I started this blog to satisfy my itch to unspin the spin jobs I see around me. That was fun for a while and I strayed into public affairs and politics in Indonesia and Malaysia. But as of July 2011 I thought it time to get a bit more focussed on what’s been fascinating me for as long as I remember – the art and science of persuasion and communications, especially crisis and issues management. It is what I do at work, whether advising clients on their marketing or corporate needs or when managing crisis-like situations.

I welcome debate and discussion as some of the things I blog my be contentious or be valid from other perspectives. I, however, tend to ignore ad hominem attacks because I think they are intellectually dishonest.

If you prefer to consume information in images then please visit my other blog here

52 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Ong Hock Chuan,
    I’ve been browsing your blog and read something a while back about embarrassing English ads — and agreed 100%.

    Anyway, one of the many “hats” I wear here in RI is as a part-time English proofreader for one of these luxury lifestyle mags, and I come across these poorly written ads way, way too much — usually by highly respected int’l hotels or restaurants (and their “pro” PR people). They have the effect of actually making the magazine look silly as well, even tho’ I do all I can to make the articles, captions and headlines correct.

    So I got to thinking, hey why don’t we have a true professional write an article about the need for proper written communication in ads, so these companies will “see the light” as they pick up the mag to see how their own ad looks this month..

    If I were to write such an article, most Indonesian PR people would just say, “oh that snobbish bule… hmmmph my friends already telling me I speaking inggriss real good”

    But if such advice comes from yourself, I believe it would have a greater impact. (Don’t worry about typos, I will fix them if there are any.)

    Anyway, I don’t have any content decision-making powers, but I could recommend you to the editor and she’s a very intelligent person who is always open to good ideas.

    So send me an email if you have any interest.



    • Dear Riccardo,

      I am new hear at i already am enjoying the refreshing discussions here. The problem with the English here (Indonesia) is well, the inggris. I have been here long enough to observe that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Singhting your example of poor English in ads is barely the tip of the iceberg as far as that is concern. Check out the websites and all other literature in the English language are are being put out by local businesses, big corporations, state-owned enterprises, ministries and other local organizations, all you we find the language are all appalling.

      What amazes me with all the big talk and usage of today’s buzz words such as modernization, digital age, era of globalization etc., managements or the people who run them perhaps, have yet to come down to earth to realize the importance of the fundamentals of basic communication skills. Obviously there are plenty of explanations to this phenomena which would be to long for me to list down here. However, this has been grossly overlooked and is systemic in nature. What it boils down to is the lack of refinement, finesse and discernment on the part of management, or the people who tun them, whose preoccupation is limited to watching the bottom-line results without any regard to all other intrinsic values of the organizations they run.



  2. Hey Ong, You’re welcome to use my name next time. Tom McCawley.

    The demise – or otherwise – of newspapers is a fascinating tale both for journalists and as a case study of what’s happening to the planet and its collective consciousness. In short, newspapers will be around in the developing world, Africa, China, and India for a long time. As long as there’s a digital divide, some people won’t be able to afford the internet. Newspapers get passed around that kampung 25 stories down out my window for everyone to read. (If you can call “Lampu Merah” a newspaper). But there are some seismic changes going on in the developed countries. One of the most interesting things is the psychological denial mechanism of the journalists involved, people who are otherwise the most skeptical of creatures. It’s that same denial amongst executives that is propelling newspapers and possibly television to the grave. Think I’m exaggurating ? Try telling it to the 3,000 journalists who lost their jobs in the U.S. last year.


  3. Mungkin Pak Ong tertarik untuk memberi komentar pada salah satu headline story di website the Jakarta Post.. Terima Kasih

    Website the Jakarta Post menuju jurnalisme dua arah

    Website the Jakarta Post – http://www.thejakartapost.com – mencoba berkembang dari jurnalisme satu arah menjadi jurnalisme dua arah dimana pembaca mulai diajak lebih terlibat berpartisipasi dalam media.

    Hal itu dimulai dengan memberi ruang pembaca untuk memberikan komentar pada artikel headlines news. Baru langkah awal memang untuk membuka komunikasi lebih baik antara jurnalis profesional dengan pembaca. Tentunya yang diharapkan dari percakapan dalam kolom komentar adalah pencerahan, bukan sebaliknya.

    Silakan kunjungi website http://www.thejakartapost.com, cari bagian print edition headlines lalu anda bisa berikan komentar terhadap tulisan di situ. Komentar bisa dalam bahasa Inggris atau jika dalam bahasa Indonesia tentu akan diterjemahkan.


