Saturday, January 31, 2009

Overlooking and Underestimating PR

I have been keeping mostly quiet about the announcement and developments of the Association of Bloggers (Singapore), because apart from memories of being naively indignant about the whole ECL vs Ping issue, and indignantly appalled with the DK Banned affair, I felt that I knew far too little of the complete story to make fair comments. You know lah, I'm a PR-practitioner-to-be, so I get almost paranoid about what comes out of my mouth or fingers these days.

Now that I've been watching the events unfold though, I thought it appropriate to give my speech standing on familiar territory.

That is, Public Relations.

What could well have been the One Ring to Rule Them All instead crashed and burned slowly, torturously, and spectacularly, complete with exploding fuel tanks and screaming passengers roasted alive. Some questioned why the traditional media knew before the new media whom this was squarely targeted at knew (hoo. Nice mouthful there.). Some (choke)slammed Association Protem President ECL of establishing the association on petty terms and using it as a chance to get back at those who have in one way or another snubbed her. Some, as everyone's favorite werewolf said here, ridiculed the association's redundancy, and in an embarrassingly Singaporean fashion questioned its arguably exorbitant membership fees. And now, to seal the kiss, seven of the ten Protem members have stepped down from their posts. How's that for a first week at work?

All that I have just mentioned made for just about the perfect PR disaster. Wrong introduction to the wrong target, dirty linen of leaders, dubious agendas. First of all, the Association appears to have been a solo effort, with ECL taking most of the questions and the brunt of the backlash. Most if not all of the Protem are well-established and experienced bloggers, and I cannot see how everyone seems to have failed to caution their President that bloggers are a vicious bunch of piranhas that will jump on anything that tickles their irritant bone and bash it to pulp. Now I want to say this very clearly that I am not hitting out on any of the Protem members. Including the President. Some of my good friends are in the committee, and in all sincerity I hold them in high intellectual esteem. Mistakes have been made, and I'm mapping it out in a... not so nice manner by not pulling any punches. And you will see why, I hope, by the time you get to the end of this post. So please be patient and read through.

While this cannot be applied to every situation, I believe it's still common sense - please know your market before deploying your product and its introductory processes. If you aren't already confident that you know your target market well, take time to research on their likes, dislikes, habits and quirks. One should know that with such a product that concerns the very fundamentals of blogging, secrecy is not the way to go. And that an exclusive interview with traditional media, the friendly nemesis and benevolent antithesis of blogging, is bloody suicide. That interview should have been no surprise to the blogosphere. It should have served as information to people who don't care all that much. It should have been old boring news to the blogosphere.

Then there were ECL's responses to the backlash. Did she act by herself? As with presidents and prime ministers, one should never make the next move without consulting your committee. It is understandable that one gets offended, insulted and indignant when the baby you have so painstakingly nurtured in the past few months gets thrown about and laughed at. But the response wasn't a one-paragraph shoot off. It was a long detailed return. There should have been more than enough time to consider one's actions before proceeding further. Whether you get dragged into the situation or not, one should always distinguish clearly between organization and self. Failure to do so would result in one acting in a capacity greater than what is required, and further ruin the already damaged image of the company.

That said, I wonder if I am being idealistically demanding when I ask - Where was the committee then? Having seen the negative reactions of the community, why did they not gather around their president to discuss solutions? Or did they already do so to the President's deaf ears? And because there is no PR or communications-related post in the committee, I will turn on the next closest discipline. The marketers of the committee seemed to be doing nothing at all to repair the damage done to the organization's reputation, nor to curb the President's inflammatory remarks, nor to advise her, it appears, on how to deal with further attacks, at least until it was far too late. Nor, while we're on the subject, did they seem to plan the execution of the introduction. If they had given it some thought, it wouldn't be half the flop it turned out to be, I think. Because really honestly, some of the mistakes made in this case are palmface stupid.

What I'm saying is this. Never, ever, leave PR out of the equation. You just cannot afford to nowadays. Your PR person, assuming he/she is competent, is there to be a firestarter and a fireman. If things go awfully wrong as it has in this case, he will be there to put the fire out. If things go well, he's there to spread the good fire of your product, and watch triumphantly as it spreads farther and farther. And especially in today's marketing world, where we're dealing more with bloggers with just about no need nor incentive to write responsibly, you will need your PR to deal with them. Okay, us.

