March 3, 2009
Selangor MB meets the Bloggers
It is interesting to observe the different takes that the bloggers took, on the recent “Dialogue with the Menteri Besar” on Sunday evening. You can view their reports of the event to get a holistic picture of what happened and was said, so visit the blogs of Nat Tan, Datuk Kadir Jasin, Rockys Bru, and others who were present but haven’t blogged about it yet included Haris Ibrahim, Khoo Kay Peng, Nuraina Samad, Malaysia Waves (through his representative), Dina Zaman, the Loyarburok team, Patrick Teoh and Fahmi Fahdzil. There was a whole range of others who were invited, or who will be invited in the next round – but we had a good group of people to discuss the issues of Selangor with.
Certain quotes have been taken from the meeting, and they have been discussed in the comments sections – quite interesting as well to observe these.
It was a fairly honest and critical session, where the bloggers stated in no uncertain terms their grouses and keen interpretations of their take of the Selangor government a year after. They pulled no punches in stating the facts to their minds. Some raised the issue of communication, which in a sense should push us to ensuring the messages are reaching the ground level people. Especially when there are policies and plans in existence but word is not getting out.
The purpose of the session – as was mentioned – was to acknowledge the important role that blogs are increasingly playing in shaping opinions, reaching the numbers of people and communicating with them in a fluid way, bloggers are becoming the “ears and eyes” of the people, a conscience, independent watchdogs and so on. Whether in praise or critical, blogs in Malaysia can change how people view matters of public life. Continual engagement is necessary.
It was held in a rather informal atmosphere, where people were able to speak their minds freely – and yet, all in a very cordial setting. This is the kind of dialogue I think is worth having, and should continue. In an environment where people feel they can give feedback – whether for the purposes of being constructive or not is a different matter altogether – and know that their responses are being taken into consideration seriously.
All the feedback provided much food for thought, and these are all scribbled into my steadily-filling-up notebook (it’s halfway through and I’ve only been here a month and a half!) (and it’s a thick book) – but I am very glad that we had this session with the bloggers. As someone mentioned, it could have happened sooner, but a hundred-mile journey always begins with the first step.
Following on from this, I can see possible outcomes from the session branching out in multiple manners. Let’s see what can be done, and you’re welcome to provide feedback here also on what you think!
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