It has been slightly more than 24 hours since my last posting on this blog. And what a day it has been. Never in a million years could I have imagined the 'Royal twitterwar' posting would go viral the way it did. I've had this blog for almost 3 years now and never has a posting been sought after the way yesterday's one had been (still is, hopefully). Anyway, I am thankful for the traffic I've received, and for all your kind words. I am not a full-time blogger and I do not make money from this site. I simply blog because there's just too many things going on in my head that I can't just leave it there. Hence, I started this blog. And today I've gained quite a few supporters, strangers telling me they enjoy the way I write and that I speak their mind, and how I should write more. You guys have no idea how much this means to someone who writes for the passion of it. I truly treasure all your compliments and I am deeply humbled by it.
With regards to the whole royal incident, I have no intentions of removing the post. Not unless I have been subpoenaed or summoned by the court to do so. Otherwise, the posting shall remain here for all to see. I shall not react to anonymous threats.
If you look at the whole twitterwar issue, it's actually rather petty. I picked the issue up and decided to share it here simply because I wanted to highlight the bigger picture. Perhaps it wasn't clear in my previous posting. Primarily because the posting detailed what happened and it was getting too long for me to elaborate further. But some of you did see the bigger picture. Some of you noticed what I was trying to highlight.
To those of you who somehow misunderstood my post, please understand that it was never my intention to question our sistem beraja or the house of Johor's royal family or anybody's girlfriend or music taste or anything of that sort. I believe that our sistem beraja is a heritage and is something that we should uphold. However when somebody does something wrong, I have no qualms in pointing it out, whether you're a public figure or you're the son of a fisherman or the daughter of an accountant etc.
I have nothing against the crown prince. Neither do I have anything against the rapper. I highlighted the twitter war that erupted between the two of them simply because the whole thing was too nonsensical to let it just go unnoticed. The twitter war may have been petty but the underlying issue is that people who have influence over others more often than not fail to use the power they have to do good.
Do not say that just because you're not a politician, that means you do not have to be diplomatic. Even a school teacher has to practice diplomacy. You can speak your mind. By all means, please do speak your mind. I know I do. If you backtrack on some of my postings, you will see that I too am a very vocal person. However as much as I can, I refrain from using foul language. Twitter is fast becoming a powerful social medium. Celebrities are taking to Twitter to reach out to their fans, even politicians are doing it too. Nowadays you don't have to organize a physical ceramah in order for you to be heard. Twitter, Facebook, Blogs are taking over that job for you. Therefore when you're a public figure and you have tens of thousands of followers following you on your social networking accounts, you have a responsibility to them. At the risk of sounding cliched, with great power comes great responsibility. Yes you want to portray yourself as someone who is 'mesra rakyat', someone who is vocal, someone who speaks his/her mind, like I said go right ahead. But do it wisely. Just because you want to speak your mind, doesn't mean you should engage yourself in petty arguments over the internet and resort to using foul language. You want to be vocal? Why don't you speak about poverty? Why don't you raise the issue of discrimination, racism? Why don't you engage your twitter followers to discuss about important matters such as teen pregnancy, negligent parents, etc etc.?
Some would argue that celebrities / public figures are human beings too, prone to emotional outbursts and other human reactions. I agree. Even the richest of men, the bluest of bloods are susceptible to anger, rage, sadness etc. But what you do in public is still subjected to a certain code of conduct. Like I said with great power comes great responsibility. Public figures must realize that they do not have the luxury normal people have. They are always subjected to public scrutiny. And I guess that is a fair balance, considering that we the public do not have your kind of fame, wealth and power. If we have to make do with what meagre salary we rake in from our day jobs, then is it wrong for us to expect the best of behaviour from our public figures? You can't expect to live in luxury and power and still behave like a common man.
This brings me to other celebrities in Malaysia as well. Gaduh dengan laki, bising kat twitter, esok tu masuk blog gossip. Gaduh dengan co-star kat set, luah perasaan kat twitter, esok masuk Melodi. Let me give you a suggestion, if you still want to luahkan your perasaan on twitter, might I suggest you open up a private twitter account, add your own friends, and then you can luah la sampai termuntah pun. Soalan saya, sebagai public figure, kenapa perlu luah perasaan kepada peminat? Kenapa perlu gaduh dengan pengguna-pengguna lain di twitter? Sebab nak dapat sokongan dari followers anda? Sebab suka bila dapat sokongan? Suka bila followers hantar twit and say "Takpa kak, saya tetap sokong kak." "Biarlah diaorang nak cakap apa, kakak tetap hebat di mata saya." "I totally support you bashing that feller. You're my hero." Bla bla bla. Mungkin seronok bila dapat comments sebegini. Lepas tu bila orang hantar comment mengutuk, terus cakap "Haters will always be haters." "F*** all the haters." "Kutuk sebab jealous la tu." Macam ni lah, kadang-kadang orang kutuk bukan sebab jealous, sila jangan perasan sangat ya. More often than not, orang kutuk sebab nak menyedarkan awak, that what you're doing is just ridiculous. Tapi masalahnya dengan some of our public figures, bila orang kutuk, dia label as haters. Dia langsung tak cuba nak ambil iktibar dari kutukan tu. Selalunya, dalam kutukan, ada kebenaran. Jangan disregard kutukan sebagai orang jealous dan dengki dengan kedudukan awak.
All in all, what I'm trying to say here is that, when you are a public figure, understand that you have a certain amount of responsibility to those who idolize you. Bagilah contoh yang terbaik. Apa guna kalau kita dijulang kerana membuat perkara yang tak berfaedah? To be applauded for the wrong reasons is not something you should be proud of. Don't always look at your worshippers. Sometimes you need to look at those whom you have labeled as 'haters' in order for you to better yourself. What's the sense in being applauded when you remain ignorant about your faults and flaws? Jangan terlalu arrogant sehingga benda salah dirasakan betul hanya kerana beribu-ribu yang memuji. Dalam lautan pujian, amat mudah untuk kita hanyut. Adakalanya kita harus menoleh dan memandang kepada kutukan untuk menjadi penyelamat dari kita terus hanyut. Kutukan can be your saviour sometimes, itupun kalau kita berhasrat untuk berubah lah.
As for me, walaupun the amount of compliments I've been getting dari semalam is still nowhere near the amount our public figures are getting, itupun sudah cukup untuk membuatkan saya rasa rendah diri. Walaupun jumlah twitter followers saya belum sampai belasan ribu, tak sampai 200 pun, tapi saya dah rasa a sense of responsibility to watch my words and what I say. Sometimes we do not know the kind of influence we have on people. So why not use it for good? You can still be vocal, still speak your mind, but do it wisely. Sound smart while doing it, and people will look up to you even more. If you can have 30,000 followers today, why not improve yourself, who knows esok-esok naik 60,000. A bigger crowd to hear your thoughts, to read your insights, to know what a great man/woman you are.
I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, but here's a piece of advice, cuba-cubalah lihat di celah-celah kutukan untuk melihat kebenaran. Kebenaran itu boleh digunakan untuk memperbaiki diri. I don't hate TMJ. I don't hate Caprice. I don't hate Joe Flizzow. If I hated you, I would've simply ignored the twitter war you got yourselves into and leave you be. If I hated you, I wouldn't want to highlight matters of proper conduct and direct the comments I made at you. The thing is, I see that all three of you have a certain amount of influence on people in Malaysia. All I would like to see is that you use that influence for good.
It is better to be followed for the substance in your character than for the power you wield. Learn to take the high road (less traffic jam!).