It is a daunting situation for ABS now, one that will convince many that there is no need to bother fighting anymore. But I think there's still a slim chance, if they can hang on tight to their cards and play them well.

One more mistake though, and it will all over. And when that happens, belief can help them no further.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it still has as you say a slim chance. But I dont think, it can work any longer with ECL at the helm. She is too rigid and set in her ways.

There is plenty of talk in the Malaysian and Singaporean forum recently of fielding a new face.


http://dotseng.wordpress.com/

I think Malaysians and Singaporeans are by and large very forgiving people. I dont think, its a case of one more mistake and you die. Really I dont think so. otherwise how can you possibly explain such an air head being able to garner so many votes from gamers who havent even seen her yet?

Good luck Singapore

Aaron Koh said...

Hi Renhao,

Nice analysis of the incident.

You wrote "And that an exclusive interview with traditional media, the friendly nemesis and benevolent antithesis of blogging, is bloody suicide" raises an interesting point.

An "exclusive" announcement of an association "by bloggers, for bloggers, with bloggers" via mainstream media seem to have contributed to the backlash which you are right about and something those in social PR need to learn in creating something for the social media space.

As you will experience in PR later is something called media training. In such sessions, PR train the clients' spokespeople on how to talk to the media. Though talking to bloggers may take a different tact, some of the concepts can still be applied.

One of the modules that these spokespeople go through is on how to answer when asked about competitors. Much to the chagrin of the media, the PR training is to quickly bridge the question to their own company in one quick sentence and focus on the current issue to the benefit of their company for the rest of the interview question.

There are couple of reasons for this. "My company's product/services is better than competitor xxx" statement, directly or indirectly, can create a negative backlash if proven otherwise. It also gives the competition free "airtime" or mentions when the interview was meant to be for the spokesperson and the company.

In the Association of Bloggers Singapore (ABS) case, the comments made about Ping.sg, directly or indirectly, created a backlash on ABS AND gave Ping.sg free airtime.

One of the advice given to me about communications from an old wise PR sage is that perception is reality. The perception that ABS created with the follow-up remarks was that it was created, not out for the benefits of other bloggers, but rather out of "vengence".

Furthermore, with more founding members quitting the associations, there were no announcement from their official spokesperson on what's next for the association and this will result in further speculation in the blog-o-sphere.

Finally, here's wishing you well in your future PR endeavors!

Rachel Chung said...

'Having seen the negative reactions of the community, why did they not gather around their president to discuss solutions? Or did they already do so to the President's deaf ears? And because there is no PR or communications-related post in the committee, I will turn on the next closest discipline. The marketers of the committee seemed to be doing nothing at all to repair the damage done to the organization's reputation, nor to curb the President's inflammatory remarks, nor to advise her, it appears, on how to deal with further attacks, at least until it was far too late. Nor, while we're on the subject, did they seem to plan the execution of the introduction. If they had given it some thought, it wouldn't be half the flop it turned out to be, I think.'

There is a fair amount of assumptions in this paragraph alone. You do not know what goes on behind the scene, so I am not sure what you are basing your assumptions on.

"Seem to" will tell you that there is much more going on behind the scene. We are not 'dishing out dirt' because there is a code of honor and integrity that we believe in. I hope that we are not being attacked for this.

Also, both endoh and I did write posts to address the concerns of the community and from the comments, I believe that we did what we set out to do.

Also, I had mentioned a few times already, that the website, our marketing and PR plans were jumpstarted by the timing of the media interview, which again, we did not know about until too late.

Frankly, these are dead horses that have been flogged to death.Even as I am speaking about it now, I am feeling extremely exhausted.

There are good lessons to be learned out of this though. I will write about it in time... as soon as I recover from exhaustion. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I dont know whether it may be a good idea to just lump the failure of the assoc of bloggers sg to just a PR and marketing kok up.

I dont know about all of you Singaporeans. But this whole thing also ruffled alot of feathers in Malaysia as well.

As when the press statement came out from the President most Malaysians I believe, were wondering, what did we do to kena this. All the while, we have been talking to Singaporeans like friends. Suddenly, they decide to drop a bombshell on us and call us subversive people and all that when all we are doing is talking about cakes and love stories and masak masak things.

Things only got better when a groups of people started appearing mysteriously and they began to take control of these sites to clarify the air. They were like ghost. They came. Did their stuff and poof disappeared.

