What’s wrong with disagreeing over issues or policies in cyberspace?
Siew Kum Hong commented that many people gripe or take pot shots at issues beneath the cloak of anonymity and that they should come out of their comfort zones to do something. I agree and disagree with parts of his comment. There is nothing wrong with being anonymous as long as the comments are fair and reasonablel. But agree, it will be better to let people know who is behind the comment in order to give a better feel and measure of what it was all about. The reasons why many are still speaking in anonymity can be found in the soul of the article by Wong Kim Hoh and reflected by Siew Kum Hong’s own sense of fear. He reminded and also made it clear that he disagreed with ‘the lawsuits and defamation schemes used to suppress dissenting views.’ There need no further explanation why people are not willing to come out into the open to state their views when the political climate is such. People who are comfortable in their lives will not want to get into an unlevel playing field and get hurt for the slightest indiscretion. And as for the challenge to come out and do something if people feel strongly about things, I think this is a bit idealistic in the context of our political culture. Stepping forward, be counted, getting the hands dirty may not lead to anything meaningful. Who really thinks that he/she can make a difference by coming out to get his/her hands dirtied except for a fortunate few? It is quite audacious to even think so. And what is so great about making a ‘political contribution’ if it is just to make a statement, a record on what the citizens feel when, ‘After all the debate…nothing’s changed…so what is the purpose?’ Or what is so different about making a point to be put on record in Parliament and making a point in the media, new and old, to express what some of the citizens are feeling? Maybe there is a big difference to some. But I don’t see or feel it that way. What are the contributions of NMP, NCMP, opposition MPs and the unelected but undying opposition politicians? I must say that each have contributed in their own ways to the political process and development of the country. On the other hand, the contributions of cyberspace and bloggers cannot be underestimated and are in no way lesser than these know politicians. In fact there are many things that cyberspace could do and did much better, like keeping issues alive and harping on them repeatedly in case people claimed that nothing said so no more an issue. Or worst, nothing heard, the people must have accepted them. The biggest contributions of cyberspace and bloggers are griping, kpkb and constantly and repeatedly not letting any issue die. This is an area that no politicians or the old media can compete with. The issues will be posted in cyberspace 24/7 and 365 days a year, for the world to see.