BUM 2008

2 05 2008

Yesterday I attended a forum by Bloggers’ Universe Malaysia. Priced at RM50 per head it was very reasonable considering that it included tea and dinner. And might I say a very good buffet dinner. More on that later. In the past I would not have even thought of attending such an event. You see although Bloggers’ Universe Malaysia or BUM addresses all sorts of Bloggers, the founders, committee members and president of this new Society are what I term as political activist. I have always thought myself as apolitical but of late I have become more ‘politically aware”. The abuses of power and public funds in this country have reached such preposterous levels that it is almost impossible to ignore. I realised that to be a responsible citizen of Malaysia and the world, one has to exercise the right to choose. And this year was the first year I exercised my right to choose a responsible political leader. Ok back to BUM 2008.

The talk was broken into 2 sessions with about 8 speakers taking the podium. The theme of the first session was “Fostering a Civil Society” while the theme for the second was “The Fifth Estate”. I realised that those who write well (as evidenced by their blog’s large readership) are not necessarily good speakers. Some could hardly carry a point through 2 sentences! Here are pictures of some of the more notable speakers.

Raja Petra, Ahmad Idid and Haris Ibrahim were very good orators but William Leong (MP Selayang) said something that stuck to my mind. He narrated a story about his first case as a lawyer and the lesson he learned from it. He had to go to Penang to fight a case for a client. Although he made a great effort to fight the case and thought he spoke eloquently in his closing speech, the judge was not moved and paid little heed to what he said. He lost the case. Later he found out that the judge was hard of hearing and was wearing a hearing aid in his left ear. And all the time he was on the floor he was on the right side of the judge. He lost because he was not heard! To sum the story up, William said that “The people must not only see justice done, but they must also hear that justice is done”. And this he said was the job of bloggers To point out the injustices and to be the voice of the downtrodden. And present the truth about the goings on in this country despite the spindoctoring of certain influential news mediums.

I learned a different lesson from his story though. A lot of times in our attempt to get a message across (either socially or professionally) we do not first attempt to find out about our audience. And in neglecting this point, no matter how eloquently we may speak, the message is often not heard or not understood. In this sense I really respect the people (some of whom I know well) who can tailor their words to the audience and take the time to ask or find out if the message was understood. I have mot mastered this art as yet.

The event was wholesomely entertaining and as I mentioned earlier, the buffet dinner was not a disappointment to those who came for the food. The spread included Chicken Curry, Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet, Buttered Prawns and Roast Lamb. I am looking forward to attending BUM 2009.

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