Whatever it is. I dont think, its ethical to spill the beans on an org if you decide to chuck in the towel. Another thing, if you happen to be in the board and you throw the towel. And resign en mass, that says alot about what you stand for as a human being. We have a word to describe those sort of people in Malaysian politics.

I see it the old fashion way. You stay with the boat whether it floats and if it sinks. otherwise dont sign up. But down rush for the lifeboat and then try to paint yourself as a hero. In my book you are just a ........... You have no idea how many people are watching up North and laughing at all this.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to know how many of us Malaysians and probably everyone in the world saw it when we got wind about "The Invasion of Foreign Bloggers In Singapore." Most of us thoughts she came out from some 1960's museum negara.

Even our politicians dont talk like dat anymore these days. With globalization and free trade.

Most of us when we heard about this. Went down to Singapore blog sites to check out the news. We were worried the love stories snippets we are getting there will be embargoed or stopped.

But when bits and pieces came out from other sites. Instead of the abs site. Most of us got even more confused and worried. As we are all wondering. How come the events manager is talking like the President? Then when the President talk, they all seem to dissociate themselves from her. Then what is the point of having a president? Arent they supposed to be in one boat? Do they even know what a persekutuaan is? Do they know the meaning of muhibbah?

Trust me. All of us were pening kepala. Till those strange people came in and began short circuiting and forums threads.

You can go there and try to find out in Malaysia, but many of these threads have strangely mysteriously disappeared and for some funny reason all the web host seems to say, they didnt know who there are or where they came from.

All the threads just gone.

What I will say is this. This was no good. Tal boleh Pakai!

Singaporeans are supposed to have a reputation for organizational skill and being able to put their differences aside and come together.

And since we are on a PR page here. What sort of message were you people sending out to the world at large?

Pls try to take this positively. I mean well. I mean to improve the system.

Pening Kepala............pusing

aNONyMOUSE said...

Why suddenly so many anonymous come out? Come, Encik aku join e pty. None of us here is interested in yr um jia gulan my'sian politics/experience la dey. e entire matter wasn't a sg'rean vs my'sian thang until it got turned in2 smthg lyk dat by 1 of yr sub9 my'sian bloggers. Now, will u pls cut this crap?

Anonymous said...

Please dont accuse me of buang batu api here. How can it not have anything to do with Malaysians. When you people launch an association where your president proclaims to the whole wide world in a newspaper. We all intend to protect our blogoshpere against foreigners etc etc etc.

Please go and pakai your otak. Bfr you accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill. Malaysia and Singapore has traditionally shared a common border. So is it so unusual we may visit you people and vice versa to exchange ideas, thoughts using cyberspace etc.

I was very honest in my report. I dont think, I am the xception, when I first heard about this assoc. Many of us didnt know what to make of it. And there were many people who were very shocked to hear of this.

The only reason why you think it is crap is because your own personal blogging history doesnt have any interaction with Malaysian bloggers. But are you saying everyone is like you, katak dalam tempurung.

Go and use your brain. Dont accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill just because you never bother to do your homework and get your facts right.

The threads are all there in the Malaysians forums. The ones which are not erased off at least. You can go and ask many there. Who all went there to find out what is happening. As nothing came from your association.

In Malaysia we call them Orang Bunyan. they visited us. They will come whenever there is distress. They always come when there is trouble. Go and see for yourself in those threads. I would link them, but many of them are being erased even as I write this. It seems all traces are being wiped out. But I have made mirror copies. and please dont use bad words on me. I am not going to sink to your level.

And this is my last post here for being attacked for no apparent reason. I came here to share. Not to fight. If I wanted to do that I will blog in Singapore. You people are well known for eating your own. Even tiger dont eat their cubs.

Selamat tinggal.

Anonymous said...

How to be open when you people have an anti foreigner policy in your internet. Will foreign bloggers be put in jail for saying something in singapore net? Till today there is no clarification from your association of bloggers.

Are you gila. Do you think, we Malaysians are brainless. The Berita Harian, Star and Malay Mail writes about things in Singapore.

We read, we learn and yes, we fear. Some of you come across as frankly xenophobic and irrational.

You want people to come out and put their name to their words in your blogosphere, that's fine.

But how far do you think. You are going to go when you come out spouting anti foreigner rhetoric, yet demand the same?

Even we dont do that in Mlysia

Daniel said...

Hello,

Great assessment of the situation. I especially like the point about the exclusive interview being suicide.

I feel that one more PR-related mistake they've made is by not releasing any official statements about the recent mass resignations.

