The Best Malaysian Political Blog
One blog I occasionally read (when I can remember to) is The Siber Party of Malaysia (SiPM). Although not a real political party, and actually lacking in any real political ambition, I have to confess that if it were a real party, I would be seriously considering lending it not only my vote, but also my full support as a member.
The opposition has always gotten it particularly bad from me, I know. On more than one occasion, I've seriously wondered whether it's worth giving such a corroded institution my support. The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results, but that is exactly what all the opposition parties have been doing.
None of them have been able to look at the big picture and concern themselves with issues that truly matter, coming up with proposals and ideas for changing our country and society. Mired instead in ideals and principles, the opposition has been unable to translate these high-sounding statements into actual action.
For this reason, I have stated before that I would vote for someone like Dr. Bakri Musa or Din Merican in an instant, over any of the politicians in the country today. (Though I suppose there are a few mavericks like Shahrir Abdul Samad who could give them a run for their money.)
Matters appear to have gotten worse, however. It's come to the point where I would rather vote for a bunch of ragtag bloggers than any of the existing political parties. I wouldn't be voting for them because I would "vote for anyone but BN", but because I actually believe they could possibly do a better job than anyone else on the political scene.
If I am indulging in some hyperbole here, it's not much. The SiPM has consistently demonstrated an ability to be objective and neutral in evaluating and judging the Malaysian political environment, which cannot be said for many bloggers.
Moreover, SiPM also refrains from the sensationalism that captivates and captures the hearts and minds of bloggers. One might have noticed that Infernal Ramblings rarely concerns itself with gossipy current issues. To date, I have not written about that Altantuya scandal, or about Pak Lah's alleged new wife, and I see no reason to change this in the foreseeable future. (I just realised I've never even written about the nude squat scandal that dominated the press one and a half years ago.)
Why? Because in the big picture, in the long run, these things don't and won't matter. At the end of the day, what will matter are the policy issues I keep trying to drive home here, and it would be irresponsible of me to dilute their gravitas by writing about tabloid material. (It's already bad enough that I occasionally go insane and write about things like The Beatles.)
This is something that SiPM appears to have grasped. Although at first glance, their writing style may appear to be little less sensationalist than the rest of the blogosphere, what they are fundamentally concerned about is not the latest rumour flying around, but about the long-run policy issues that will make or break our country.
In a twist of fate, SiPM is a bit of a pariah in the blogosphere. Not too long ago, for being critical of some efforts to unfairly demonise the New Straits Times, the SiPM's members were actually banned from commenting on several blogs. The views of the SiPM are frequently given short shrift by the sensationalist blogging community, because of their maverick nature.
By being unwilling to buy into the sensationalist frenzy that has often captivated the blogosphere, and many politicians, SiPM has shown a mark of responsibility and discipline that not many can lay claim to. Their constant focus and attention on issues that matter is admirable, and remarkably rare.
Many opposition parties, and bloggers as well, criticise government policy for the sake of criticising it. Rarely do they think about why they are criticising, or whether this criticism is actually justified. Even rarer do they come up with new criticisms, instead of simply acting as a mirror image of the government.
SiPM seems to fit both criteria very well. It does not blindly and mindlessly criticise government policy, but neither does it shrink from criticising it where it is justified, and pointing out issues that have not been raised.
It's really sad to say this, but for these reasons, I would honestly prefer to vote for the Siber Party of Malaysia than for any of the existing political parties. Of course, it's highly unlikely that their names will ever appear on the ballot, but hey, a guy can dream, can't he?