31 August, 2015

A FaceBook group, OS

I was kicked out of a Face Book group, MOTP because I mentioned religion and Islam in my comments. Religion and politics were taboo subjects. The admin was Irene Yong. She felt bad because I knew her personally. She reinstated me a week later, after consultation with her IT expert; but the damage was done. I became determined to have freedom of expression on the web. So I started a new group of my own, named Overseas Malaysians. The name later changed to Overseas Sarawakians.

The core members were short listed from another FB group, ex-Tanjung. These were my own school mates in Miri in the 60's. We had a great time on a Google group started by Dr. Chong of Miri. One member from Perth was a spammer and a very big cyber bully. He practically killed the group. Members left en masse and never ever heard from again. Strange to say, this culprit is still posting on this Google group today, alone! Bullies never change their stripes no matter whether in school, at work, on the road or on line. It is very difficult to reform them.

One younger member of this Google group started a Face Book group, ex-Tanjung and invited the stragglers to join up as members. Google is not exactly the same as FB because the atmosphere has changed, especially when younger ex-Tanjongs (ex-TLC, ex-KDTSD, ex-KGMST whatever....) began pouring in as members. These younger members do not use computers or lap tops to access FB. They use Blackberry, tablets and iphones! The camaraderie was lost and sadly it is struggling to survive as a group today.

The core members of OS were my school mates at Tanjong in the 60's. All of them are ex-Sarawakians living overseas in UK, USA, Canada, Australia and NZ. Most are sleeping tigers, with a few hidden dragons (potential cyber bullies) The rest of the members were hand picked by me from FB after doing some quick research on line. Most of these members are still living in Sarawak. Some are overseas. I also included a few from other places to make it more interesting.

We had a lot of upheavals on OS over the years but the group survived. Last year, I decided to neutralize the membership by opening the doors to more people who are still living in Sarawak. I have also appointed two very capable admins. With their help the atmosphere is now more peaceful and less noisy. Welcome to OS! If you are new and you like it here, please invite some of your own friends to join OS.

Yours cyberly,
David Chin
founding member

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