"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Beware of the young doctor and the old barber." - Benjamin Franklin


The very grand-sounding "Association of Bloggers (Singapore)", which I'd first heard of today, sounded bizarre enough already in their "exclusive interview with Today", with talks to get (presumably exclusive) coverage of various events sounding suspiciously like an attempt to form a cartel to corner the market.

If nothing else, 10 bloggers coming together to form an association hardly represents "the blogging community in Singapore... getting more organised" (maybe I should get 9 longhairs together and form a support group Association).

At first I thought this might just be the article's misleading phrasing, but as the (protem) Vice President - Membership notes:

The Association of Bloggers (Singapore) is different from those groups who just simply register a .com or a .sg website and claim to be representing the Singapore blogosphere. The association is a registered society with Ministry of Home Affairs. It is govern by a set of constitution and we have to oblige to The Societies Act (Chapter 311). The registration of the association will also be published under the Gazette.

Presumably, then, registering yourself as a society with MHA, having a constitution and obliging (sic) by the Societies Act means you represent the Singapore blogosphere.

Meanwhile, two of the Association's missions are:

- "To promote professionalism in blogging among members."
- "Fostering a positive identity with creditability."

That probably tells you all you need to know; the definition of professionalism is "professional status, methods, character, or standards". Even for "professional" bloggers (i.e. those who do it for a living), I'm not sure that there are a tangible set of methods or standards (except a general aim of making money from their blogs), let alone the casual blogger.

As for fostering a "positive" identity, you might as well try to get people who live in HDB flats or fans of Chinese food to form an association. I'm also not sure how "creditability" might be fostered - perhaps they will award certifications: "Singapore Blogging Award".

Mockup of award: "Bloggers Singapore"

Mockup of award (2): "Singapore Bloggers Class"

Then again, given the record of food certification and awards in Singapore (tastiness is inversely proportional to the hygeine rating, "Certificate of Award for the Fine Culinary Skill" [sic] is worse than useless), this will serve as a reverse signalling mechanism, warning readers to STAY AWAY!!!

Oh, and don't forget a healthy sprinkling of delusions of grandeur:

Singaporean bloggers were like loose sand, they were not united. They were easily manipulated and even banned for standing up against the foreign tyrant from self-proclaimed 'community meta weblog for Singapore bloggers'. Small bloggers are just too isolated to be able to fight for their rights...

We are calling out to bloggers who are willing to serve your fellow bloggers in this Association and the people of Singapore to step up and volunteer your service...

We want to revive the 'kampung spirit' - bringing bloggers of different races (and nationalities) together, helping one another, fostering the neighbourly spirit.

A foreign tyrant?! A barely-disguised dig at another Singaporean blog community is very professional!

Also, reviving the kampung spirit (and presumably also everyone's favourite playground activity - gotong royong)? This is beginning to sound like some gahmen-approved Propaganda National Education initiative (then again, since it "received the official nod on Friday", it literally is gahmen-approved)

Based on what we've seen so far (admittedly not much), I think it's a tossup as to whether this is better than "The Brotherhood" (at least their trolling has gone on for at least a year).

tinkertailor: "i'm gonna start the association of computer users (singapore) soon. anyone want to join? "
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