First I read it.

And then I re-read it again.

Then I had to resist the urge to laugh.

To let out a bellyache of laughter in the office that would probably make people go @@ in the office, and it’s not time to scare them. Yet.

This was the cause of much laughter and amusement.

A copy (unedited) of my response to the news at the Star:

You know, the whole hullabaloo about VMY07 is really being taken too far. In order to paint a prettier picture of Malaysia, those who are uninformed and choose to remain ignorant (aka those in power who have never read a blog but heard *bad things*) decide to prosecute those whom they think are causing the most problems (bloggers who just want to blog).

Thank you Deputy Minister. Maybe this time we’ll make the front page of /. and NYTimes and add “three times laughing stock of the Internet because we refuse to update ourselves and blame others for it” to our “impressive list” of achievements.

And they wonder why there is a brain drain.

Everything is interrelated. In this case, there are quite a number of politicians whose heads, I believe, are on the chopping block because VMY07 (Visit Malaysia Year 2007) is not taking off as it should. While there are a number of reasons for this, I doubt that bloggers are a main factor. Rather, this seems to be a fallout of an older article, which seems to have painted a minister in a bad light (mainly because it looked like he didn’t read the full entry before he opened his mouth, but also because he displayed a terrifying lack of understanding and knowledge of how the bloggersphere works.

In fact, most bloggers I know are guys, not girls. And most could not really give two hoots about the government, simply because the government seems to not care either, except when it looks like the elders are going to lose face to the youngsters because they know more than them.

And that’s the galling part, isn’t it? Youths are not going to sit down and let the government decide their lives for them (like a number of them seem to be insisting) and unlike their parents before them, they actually have an outlet for their voices. Yet the people who are listening are choosing to listen to the comments negatively, letting their own paranoia and fear control them. Stop wrapping us in swaddling clothes, damnit. We are not babies, and we will not pretend to be babies.

Times like these make me feel like leaving the country and never coming back, even if it does mean renouncing my citizenship. I love my country, but does my country love me?

Sure as hell doesn’t look like it.