Friday, January 16, 2009

Blogosphere’s Battle of Kuala Terengganu & Making sense in a frenzied sphere - NJ Ahmad (Malay Mail)

By NJ AHMAD January 16, 2009 Categories: Cyberspot

TACTICAL MANOEUVRE: By Wenger ( – Jan 14

There is a tactical withdrawal when it’s hopeless to fight. Then, the legendary 101st Airborne Division parachutes in, driving a wedge between enemy lines. Heavy artillery pummels the ground, which leads to a final assault and victory.

No, this is not a scene from World War II, but something from the fertile mind of an imaginative blogger – ‘Wenger J Khairy’ of the Pade Doh! blog ( ).

The Kuala Terengganu by-election is tomorrow and, by some people’s account, the Barisan Nasional appears to be trailing. But Wenger is unfazed: “…tactical superiority and resources” will see the BN carving out a win – of how “the ‘Flying Wedge’ will split open the Pas bases”. And he has the diagrams to show how this BN manoeuvre is executed.

But many others would beg to differ; they too have their own theories and permutations of how things really are and how they will be when the dust settles in what has become the Cyber Battle of Kuala Terengganu.

Among them is the most well-known group in the local Blogosphere – the “Barisan Rakyat Bloggers”. Now this is a formidable group that comprises “blogosphere war veterans” – bloggers who had played a significant role in the general election last March, and also during the Permatang Pauh by-election.

URL: – Jan 14

Some of the original members had left this group after the GE for various reasons, but a few of the betterknown ones are still around.

They include the high-profile and controversial Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia Today ( ) fame, Haris Ibrahim of The People’s Parliament ( ), Din Merican – The Malaysian DJ Blogger ( ), and Bernard Khoo – Zorro Unmasked ( ).

Their mission: To ensure a win for Pas candidate Abdul Wahid Endut by securing most of the constituency’s 10 per cent Chinese votes. And the setting up of an Operations Room at a hotel in Kuala Terengganu from the first day shows how serious and organised they are. It is from here that first-hand accounts of their activities, pictures and video clips are distributed throughout blogosphere.

However, things had seemingly not started as smoothly for Barisan candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh in Cyberspace.

In ‘the off-line world’, there were apparently some within Umno who were not pleased with the leadership’s choice, and had made known their disappointment. (Incidentally, independent candidate Azharuddin Mamat has been entirely ignored by almost everyone)


One of them is Datuk Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, better known as Sakmongkol AK47 or ‘Mat Tomoi’ in Cyberworld ( ). And Sakmongkol is a blogger no politician would want to antagonise.

Ariff, with his often blunt criticisms of Umno, might sometimes possibly be mistaken as a “Pakatan supporter” by readers who are not familiar with the SoPo (socio-political) cyber-setters. This isn’t so; in fact, he is a former Umno representative in the Pahang State Assembly!

With his sharp and savvy analyses and his candour, Ariff is among the most respected and influential commentators in Blogosphere; his posts are often picked up by other bloggers and expanded upon.

A fair bit of his analyses and evaluation were in fact, from early on, dissected and shared by many other bloggers. When the choice of candidates was made known, Ariff openly acknowledged that Pas’ selection method i.e. of having 72 party stalwarts reportedly to “stalk” the grassroots concerning their preference – was “superior” in this particular by-election.

He also warned the BN about its tendency to make a wrong analysis of the opponent’s psyche: “If you try to analyse Pas through Umno’s eyes, you get spurious results. They don’t think as Umno people do,” Ariff wrote.

“Umno will never win if it doesn’t understand how a Pas operative works.

Always, the common denominator is religion. That is a constant. No Pas member ever disputes if the decision taken is done according to religion.”

After having to deal with the apparent initial internal dissent and criticisms, the Barisan election strategists finally got their campaign moving.

A few bloggers believe that the Barisan, which they initially considered the underdog despite winning the seat last March, has steadily picked up momentum.

Although the impression is that blogs are generally supportive or in favour of the Pas candidate, there are certain aspects in campaigning that the “realists” concede are best done the old-fashioned way – like door-to-door canvassing for votes, for instance.