"Protem" or not, to step down so suddenly when no significant work has been done (or is visible), and all at once, raises questions about their credibility and stability of the Association.

And to not give proper information on it (it is obvious that these are due to more than just "time commitment issues"), creates even more doubt.

If it was indeed due to time commitment issues, the resignations could have been better timed, or spaced out, just so that you maintain the people's confidence.

It's been hardly a couple of days, and in my opinion they still have some time to repair the damage. However the clock is ticking, and soon it will be too late.

Paddy Tan said...

Good questions. Why the mass resignation n attack on bloggers that are foreigners and why not response on the website?

Since I am no more in ABS, I am speaking on my own capacity :)


Mass Resignation
It is not a mass resignation nor a combined effort by the few of us to resign all at the same time.

A few already resigned within the week the article was out and it just blew up when more disagreements and various other reasons that one after another, decided to step down.

Foreign bloggers
Media is a double edge sword. If you do not know how to control them, they overrun you and that includes bloggers at large as they are a representative of media also.

Many are upset and started blog attacks on the ABS, views which I believe is a nature reaction to what had been hurled against them in unfair statement about foreigner in the Today news article, amongst various other reasons.

Many of us do not have intention nor at all interested to attack foreign bloggers. If silence is an endorsement of what the article said, then we wont be where we are today talking about it.

If the table is turned, with a Malaysia association targeting at Singaporean working/living/studying there. I be surprised that there be no uproar. I be the first to join.

I dont mimic my words nor make it flowery ... both online or offline nor enjoy this Singapore Vs Malaysia or ABS attempting to control or approve bloggers.

All these could have been better done in a much better taste if only that article was not rush out and go thru the content as explained by some ex-ABS members.


BTW, my comment is here is not to be seen as a Q&A where you ask questions and I answer each and everyone of them. This is just my comment to this blog :)

Paddy Tan said...

Just to add on the mass resignation -

perhaps becos it was a working day after the Chinese New Year celebration; a few of us realized it later (like myself) that others have resigned on the same day that I did.

I sent the resignation letter out around noon time via my iPhone which I drafted it out earlier and saved and pulled the doc OTA but I did told a few close friends that I am pissed and tired for if marketing director is just a title, then it should have for someone that is willing to hold it with no power. I'm not.

Still some may ask, then why dont you blog about it as asked over private plurk? My answer is simple, I dont owe anyone a living or an explanation as a blogger.

Blogging comes with freedom, that is to give and to receive. It cuts both way. :)

Naturally others still speculate if this is all a public stunt.

Do you? :)

Farinelli said...

Right, see, I already said not to use anonymous right. Now I've got 6 anon comments out of 9 and I dunno who's who. At least use an alias if not your real name la. -_- And eh, don't argue with Bahasa leh I don't understand. :(

Anon:
Well on the off chance that she corrects those faults, I think she might make a good leader. But we can only watch and wait. As for MY and SG being forgiving... ...

Really meh? :S Honestly I dunno. I actually think we're a frightening bunch haha. Thank you for dropping by.

Aaron:
Thank you for your compliment and well wishes. Very enlightening description of media training I must say and how it compounded the problems of this case.

Rachel:
Got me there. :) Obviously I didn't know what was going on so I was trying to throw out different situations that might have happened. Didn't turn out the way I wanted it to apparently. I did read individual members' replies to the sphere on their blogs, but I do think that should have been a complement to an organizational effort to put out the flames, instead of lone posts popping up. Far easier to break a single chopstick than a whole bunch, as the old story goes.

What do you mean though when you say you didn't know the timing of the media interview? Sounds awfully weird.

But thank you for taking time to read and comment. I really appreciate it. :)

Anon:
We don't need to know how many up North are laughing. I think the SG sphere's laughing pretty hard as it is. :) But don't you think that the comments about foreign bloggers were made because PR/Mktg didn't check their P's words? Maybe it's cos I've immersed myself in this field but to me everything seems to boil down to this.

I'm very very curious about these aliens who took over your forum threads or... something, I'm really not too sure what happened. Were they in support of ABS or bashing them? Can anyone provide some links? But in any case thank you for your providing your POV.

