Back in 2006, the government was actively censoring speech and expression. Pieces critical of the administration sent to the mainstream print media would not be published, and online media was not what it is today. Feel the inner angst of my friend, Fahri Azzat, in the first LoyarBurok post. It felt like a dark time for Malaysians then — really (it’s not so bright now either, but you get the picture).
Literary fatalities did not mark the end of thinking; let a thousand flowers bloom! Instead of hunkering down and doing the bidding of politically linked entities, young Malaysians mysteriously sought protection in the good graces of His Supreme Eminenceness — to write, and to write more.
Rather than lamenting excessively, the blawg was used by optimistic, angry, sad, intelligent, and articulate Malaysians from all walks of life to make the government shiver. Many other websites, portals, and blogs emerged too, springing up through the cracks of censorship.
In 2011, Pusat Rakyat LB, better known as the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR), was born into a physical space to sow more seeds of whatever you wanted to call them.
Here is a non-exhaustive collection of resource materials that have documented the work of LoyarBurok, MCCHR, and their impact on the Malaysian psyche:
- Constitutional Statecraft in Asian Courts (2020, p. 30) by Yvonne Tew
- Constituting Religion: Islam, Liberal Rights, and the Malaysian States (2018, pp. 136–137) by Tamir Moustafa
- “Mobilizing Law for Justice in Asia: A Comparative Approach” (2014, pp. 377–396) by Frank W. Munger, Scott L. Cummings and Louise G. Trubek
- “Monkey in a Wig: LoyarBurok, UndiMsia!, Public Interest Litigation and Beyond” (2014, pp. 586–619) by Shanmuga Kanesalingam
- “Grassroots Democratic Movements’ Dependency on New Media in Contemporary Malaysia: Prospects and Limitations” (2014, pp. 101–107) by Choong Pui Yee
A feature article on LoyarBurok published by The Star can be read here.