I never thought someone would try such a thing, but someone did. Can’t say I like the idea cos it makes me feel “lonely” to be left out of such a prestigious in-group. =P
A couple of reasons really.
Firstly, the creation of any association, club for any industry, field or sport, is a political process and it becomes a political entity in that particular field. The creation of such an entity such as the ABS, creates a segregation of “in” and “out” groups, even if it was not their intention to do so. Perhaps arguably in such an entity, their intention was to create an “in-group” of Singaporean bloggers. A legitimate argument that the association has claimed itself was that they wanted to “unite” Singaporean bloggers.
If so, the quesiton is this. Was the committee of the ABS then voted in by “Singaporean” bloggers or did they self-declare themselves to represent Singaporean bloggers? I certainly wasn’t informed of such a committee election.
Secondly, I disagree with the idea of a blogging association to engage the government(PAP) in policy making. Reason being that it impedes democratic political development in Singapore. This was a suggestion mentioned by the President of the association in her own blog pertaining her goals and ideas for the association.
“A chance to engage the Government in discussions on its policies and help shape Singapore, making it a better place to live and work.Singapore is our country and we have the duty as citizens to see that our brothers and sisters are taken care of and protected.
The association will not be a tool of politics but members should be able to speak up and stand up for justice.”
-President of ABS
The concern in this case is similar to those brought up by the oppositions when the government introduced the NCMP and NMPs. People who could “say” alot in policy making but could not vote on the affairs. At the end of the day, parliamentary votes count, not talk. Singaporeans, and Singaporean bloggers have to understand that such “engagement” through an association can only be a cheap and ineffective replacement to the parliamentary process where you must be able to talk AND vote. If anyone wants to affect the policy making process, please take up politics actively and get yourself elected in as an MP.
As Minister Mentor Lee has pointed out, we need the next generation of leaders and politicians to come out and lead Singapore. Its great that people can comment and criticise political issues on their blogs, but they need to step out and get involved as well.
Finally, I really do like the diverse, bitchy, and scandalous blog scene we have. I don’t really quite know what kinda unity this group is trying to promote, or what kinda “professional” standards of blogging they are trying to cultivate. To be honest, a blog is simply where I can gather my thoughts, say what is in my head, however I wish. Its a web journal, that is a little more public than diary, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t a need to conform to any “standards.” Maybe they should rename themselves to Association of Professional Bloggers Singapore. Then they can justify their agenda of “cultivating” standards among professional bloggers. For now, I like my bo-standard blog.
I guess I don’t really care. 1/2 blog entries are personal anyway, and 1/4 are on archery. Stuff that people hardly would give a shit about.
Oops I used a bad word.