Thursday, May 24, 2007

BUM 2007 Coverage

Okay, this is it! I am writing the coverage of BUM 2007 which was held last Saturday. As said, the event is meaningful and it is full of buzz where bloggers in cyberspace get to know the other bloggers in the flesh. It was held at Lakeview Club in SS12 Subang Jaya. I was surprised to find out that the venue was graciously provided by none other than businessman John Soh who recently hit headlines as being the one convicted for abetment.

John Soh

The idea of having this BUM thing was the idea of blogger Howsy together with the top bloggers including Rocky and Jeff Ooi. The top bloggers feared that the recent accusations by the government against bloggers for spreading false information and news and such threats carried by them including our Uncle Zam prompted them to setup a club to protect the integrity of bloggers.

I get to meet some of the bloggers including "Uncle Maha" (mahaguru58) Zainol Abideen, Pak Idrus and Tengku Bustaman. I also then get to know more of those people there later on after meals. That's what the gathering is for! Forum and then dinner. I was told that there were additional guests that were invited but could not make it namely Wong Chun Wai, and JB MP, Shahrir Ahmad.

The complete list of panelists are as follows:

1. Jeff Ooi
2. Tony Pua
3. PKR's Tian Chua
4. Sonia Randhawa - CIJ Malaysia
5. RockyBru
6. Howsy - Moderator
7. Y.L Chong - Moderator
8. Raja Petra Kamaruddin - Malaysia Kini
9. R. Nadeswaran - Citizen Nades column
10. Marina Mahathir

The breakdown: Top (L-R): Elizabeth Wong, Lucia, Nathaniel Tan
Bottom (L-R): Jeff Ooi (Partly visible), Marina Mahathir, Tony Pua, Ahiruddin Atan, Howsy H, Y.L Chong, R. Nadeswaran, Tian Chua, Sonia Randhawa

I was astonished to find that there is another blogger younger than I do that creates his own website in PHP, MySQL and has the maturity level of an adult. He discusses various political social and economical issues that almost no one at his age can match him. His name is John Lee and his site is called Infernal Ramblings.

Among the notable things discussed by the panelists:

1. Jeff Ooi - Not much of a comment but a retrospective of his 4 years of blogging.
2. Tony Pua - Call for a change of laws and mindset of people.
3. Tian Chua - go to this video to find out.

4. Rocky - As to protect the rights of bloggers - the NAM is considering extending the membership to all bloggers and keep the blogging phenomenon blooming in Malaysia. A proposed membership fee of $20 is considered but membership anonymity's a major issue to be handled with. He also states that the body of bloggers are prepared to discuss this issues with the government.
5. Sonia - Most of the talking time belonged to her that night! It was noted that the bloggers credibility and their success - this will be affecting the media monopoly the audience attention. The fact is that no student (in a survey) reads NST for research pushes the media into a little difficult position. But Sonia does encourage people to know more of the freedom of expression that they are entitled to.

So after that there was dinner and I get to talk to the top bloggers. But the most important thing I learned that night was the words from Uncle Maha - if you just start blogging don't go that deep in political issues. I learned that those fellows there do have their names in the records.

But in the end, it's the social gathering and learning more things that's what I experienced.

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