and is able to convert "spares" when it comes to his posts and replies – as the opposition and even "fellow Umno and BN personalities" who had aroused his ire found to their detriment.

Readers have been pleased to discover how influential "Datuk Sam" and his blog are. On quite a few occasions, the local authorities had immediately responded and rectified problems that had annoyed him – sometimes within a few hours of his post appearing!

The BN bloggers throughout the country are out to gain territory in cyberspace. With these Pahang Horsemen showing the way, their counterparts elsewhere could take heart that cyberspace need not be alien territory and the opposition's kingdom any longer.

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