    Moch. N. Kurniawan (Iwan)
    Wartawan the Jakarta Post


  4. Sorry below is the english version


    The Jakarta Post website begins implementing two-way journalism.

    The Jakarta Post website –www.thejakartapost.com – is trying to grow from one-way journalism to two-way journalism where readers become more actively involved in the media. This idea is being implemented by opening the stories in the headlines section for comments from readers. This is just a beginning to build better communication between professional journalists and readers. It is expected that enlightenment would be the final outcome. So have a look at http://www.thejakartapost.com, then go to the print edition headlines, read one story and post comment on it. Comments either in English or Bahasa Indonesia are welcome. Comments in Bahasa Indonesia will be translated into English.


    Moch N. Kurniawan (iwan)
    The Jakarta Post Journalist


    • The problem is that Jakarta Post does not edit what it’s readers say. So innocent people are defamed, comments are allowed which are prejudicial to court cases and criminal investigations, racist comments are published, and fringe dwellers from around the world have a forum to air their opinions.

      This is not freedom of expression- it is just provocation by trolls looking for a reaction. The Jakarta Post has suffered and is suffering reputation damage because of this. The editors probably do not realise how angry many of its core readers are.

      There is a place for public speech and discussion but there must be limits and comments must remain with the law and common decency.


  5. Interisting mix of blog entries: current affairs, media and travel. Accompanied with your photography skills, it makes an interisting read. Certainly another blog to include in my feed aggregator! 8) . Keep up with the good work!


  6. Great blog!

    I’m supposed to have responded to your email days ago, but I promise to do it today.

    see you at the Ubud festival, soon!

    Ed Maranan


  7. Dear Mr. Ong Hock Chuan,

    The articles here are so good. Make it more popular in lintasberita.com, and be more useful for other thousand readers in Indonesia. Salam Blogger!


  8. Dear Mr. Ong Hock Chuan
    We introduce http://www.balinow.org as a part of program from BALI NOW! by Yayasan Bali Saat Ini, a non for profit foundation dedicated to promote creativity, innovation and product excellence of Bali. One of our aim is to connect and linking with various sectors to build future & comprehensive destination branding management of Bali.


    • Unspinning or re-spinning? I am not in PR (which is probably a good thing beuscae I think I would suck at!) but do PR people use terms like re-spinning As I was channel surfing the other day I caught a glimpse of the O’Reilly Factor and apparently the spin stops there. The point being I heard spin’ used in a number of ways but never as re-spin


  9. Dear Ong,
    Dutch ngo Hivos and broadcaster Vpro are searching for local video correspondents for a new foreign affairs programma. Can you please distribute this annoucement (see below) in your network?
    Many thanks in advance!
    Kind regards,
    Monique Doppert

    VPRO Television (based in The Netherlands) is currently recruiting innovative videojournalists and filmmakers from all over the world for a new GLOBAL network of correspondents. The network aims to provide strong LOCAL news and background stories, video diaries, clips and creative short films based on weekly themes and with a personal touch. We’re looking for skilled young journalist and filmmakers, who can contribute 1 – 4 short stories monthly. The videojournalists need to have filming/editing skills and access to equipment in their countries, and will be paid accordingly. The stories will be featured on a 24/7 website in Dutch and English and a selection will be shown in a weekly broadcast on national Dutch TV. Please contact the editors of this program at timbuktu@vpro.nl if you fit the profile or know of anyone else who does! Thank you in advance.

    on behalf of the editorial staff
    Stan van Engelen


  10. Assalamu alaikum,

    We’re launching a new site like Blogger.com but for Muslims only. It’s called MuslimBlogz.com and wanted to know if you feel your readers would find it useful. Please take a moment and visit the site and maybe consider linking to us.

    We are planning on making a section for Muslim Bloggers who are not using MuslimBlogz.com and starting a link exchange for those with blogs like yourself that aren’t in need of our services. We are also very open to other suggestions you may have in improving this service for the digital Ummah.

    Jazakallah khair for your time



  11. Sir,

    why has it been so difficult to leave comment in your blog? have you been picky in selecting which comment you will free from aksimet or is it me not dealing good enough with blogging technology?

    good blog, btw. i really enjoy your style of mocking..eh i mean, writing :D



  12. @M: Thanks and sorry about Akismet but there’s little choice because the spammers are relentless. In just 24 hours Akismet has caught 605 spam comments. I checked them but found no posting for you so Akismet may have been unfairly maligned in this case. The next time you have troubles poting please email me: ong[at]maverick[dot]co[dot]id. Cheers.


  13. Pingback: jeu casino vip
  14. Dear sir,

    I like the picture that u put on this website. However the image is cropped. Do you mind if I’d like to ask for the full original image please.

