The Power Of SMS

Sun Tzu and the art of war

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 27, 2009

Malaysia Today


In 1998, when we first started using the Internet to fight Barisan Nasional, there were only 280,000 Internet subscribers against 8 million registered voters. Today, ten years on, there are almost 16 million Internet subscribers against 12 million registered voters.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Internet has been abuzz the last couple of days about the ‘accidental’ police report an NGO made against Malaysiakini. Those who had made the police report did not know the difference between Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and Malaysia Today.

The following day, they ‘corrected’ the mistake and two more ‘Malay’ NGOs made a police report against Malaysia Today. While I am honoured that the news reports talk about Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and Malaysia Today in the same breath, I have to correct this misperception and declare that Malaysia Today should not be compared to Malaysiakini or The Malaysian Insider.

Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider are proper or legitimate online newspapers or portals run by professional media personnel, most who have many years experience in the media industry. Malaysia Today, however, is not in that same league. We are not a proper or legitimate online newspaper. Neither are we run by professional media personnel. Malaysia Today is a ‘weapon’ that is meant to bring about political change in Malaysia.

We learned how useful the Internet can be back in 1998 when the Reformasi Movement first exploded onto the Malaysian political scene. More than 100 Reformasi websites mushroomed overnight to give Barisan Nasional a run for its money. Of course, then, most of these websites were aligned to Anwar Ibrahim and/or PAS. There were some that were aligned to DAP as well.

In 1998, however, there were only 280,000 Internet subscribers. But that was enough to sufficiently damage Barisan Nasional in the 1999 general election that was held about a year after the debut of Reformasi. No doubt the Internet was not the major contributor to the opposition victory in November 1999. But it did contribute enough, though in a small way, as to how Barisan Alternatif performed.

Then the opposition became complacent. Their 1999 ‘victory’ lulled them and put them to sleep. Not long after that DAP pulled out from Barisan Alternatif and that aggravated the problem. In the March 2004 general election, the voters demonstrated their disgust for the opposition coalition.

I have already talked about this matter so many times in the past so there is no need to go over all the issues and statistics again. The bottom line is: the opposition practically got wiped out.

Soon after that, Anwar Ibrahim was released from incarceration. There was jubilation all around. My wife, Marina, and I stood on the steps of the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, quite amused at the chanting and cheering going on. My phone rang but I could not hear properly because of the noise. I handed the phone to Marina, who has better hearing than me. “It’s the BBC from London,” she told me as she handed me back the phone.

“Hold on,” I shouted into the phone. “It’s so noisy here. Let me move to a quieter place.”

Marina and I quickly walked to the side of the Palace of Justice where it was quieter and I spoke to the chap from the BBC.

“We heard Anwar has just been released. Can we get your statement?”

“Sure, but why me?” I asked.

“Well, you are the Director of the Free Anwar Campaign and you run the freeanwar dot com website. I suppose you are now out of a job since Anwar has just been released. What do you plan to do now?”

“I suppose you could put it that way,” I laughed. “I must be the only Director who got retrenched from his job because he is successful.”

The BBC chap laughed and asked, “So what do you intend to do now, now that you have been retrenched?”

“I am going to now focus fulltime on the new website I just started three weeks ago.”

“Oh, what is it called?”

Malaysia Today. It’s at malaysia dash today dot net.”

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