Silence as a Tool

Posted by M ws On Sunday, October 23, 2011 2 comments
Some Asian countries such as Vietnam, China, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines monitor internet use and block critical international sites in a move to silence web dissidents. Political censorship is practised to keep political dissent in check. At the same time, other governments have similar controls moving towards tighter regulation.

In Malaysia, things 'seem' to be slightly more rosy. PM Najib recently vowed to abolish the Printing Presses and Publishing Act, and urged his administration to follow through with additional press freedom-related reforms. According to CPJ,  "Najib vowed to dismantle two harsh security-related laws--the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance--and ease legal restrictions on civil liberties, including the right to assembly, international press reports said. He has also vowed to abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act so that newspapers do not have to reapply annually for permission to publish. The Home Ministry previously had sole discretion over whether to renew newspapers' operating licenses, and its often arbitrary decisions could not be legally appealed."

One can see many comments in popular news portals giving criticisms and comments. Once the wave begins, the other side takes the cue and a heavy exchange of ammunition follows with one press statement after another on the same issue, each refuting what the other had said previously. A good example is the issue about LGE's son. While I sympathize with the boy and the CM, those responsible must be taken to task.

Of late, I have been silently observing political developments and conclude that the vocal dissent need not necessarily be a reflection of grass root sentiments. We have the meek, the vocal and the downright silent ones.

Not everyone is ballsy to voice their discontent. Even some ballsy ones do so without revealing their true identity. Some ballsy ones may be sharing comments because they are paid to do so.

Of course, the silent majority has a view as well. If you have even half a brain today, it is impossible to remain pro-status quo unless one is either selfish/irresponsible, or evil/immoral.

So how accurate is the scene in cyberspace?

Previously, PR had the lead in defining and influencing public opinion but like what I blogged before here, BN has overtaken them and with the help of expert consultants, seem (note I say 'seem' and not 'are') to be closing in on Pakatan Rakyat as they are slowly making their presence felt in cyber world with the help of highly paid (by all of us) expert consultants.

Instead of wasting time scolding the status quo via fiery comments, I propose a few steps for us to take that can effect more positive changes.

1. Campaign Silently

If each one of us can convince our family, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours to vote for the opposition, there can be concrete and far-reaching positive changes.

We can do this via coffee-shop discussions, forwarding emails, inviting them to forums/talks etc and by engaging them in the most effective way possible.

Other suggestions have been listed in my post called GE 13- Real Tips.

2. Concrete Suggestions

Instead of always hammering politicians for what they do or did not do, we should come up with a list of our grouses and provide possible solutions/suggestions as to how these can be resolved.

3. Volunteer

Volunteer to be a Polling Agent, Counting Agent or a Booth Agent (“PACABA”) for whichever party that you choose to support.

4. Do not be an armchair critic

It is easy to hide behind the laptop screen and rant without doing anything much beyond virtual reality. As such, you can be part of the change by writing to your ADUN, MP or actively participating in as many events as possible.

Take a constructive stand.

Most importantly, do not say too much in cyberspace! Let them cringe in suspense as to how the rakyat really feel!

The other side has all the ammunition ready - strategies, media campaigns and are closely monitoring public opinion/activities. Read more about it in RPK's post on The 3R Program and The 3R Program: Plan B.

At this point, I don't think we should say much beyond what is necessary. Silence can be a very effective tool.

They will be confounded and confused as to what we are thinking. By throwing a spanner in the works via our 'silence', there can be little or no opportunity to attack the Opposition. They would be at a loss as to what schemes they can concoct or ploys to outwit the Opposition.

With our silence, there can be no reaction to their manufactured fear. For instance, during the Bersih 2.0 rally, heavy debate ensued about how the permit was not given etc etc. All should have kept quiet and then turned up in FULL FORCE on that day.

It is the same with the hudud issue and the Himpun rally. Let's state the bare minimum and concentrate on the positives, on what is important and then keep them in suspense as to what is our next move.

The most important move is to get as many voters to vote for the Opposition as possible.

Silence - let's use this tool to confound them! No more fodder for them!!!

Click here to listen to Simon and Garfunkel's original version of "The Sound of Silence".

2 comments to Silence as a Tool

  1. says:

    Antares Thanks for articulating what I've been feeling of late. It's a waste of breath, energy and lashing out reactively depletes our optimism. Keeping mum and voting the alcoholic (drunk on power) dad out is the only way to go!

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Antares

    Thanks for resonating with this post. Yup - I have also been silent of late. Too fed up with the senselessness and I will not allow my energy to be sapped by such negativism. Take care and have a great day!


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