Anon:
I really thank you for bringing the point up that, whether we accept it or not, the association takes on the mantle of representing Singapore simply because it has "Singapore" in its name. It's a great point that we have to watch what we say when our country's name is involved. Anytime, anywhere. Thank you for your comment.

aNON:
Oh God please don't type like that I can hardly understand what you're saying even without all the Bahasa thrown in. And I do think that even if that MY blogger didn't point it out it would be pointed out by some other MYsian sooner or later. It really was bound to happen la, as the anon you were replying to has pointed out after. Thanks for commenting.

anon (the one before Daniel):
I think you really should put the question to the Association. It will act as an excellent test of their level of communication with the government, and after all it is a question that both locals and foreigners want an answer to - where are my OB markers? Thank you for commenting.

Daniel:
Hi there Daniel. Thank you for your compliment. :) And yes I think you're absolutely right, high time for a press statement isn't it? But I guess we should be patient too - 2/3 of the committee resigned. An explanation should be one of their main priorities but personally I'll give them the benefit of doubt and time to gather their act together perhaps? We'll wait and see. Thanks for dropping by! :)

Farinelli said...

PADDY!! Thank you for coming by. It's becoming clearer that there were larger and larger disagreements that led to this development. Really I wince seeing how the comm members' individual online reputations were damaged just like that. It's ugly, it really is. I would actually also inquire about your refusal to blog about it to explain? Perhaps now isn't the right time with developments creating such heat, but eventually? I guess people are asking you to blog for the same reason why they reacted so heavily against ABS - because it concerns blogging and our future online. They feel a need to know what created and broke a rightfully promising organization down like this.

Then again, could be just kaypoh. Ultimately the choice remains yours. Thank you again for your comments here. :)

Paddy Tan said...

Farinelli, like any other organizations when such things happened no one will rush out to explain.

Simple reason being, you not just going to hurt the very organization that you believed in but also the people still in there. There is a need to have certain degree of professionalism in it. :)

Rachel Chung said...

'What do you mean though when you say you didn't know the timing of the media interview? Sounds awfully weird.'

Well, I already explained very thoroughly much earlier on that we only knew on 16 Jan after the interview was conducted and slated for publishing on 19 Jan.

This was already covered in my blog post http://www.xtralicious.com/2009/01/24/association-of-bloggers-clearing-up-the-doubts/

I may not be a PR practitioner or professional but I do know that making assumptions is professional suicide for any career.

'Really I wince seeing how the comm members' individual online reputations were damaged just like that.'

Wow, this is fresh news. Perhaps you care to substantiate your claims?

Personally, I will say this - the attempt to make this into a Malaysians vs Singaporeans mudsling is distasteful and certainly we never had such intent.

Farinelli said...

Paddy:
That is true too. Something I've yet to learn fully.

Rachel:
You seem pissed that I'm passing comments based on assumptions. Please don't be. I'm still learning many things about this case so you will forgive me if I haven't read all the posts related to this case.

As for reputations, you don't think Paddy and DK's reputations were brought down? People saying "Oh why are they consorting with people like ECL" (again no offense to her) or "Ohhh they're joining because they also kena kick from Ping.sg" and all that stuff? I'm just saying what I think, and I think they've suffered some reputation damage.

As for turning it MY vs SG, I agree completely that its nonsense. But again I have to point out that it's unavoidable because of the fact that ECL implied it. And opponents just gleefully took it and ran with it.

Anonymous said...

Anon or Anons

You should not tell these Singaporeans about our gentle friends the "orang buinan."

For years they have guided us with their wisdom.

It is true they came recently. But they always come when there is a problem. And I am glad they came. As there were some trouble makers who really wanted to blow the thing up and they sorted them up, nice and proper. All done in less than 24 hours flat.

You singaporeans should not be so surprised. If you look at the precise time when they first came to sg, it was during the time when your Mr Brown had a great fight with MICA. Did you all notice that, weeks after that the IS opened.

You know they are around as the time slows or speeds up in the host site. The first thing they do is play with the clock. Then when you post. For some reason every web master does what they say. So they will erase lah. It just disappears.

But if some of you make trouble for our gentle friends. Who will come and warn us again when something is about to happen?


You should all stay away from this site and other sites for your own good and if you have any mirror copies, you should all delete it.

As for ABS what was said was said, but who do you believe. Our gentle friends or them?

Life is that simple when you boil it down to just basics.

Orang gila

Rachel Chung said...

'You seem pissed that I'm passing comments based on assumptions.'

