Monday, September 01, 2008

Project Malaysia!

Great to see Malik Imtiaz, Michelle Gunaselan and Robin Lee has taken the initiative to start Project Malaysia .

You might be wondering what is it?

Let me quoting it directly from the About page.

"Project Malaysia was created to respond to a need for solution-driven, informed opinions on issues affecting Malaysian society as a whole.
In the post March 8th climate, the unrelenting need to be informed and to engage in critical discourse to create a concrete understanding among Malaysians of all walks of life has been apparent. Blogs, news and news analysis sites have been set up to supply information to Malaysians who are now seeking out more sources of information. Civil society is empowered by the knowledge that information, is indeed power.

As more and more Malaysians get connected to the World Wide Web, Project Malaysia aims to capitalise on this 'thirst' by providing a platform for analysis and commentaries by distinguished personalities and specialists, who can comment on the very real issues affecting our nation. These will include expert opinions from academics, law practitioners, members of Parliament and most importantly, concerned Malaysians.

In the course of 12 months, Project Malaysia will identify 12 keys issues and/or areas that require immediate attention and remedy. Through these essays and commentaries, we aim to inform and persuade readers as well as writers, to engage with the Malaysian audience at large - in seeking viable solutions for this non-profit, nation building exercise.

Through this experiment Project Malaysia aims to:

Increase the readership of Malaysians on important national issues that remain an important quest to our survival in this nation.

Provide a platform for the sharing and discussion of ideas, however different our viewpoints might be. This includes a platform for both budding and expert writers to highlight issues of concern to them, while pro-actively seeking solutions through an organic growth and evolution on the thread of discussion.

Map the contours of Malaysian life, issues that hamper the progress of the nation, which we hope will lead us toward feasible and sustainable solutions.

Why Project Malaysia?
For a long time, Malaysians from every walk of life have noticed something intrinsically wrong with our nation. Some are less pleased than others, but the fact remains that nation building is a constant, ongoing process that requires hard work, and diligence from all parties involved.

In realising this, and in looking for ways to move forward, we hope that Project Malaysia will inform Malaysian stakeholders to solutions for this nation's success. Especially for those who want to move into a direction of accountability for our actions, transparency and justice in every area of public life, and most of all, in the pursuit of a nation that is home to all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or creed."

And it is welcoming articles from everyone, from Perspectives for those who are more expert in the field and also Observations from other Malaysians from all walks of life.

What you can contribute to Project Malaysia? Read here . I again fully quoted it here.

"Project Malaysia will consider any article that provides a deep, and meaningful analysis, perspective and/or observation on the issues relating to the monthly theme chosen, each month. The comment thread that should guide any discussion for writers who are submitting their pieces, is that submissions should highlight facts and informed opinions, but most importantly, solutions for discussion and debate.

We do not have a specific editorial policy, and would like to remain neutral in our undertaking of the discussions on the monthly themes. We welcome diversity of opinion, but abhor hate speech, bigotry and reactionary commentary.

We will not entertain articles that have been used in other publications, unless permission from the aforementioned publication has been granted at the request of the author, with evidence of permission granted.

We would prefer exclusivity, for the one month duration in which the article is left on the Project Malaysia website. This means, any reproduction of the author's pieces after one month, is entirely up to them. However, we would suggest linking it back to us in the case of reproduction by a simple addition on the byline saying, 'This article first appeared in Issue X, on' The author retains his/her copyright, unless otherwise stated.

Contributions in the expert opinions section (called Perspectives) should typically be between 1200-1500 words, this should include a headline and a short introduction to the writer and his/her work. A picture of the author should be included during submission of the article in question. Due to limited resources and time, articles longer than the stipulated length are not encouraged, but will be considered should the writer request to write a longer piece. Any substantive changes on our part, will be done only after obtaining the writer's permission.

The second section welcomes both readers, Malaysian and otherwise, who can contribute to the Observations section. This differs from the comment sections. However, they are similar in that both will be edited for length, grammar, brevity, and/or factual errors. Pieces submitted for the Observation section should also include a short biodata, and a picture is recommended, but not necessary.

A pseudonym is possible, but only with the writer's real name included in the original submission to us. The pseudonym should be what is considered neutral, for example 'Another Malaysian'. The length for an Observation piece should be between 800-1200 words. Comments should be kept to the point, address issues/ contentions clearly, in a calm, rational matter. Reactionary responses will not be entertained. Neither will hate speech.

The team at Project Malaysia is growing and in moderating your comments and writing, we will try and respond as promptly as possible. If there is a delay, for whatever reason, it is likely to be because the article submitted is still under construction or pending moderation/approval by our moderators.

NOTE TO ALL: Submissions should include, in this order:

Your Full Name
Your Psuedonym (should you require one)
Headline for the article
A short one paragraph introduction to yourself, who you are, and your work.
And a picture of yourself to be included into our contributor section
Text should be formatted with a Times New Roman font, of size 12.

All submissions should be sent to with the writer's name, designation, email addresses (main and secondary), and a legitimate telephone number.

Thank you, let the submissions begin."

Hope to see more people contributing to it, or at least help to spread the words around!

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Would encourage any of my blog readers to share with me any event that you come across. As long as the event/activity/initiative is education/charity/youth oriented and is not-for-profit, I would be more than happy to post it to share!

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