Unspun‘s heard of Kenny Sia before as Malaysia’s top blogger, but for some reason — probably because Unspun was focused on the more political blogs of Malaysia – never visited his site.
Last Saturday, during the ASEAN Day celebrations, Unspun got to meet Kenny and found him engaging (see how, in this photo ripped from Kenny’s blog, he charms those stewardesses to take photos with him?), intelligent and generally a great fellow to be with.
The Sabahan.com, in its survey of Malaysian blogs ranks Kenny’s blog as most influential with 4,828 links from 2,406 blogs. That’s a lot of links and a lot of influence.
Yet in our conversation, Kenny said he felt that his readership was somewhat limited in growth as it was mainly confined to Malaysia and Singapore. Partly because of language and culture, Malaysians and Singaporeans tend to read each others blogs but outside these two countries there are few readers.
We talked about exchanging links as he’d love to see more Indonesians visiting his blog. Unspun invited him and other Malaysian bloggers to Pesta Blogger and he said that he has another engagement but he could rustle his fellow social bloggers from Malaysia to come over. That would be great and the Pesta Blogger Committee is now trying to work out a deal with a regional airline to try to get them to fly bloggers from neighboring countries in for Pesta Blogger on October 24.
If you do have time do visit Kenny’s blog. It’s very humorous in Kenny’s own style, usually interspersed with photos and has a quirky perspective on things. Though Kenny claims to be a social blogger, he sometimes can’t help himself from venturing into political commentary such as this comparison between Thailand’s handsome and young Prime Minister and Malaysia’s well, not so handsome and young counterpart:
1. Abhisit sounds like Absinthe. Najib sounds like Nazi.
2. Abhisit has no gray hair. Najib has totally no hair.
3. Abhisit led angry people to protest and overthrow his previous government. Najib overthrew Perak and made people so angry they protested.
It is for this and other reasons that Kenny’s blog is probably the most popular in Malaysia. Aspiring bloggers may want to go to his site to pick up tips on how to pick up links.
Here’s Kenny’s take on a facet of life in Jakarta that most of us take for granted:
“However, I did notice one thing special about Jakarta that other places don’t. It is perhaps the only place I know of in this part of the world, where people take advantage of the ridiculous traffic jams on the road, and turn it into a profit-making opportunity.”
It happens in Manila too and to a smaller extent, Bangkok. In Kuala Lumpur, there used to be some more enterprising guys who hawked the results of 4-D gaming results at the traffic lights on the nights they were released. They photocopied the results for Magnum, Sports Toto and Pan-Malaysia Pools and sold them to drivers who stopped their cars at the traffic lights. Each copy went for 20 sen, I was told. For some reason this practice seems to have faded out.
But beware of these hawkers in Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok. Many are not very honest. If yu buy a box of fresh look strawberries, the rotten ones are kept beneath the fresh ones!
@Bayi: Good to see you revisiting Unspun. Been a long silence.
The not so subtle differences and the actual and perceived differences in interpretation and in cultural definitions and norms between the south east Asian countries is perhaps best explained in this somehwat controversial essay on interpretation, perception and use of words both Malay and Indonesian:
We have to challenge the boundaries of thoughtt and expression before becoming too precious about it. Violence achieves nothing. name calling and the use of invectives come a second close.