Nope, just pointing out a painfully obvious fact and that is - any professional, be it PR or not, should not commit the cardinal sin of assuming :)

'People saying "Oh why are they consorting with people like ECL" (again no offense to her) or "Ohhh they're joining because they also kena kick from Ping.sg"'

Oh that. LOL. This is my take - it takes more than cheap little potshots to destroy a person's reputation. Yes, people with their personal agendas and petty grievances will gleefully take the chance to throw in some verbal rocks - we can see this happening. You can easily turn the argument around by saying they don't agree with her and therefore leaving. How so is it hurtful to their reputations then?

'But again I have to point out that it's unavoidable because of the fact that ECL implied it.'

Implied or not, we can either fuel the flames or we can take a stand against such nonsense.

In any case, I am penning off here.
The feeling is like that of a party being over and yet people keep arriving. LOL

Anonymous said...

What went on behind scenes, no one knows. But c'mon, 8 out of 10 members resigning... can the reason be anything positive? Surely there has to be serious disagreements. Those assumptions are fair.

I'm not forcing the ex-members to reveal any juicy details, on the other hand, kudos for keeping tight lipped. However serious issues must have surfaced. When they say they didn't coordinate the resignations yet they all resign about the same time, something's got to be real serious.

Anonymous said...

8 out of 10 = a bad performance rating for Ms Goh?

I dont think so. When someone signs up for something, c it to the end. That how I see it. If its not right, change it. But why jump ship midway? Thats a poor reflection on character.

I am not an ardent fan of J.Goh. She was incredibly foolish to have started the whole thing rolling on by declaring war on foreigners and claiming we all needed protection. But even if she is wrong. I dont think anyone should go through the shit she went through.

You just wait and c. This whole abs thing is far from dead. Water will flow the other way. And public opinion will begin to turn very slowly to her side.

You dont believe me, you just watch and see.

Chee Hua Cheong (Bukit Batok)

Anonymous said...

I came across this. FYI

http://dotseng.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/does-aunty-ecl-blend-the-day-we-became-animals-and-ate-our-own/

chua

aNONyMOUSE said...

eh sorhai who keeps tokking abt what my'sian agst sg'sian shit becos ecl started it, dun be a lansi lanyong sub9 jeng lah. u think u lasi wif me u veri power veri yong meh? got bollah go flame abs prezzie on her blog direckly 4 tt shit lor. deeew...

Farinelli said...

Can someone translate what the hell he just said? Wtf is sub9?

Anonymous said...

On a true occasion, Malaysian bloggers, blogged in one of our local community meta weblog, and forum sites, where the proprietary are Malaysian,trying to solicit fund for a Malaysian politician, in their election,last year.

An example:
http://cowboycaleb.liquidblade.com/index.php/archives/2008/02/20/calling-all-malaysians-jeff-4-malaysia-campaign-fund/

The proprietaries,should have stop that, but they are close friends, and maybe they are Malaysian, which may not see the danger.

I found it disturbing, because it could strained our relationship with neighboring countries, which may also lead us to war. May I asked who will then defend Singapore. Those people that started the troubles?

It may perceive to many that, they may be using Singapore blogsphere for their political agenda.

Also will the bloggers from both sides able to stop the conflict, when the governments relationship strained?

This is a concern of us Singaporean, not among individual where we still share the culture and values together, like friends or brothers and sisters.

So personally I do not see it as Malaysian Vs Singaporean affair.

Passerby

Anonymous said...

"I found it disturbing, because it could strained our relationship with neighboring countries, which may also lead us to war. May I asked who will then defend Singapore. Those people that started the troubles?"

I think this has to take the cake as the dumbest statement here; no offence; tell me, if Cubans in Miami decide to hold a raffle to build a hospital in Havana? How might that even be considered subversive.

Infact, we even donated a modest sum to obama's presidential fund. Do you see anyone of us taking cover underneath our beds bc we fear an imminent US invasion?

You speak as if you were dumped in a time capsule sometime in the 60's or something.

I think the main issue here revolves around RESPECT and giving ppl SPACE which entails a right to PRIVACY.

We have to accept that Malaysians form part of our community and they do NOT come to us without a historical baggage anymore than Singaporeans can be expected to migrate to the US and give up our love for laksa.

My feel is it doesn't pay to narrow down the field of possibilities by restricting the actions, thoughts and conduct of people. Not if they are reasonable.

Our experience tells us, we have always benefited tremendously from cultivating diversity with the online community WHEREVER they may come from.

Singaporedaddy

(Internet Liaison officer of the brotherhood)

Anonymous said...

shit man. The laison officer is here!