Or at least it does when the savvy retailers say so. Just barely after the last tinsel and holly has been taken down, red packets and peach blossoms are already festooning the hallways of the local shopping malls. Hell, I haven't even gotten over the bad eggnog of Christmas Past and the novel thought of 2007 hasn't even sunk in, and now I've got to get ready for Chinese New Year?!
Has it been that long?
It has also taken me this long to realize that it's been almost two years since I started writing this blog - and boy, things certainly have changed. When I first started, blogs were inconsequential little diaries written by so-called nobodies in cyberspace for the amusement of their close peers. Few people even know what blogs actually meant.
Since then, bloggers have started attracting wide mainstream attention, veering away from trivial thoughts about mundane everyday life to sharp, witty commentaries on the current issues and political affairs - which obviously hasn't endeared many of them to the dogmatic authorities. However, the recent furore with two of Malaysia's most prominent political pundits / bloggers ( Jeff Ooi and Rocky Bru ) being sued for defamation by a noted news publication seem to have had the opposite effect on most bloggers.
Rather than lie low and suffer in silence, the defamation suit seems to have brought bloggers out of every nook and cranny in support for one of their own. Suddenly lawyers ( who probably blog in secret ) are offering pro bono work and there's even talk of setting up a fund to defend them, as well as other unfortunate bloggers who might face the same problems in the future.
Don't get me wrong. There should be maximum freedom of expression for everyone but the undisputed rights of the individual not to be defamed shouldn't be ignored either. I wholly support democracy and the right of the publication to defend itself against any note of slander but honestly, their punitive legal action certainly smacks heavily of David versus Goliath.
And we all know how that ended, right?
But still this disturbing chain of events certainly sparked of a shocking solidarity amongst bloggers that's quite heartwarming to see. Virtual strangers are reaching out to help each other by virtue of freedom of expression.
Suddenly I am proud to be a Malaysian blogger.