The Pakatan netizens also admit that their perceived “lead” is not to be taken for granted. Both sides are expressing anxiety, knowing that the moment of truth is near.

Despite things generally remaining the same in Parliament regardless of the result, the rival coalitions nonetheless convey that a fair bit is at stake. For either one, a win could be used as capital for plans in the near future.

But whatever the outcome, both Barisan and Pakatan could be proud of one thing – the run-up to this byelection has been very peaceful so far, with none of the viciousness and occasional “isolated” incidents as seen during Permatang Pauh.

Despite the rhetoric and dramatics, especially in Blogosphere, and the high psychological stakes and claiming rights for the winners in this “Battle for Kuala Terengganu”, it’s a comfort to think that Malaysians might actually be on the right track towards a more mature democracy.

● NJ Ahmad, former mainstream journalist and now a freelancer, would like better broadband connection so that he can meet “professional observers” keen on the politics of blogging.

Making sense in a frenzied sphere


The Kuala Terengganu by-election: Who’s going to win it, and why?

These are the questions many people are asking. If you can’t wait until tomorrow to find out, reading the SoPo blogs should give you an idea. Or it might not…

In fact, you might actually end up being even more confused! Well, that’s the hazard of having access to so many opinions.

If you persevere, you’ll find quite a few bloggers who have a certain consistency and intelligence in their writings – people who seem to make sense most of the time. There are many others, of course.

But since space is limited, we’re forced to be selective: How about the self-deprecating blog name of Lawyer Kampung? ( ).

Making sense in a frenzied sphere

Yes, this blogger is a real lawyer (everyone seems to be one nowadays) – Mohd Sarisffuddin Ismail, 36, who is based in Bayan Baru, Penang. He started to blog at the end of 2005. His output for the first 30 months? All of six posts.

But the 12th general election left an impact on him – he suddenly felt compelled to write. How compelling was it? Well, in the month of April alone, he wrote {50} posts! And the bi-lingual Sarisffuddin has not looked back since.

Quite a number of readers find his writings interesting, judging from the number of official and public “followers” he now has – 32.

All the bloggers with a following have their own unique abilities. With this young lawyer, the blog’s slogan might give some clue: “Where law meets common sense!”

Actually, Sarisffuddin doesn’t write so much about law – it’s in the area of “common sense” that he stands out. Have a look at all his posts related to the Kuala Terengganu by-elections. Then ask yourself:

“Does he make sense?”

Well, some people seem to have it a lot easier than others and this Lawyer Kampung is one!

Source: Malay Mail 16th January Cyberspot Section


satD said...

bro famous tu....bila nak belanja!!!

mintak autograph pak!!!!

Lawyer Kampung said...

SatD, anytime bro..come to Penang, kita pi pekena nasi kandaq line clear! Che Det, Rocky's Bru, JMD, Sakmongkol AK47 & Pure Shiite... that's famous! ;-) Kita ni kampung je! Autograph? Nak berapa banyak? hahaha!

satD said...


bagi satu aje nanti gua cetakrompak!!!

Gelombang Rakyat said...


Sarisffuddin Ismail,

Mula dapat pengiktirafan begini, tidak seperti dulu.

Kini Professional..!

Anonymous said...

Terima Kasih banyak-banyak,
Tetapi esok kita boleh menilai sama Wenger Padedoh ni 'imaginative blogger' (mungkin dah gila kot) ataupun master tactician ala Arsene Wenger

Anonymous said...

Gambar bila tu bro? Muka mcm time belajar dulu aje? Ha ha... Atau awet muda? Congrats sbb fans dah ramai. Bila nak turun KK?

Lawyer Kampung said...

Zubli, terimakasih. Haha..selama ini bukan dah professional dah ke bro? ;-)

Padedoh, it's not the outcome that is important, it's the analysis done.. haha..tapi dalam sejam lebih kita tahulah nanti...

Mail, gambar baru tu bro..awet tua! haha, just imagine me in UM back in 92-96 & add another 20++ kg ;-)