    I really appreciate it, thank you,


  15. @Ricky: Thanks. The uncropped version is in my Flickr account. Just click the Flickr photos on the right of the blog and they’ll lead you there. Have fun.


  16. Salam kenal, kami dari http://www.ngubek.com, sebuah online city guide, yang didalamnya terdapat directory listing tempat-tempat yang ada di Bandung. Kami tertarik untuk bekerjasama dalam barter link dengan blog anda. Dengan adanya kerjasama ini kami berharap dapat meningkatkan pengunjung di blog anda dan juga website kami. Atas perhatiannya kami ucapkan terima kasih.


  17. Assalamu alaikum,

    We’re launching a new site like Blogger.com but for Muslims only. It’s called MuslimBlogz.com and wanted to know if you feel your readers would find it useful. Please take a moment and visit the site and maybe consider linking to us.

    We are planning on making a section for Muslim Bloggers who are not using MuslimBlogz.com and starting a link exchange for those with blogs like yourself that aren’t in need of our services. We are also very open to other suggestions you may have in improving this service for the digital Ummah.

    Jazakallah khair for your time



  18. Assalamu alaikum,

    One blogging website for Muslims is launched like Blogger and wordpress. It’s called MuslimBlogs.com and considered as first Muslim Blogging website. Take a moment and visit the site.

    Jazakallah khair for your time


  19. Hai Mas Ong,
    Kami merasa bahwa konten di dalam situs Anda sangatlah menarik dan bermanfaat dan kami berharap bahwa Anda mau mempertimbangkan kesempatan untuk bisa berbagi dengan kalangan pembaca dari media lain, yaitu kepada sejumlah pengguna ponsel dari Mobile Internet tentunya. Disini kami ingin memperkenalkan fitur “Mobilizer” yang kami miliki dimana fitur ini dapat merubah situs web yang mempunyai RSS atau atom feeds menjadi situs mobile tanpa diperlukan programming lebih lanjut. Hanya dengan beberapa langkah saja, Anda dapat me-monetize traffic dan membentuk pengikut baru dari kalangan mobile. Untuk kenyamanan Anda dan sebagai bahan ilustrasi, kami telah membuat situs mobile Anda yang dapat langsung Anda lihat di http://buzzcity.mobi/unspun dan silahkan kunjungi situs kami di http://www.buzzcity.com untuk info lebih lanjut. Semoga ini bisa menjadi awal kerjasama yang baik diantara kita dan silahkan hubungi kami jika Anda membutuhkan info lebih lanjut. Buzzcity (myGamma) juga akan hadir di acara Pesta Blogger 2010 nanti sebagai salah satu sponsor pada tanggal 30 Oktober 2010 di Jakarta, semoga kita dapat berjumpa langsung disana. :)


  20. Hi, I discovered one of your incredible photos of Perth during a search – do you mind if I use it for a website background? Please get in contact with me. Thank you.


  21. Hello Pak Ong, I kept thinking I have left a comment on this blog, but it turned out I have always been the silent observer instad. Now that you’ve left a trace on mine, I figured I shall reciprocate :). One of these days, I hope we get to meet up given the many mutual friends/acquaintances we have, instead of bumping into each other on events!


  22. Hi,

    I have a travel app to Indonesia. Is there a way to have you review it? I can send you a promo code for iOS. Terima Kasih.


    Please check out Experience Indonesia!, our frequently-updated travel app to Indonesia, which supplies comprehensive information (useful for residents, Indonesians and visitors alike) along with pictures, maps and links to hundreds of videos and relevant websites. The nearly 500 entries have more than 3,300 photos, and remote areas of the country are covered.

    iOS version (iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, IPodTouch):


    Android version:


    And please like our page:



  23. I’m Very Interest Your Blogs

    Hi Mate,

    I am interested in your blog, and I wanted to put ads on your blog, how much you give to me?,

    If you positively want to work with me, please reply mail to wahyuyogai@gmail.com,

    And if you interest, in the zone Where would you put the ads from me or the links that I will give,

    And approximately how many posts you publish on this blog within 1 month?

    Payment VIA PayPal,

    Waiting for positif reply, thanks a lot



  24. I found your blog thanks to Elizabeth Pisani’s website and it’s great. Is there an RSS feed link or any way to subscribe? I just saw the “Notify me of new posts via email” button below. Assuming that’s it then please ignore my question and keep up the great work!


  25. Hi. I really enjoyed my brief visit on your site and I’ll be sure to be back for more.
    Can I contact your through your email?

    Please email me back.

    kevincollins1012 gmail.com


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