In a surprise article, Malaysia Today Admin today announce the departure of Raja Petra Kamarudin as the owner of MT and states that PRK is on a long journey into retirement. As a confirmed information, it is a loss for MT and for the Malaysian blogging community as it is RPK that was the main driving force behind the MT.
I’ve this mixed feeling about RPK’s departure i.e. he is no longer the owner of Malaysia Today. But at the same time, it is his prerogative, and I am sure whoever continues to manage MT will not lose sight of what has made MT the people’s medium today.
By MT Contributor
RPK has changed Malaysians’ minds in general about what blogging is all about. Without him, Malaysian bloggers wouldn’t be as much appreciated as they are today. It really is RPK’s creation, he who helped shape Malaysian blogging at a time when Malaysian bloggers were condemned by authorities and government ministers alike, including the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir – now turning blogger himself. Bloggers in those days were called unemployed youngsters, bored housewives, anti-establishments and named all other kinds of crap.
MT has contributed a great deal as an information provider not only to local Malaysians but also beyond Malaysia. Reading MT is not like reading NST or Star, but you need to do your work as well, assembling the zigzag puzzles provided. Things even sound very fictional at times – you either hate to believe it or you never believe it at all.
At a time when Malaysians were continually locked in, no Malaysian mainstream media would want to sneak their heads out as MT did. RPK paid a heavy price for what he did, but I know he has also liberated some Malaysian minds.
MT has been a conduit to international media and an institution in its own right.
To RPK, I wish him a very happy bon voyage.
MT has taught many thousands of Malaysians from all walks of life. Some said MT has opened their one time closed minds. Some said MT has provided them with a source of information on the other side of Malaysia. Some consider MT as a source of learning how to write in the English language. And some also use it as a venue to show off their writing skills in the English language. Then there are those confused blokes who have no reason at all but yet continue to log in.
It’s the accommodative nature of MT that taught many Malaysians as well. MT contributors and readers are very often called opposition-leaning people who never appreciate the government’s doings and forever condemn BN and UMNO. You write praising UMNO, MT loyalists will be sure to swarm and sting you like bees on the loose. Very few dared to disturb the hornets’ nest – juluk serang tabuan.
As a contributor to MT, I am indeed very thankful to RPK and his team over the years. Many of us aren’t trained writers. Just as what RPK has said many times, we are not in the business of newspaper-like writings. We learnt to write from the heart.
And RPK has been our teacher.