Alvin And Ali, New Breed Of Activists?

Kuala Lumpur – The news that Ali Abd Jalil fled the country to seek political asylum in Sweden, might not be the last.

Seeking for political asylum himself, former sex blogger Alvin Tan said more people would seek to leave the country in order to have a fighting chance to exact change in the country.

He said social media and the Internet had given people a different platform in which to fight for change.

“The Internet has revolutionised the way activism is carried out, and more young activists are realizing this. Although some may brand it cowardly, it is definitely effective.

“These days, you can spread the word from anywhere in the world. Many activists are simply bloggers who spread the word online or investigative journalists who push forth their cause which can be done from anywhere in the world,” he told The Rakyat Post.

Tan said on the other hand it would be a risk if an activist chose to remain in Malaysia.

“An activist who stays in the country will not be able to speak freely and that will breed self-censorship. Many bloggers in Malaysia have lost their voice following the sedition dragnet.

“Keeping yourself safe from harm is of paramount importance to your work. An activist who resides in Malaysia has nothing to gain, yet he has everything to lose.

“If you love Malaysia, you should leave too.”

Tan said the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and the government were currently between a rock and a hard place.

“Their choices are very limited now. Are they going to make toothless threats via the Inspector-General of police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who has since been rendered useless?

“By failing to follow up on my case, it clearly shows that they are completely helpless, thus exposing their impotence in an international, cross-border situation which is beyond their jurisdiction.

“Or will they just keep quiet, suck it up, write off the ego-bruising and pretend that nothing has happened while internationally having to deal with all the embarrassing “reminders” to respect human rights from foreign governments?

Tan said they would also have to deal with tremendous pressure from extremist and ignorant factions within Umno to take the sternest action possible against him.

“My guess is that the government will not be able to keep silent once their egos are challenged.

“They have been conditioned to think that everyone has to cower in fear before them, yet when our own citizens go outside their jurisdiction, they do not know what to do.”

He claimed that trying to extradite Ali or himself would look very embarrassing on their part.

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