Call on more bloggers to
emulate Jeff Ooi to make 50th Merdeka anniversary a catalyst for a political
commitment to create an united, progressive, democratic and just Malaysia
where all Malaysians are proud of the country and can walk tall in the world
Speech on "Jeff Ooi's Welcoming Party"
by Lim Kit Siang
Welcome, Jeff Ooi, Malaysia’s
pre-eminent blogger to DAP and Malaysian politics.
Jeff has created waves in the Malaysian blogosphere. We await a tsunami
from him in the political arena.
Jeff’s statement of the reasons for joining the DAP is an eloquent
expression of patriotism of a Malaysian, illustrating that patriotism is
an integral part of all Malaysians and not the monopoly only of those who
hold office or high positions. This makes the 50th Merdeka anniversary
Recently, one political upstart said:
“It is the law of the jungle and we need to take action against one
“I think the other ‘monkeys’ will also get scared.
“They are not above the law.”
This upstart was referring to Malaysian blogs. Apart from his loyal
following, he will not find much agreement from bloggers.
It is regrettable to see the use of such derogatory language and the
debasement in the standard of public discourse.
Many however will agree if his description is applied to public and
political life, especially with regard to corruption, crime and public
accountability and transparency where the rule of law appears to have been
replaced by the rule of the jungle.
There will also be considerable agreement as to the identity of such
“monkeys” in the law of the jungle of public life and politics.
But will any action be taken against one “monkey” so that the other
“monkeys” will also get scared and the country can begin to see the
restoration of integrity, efficiency and effectiveness in public and
I do not want to use the “monkey” language but this will be one of the
challenges of Jeff Ooi, together with others in the political arena, to
fight back the creeping law of the jungle and to restore the rule of law
in Malaysian political and public life.
It has been said that Jeff Ooi’s decision to join the Opposition is a loss
It should not be so. It should be a gain to both politics and blogging in
Malaysia, enriching both.
I will like to see more politicians taking up blogging and more bloggers
After all, blogging particularly socio-political blogging is not an end by
itself but a means to an end and a time must come when bloggers must
decide whether they should “dirty their hands” and make the transition
from advocacy of their political ideals in cyberspace to enter the
political terrain to be able to directly translate their ideals into
There is the perception that politics is dirty. It is not politics that
is dirty. Politics is an honourable calling demanding conviction,
passion, selflessness and sacrifice. If politics is regarded as dirty, it
is the politicians who make politics dirty. Let bloggers get directly
involved in politics to cleanse and rid it of “dirty”, unscrupulous and
This welcoming party for Jeff Ooi to is significant both for Malaysian
blogging and Malaysian politics.
It coincides with the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations which should
be a milestone to assess both our achievements and failures in five
decades of nation-building so as to chart the nation’s course for the
coming decades. It also takes place in the midst of a “war on blogs”
declared by the powers-that-be, demonstrating that the those in power have
not come to terms with the influence and implications of the new media.
We are at the end of the fourth year of the Abdullah premiership which had
received the unprecedented mandate of 91% of parliamentary seats in the
2004 general election. Tthere is now a full-blown crisis of confidence
over the lack of political will of the Prime Minister to honour his reform
pledges and agenda to lead a clean, incorruptible, efficient, accountable,
trustworthy, democratic, administration which is highly competitive to
face the challenges of the globlisation with world-class institutions like
world-class civil service, world-class police, world-class universities,
world-class judiciary, world-class Parliament, etc staffed by towering
But we have yet to make a real start in this direction while in many
instances, we have regressed and gone backwards.
We, including bloggers, have to pick up the pieces. I call on more
bloggers to emulate Jeff Ooi to make the 50th Merdeka anniversary a
catalyst for a political commitment to create an united, progressive,
democratic and just Malaysia where all Malaysians are proud of the country
and can walk tall in the world.
I look forward to see Jeff Ooi and other bloggers taking their places in
the next Parliament and State Assemblies to create a better Malaysian for
ourselves and our children.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman