By Syed Akbar Ali
(All the graphics here are by Syed Azidi also known as Sheikh Kickdefella)
I first met Sheikh Kickdefella circa 2007. Really we were Bloggers holding up against an oppressive regime. I met him again at the now famous (at least among us lah) "clandestine" Bloggers meeting (clandestine because of Slumberjack's oppresive regime) in February 2007. Thanks to BigDog's memory. Yours truly and some others had called for that meeting to discuss strategy.
For lack of a quiet place, we met upstairs in a building located just below Bukit Aman Police headquarters, right next to the Police Station near the Ekran Building (maybe some of you can guess it already). Thus making it easier to be eavesdropped. Out of this meeting various Bloggers alliances were initiated.
Other than Kickdefella and me, I recall some of the folks at that meeting were Rocky, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and wife, BigDog, Another Brick in the Wall, Shar 101, Sang Kelembai (who was later kicked out of UMNO), Kuda Kepang and a few others. That was more than five persons and considering that we were all there to basically discuss how to rid the country of the Darkside, it could have been deemed an illegal assembly.
At that time, the entire mainstream media had been cut off to anyone even remotely critical of Slumberjack. The Indian god namesake made sure of that. There was also much thievery going on by the gatekeepers and Slumberjack's sleeping on the job was helping them plenty. We were just a bunch of puny noisemakers.
Syed Azidi or Sheikh Kickdefella was well known for the graphics in his Blog. I believe he taught computer graphics. Just the way his Blog was spelt - "Kickdefella" - caught my interest. I think his began as a 'one objective' Blog - to kick the fellow out. Now since that mission has been accomplished, Sheikh has perhaps found a new target. Tok Garu?
We decided to sort of unite under one umbrella and also to focus strategies on specific issues at the same time - the latter did not work too well all the time but it did work some of the time. Sheikh designed an icon for us : 'Bloggers United' which some of the Blogs still carry in their Blogs till today. One example is Big Dog's.
Another graphic created by Sheikh was 'Band of Bloggers'.
At that meeting Raja Petra also agreed to host topics from various Blogs on Malaysia Today - which eventually became 'From Around The Blogs'.
The common factor uniting us all at that time (and even now) was Tun Dr Mahathir - who was soldiering on alone to speak out against an oppresive regime and its very exclusive band of thieves. My friends and I followed Dr Mahathir during his speeches in Johor Bahru, Kota Bharu (the pepper spray incident), Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and around Selangor. Each time I would notice the same few folks also present. Many of them are in the list above.
Sheikh Kickdefella was an admirer of Dr Mahathir and also of Husam Musa - the Deputy MB of Kelantan. A strange combination no doubt. I too find Husam quite the savvy dresser. Intelligent. Can do business. In a meeting arranged by Sheikh, Husam compared Anwar Musa with Dato Mustapa Mohamad. He said one talks a lot but has little influence. The other speaks very few words but has great impact. No prizes for guessing who was who.
Sheikh Kickdefella has now become a star Blogger. It takes some guts to do what he is doing. Kelantan can be less User Friendly if you are on the other side of the tracks. I do hope he can dodge the bricks and keep his gunsights up. We are still the Band of Bloggers.