LoyarBurok was featured in TimeOut Kuala Lumpur’s July 2013 print edition, in the “Malaysian Made” feature. The text is reproduced here.
Freedom expression should be the cornerstone of any democratic structure, but the notion has always been a tussle in our country. Community human rights “blawg” LoyarBurok empowers citizens to express their opinions through the website.
Consisting of practising lawyers, passionate advocates, and basically anyone from all walks to life, the LoyarBurok team is actually a fun bunch (they take inspiration from a fictitious typewriting wonder monkey called Lord Bobo Barnabus).
Their modus operandi is simple: they publish anything, by anyone, any topic, and any view.
“We allow views from young or unheard-of writers to be published because we believe discourse should not just be for the experts; everyone is entitled to have his or her opinion heard, and be discussed,” explains chief blawg administrator and corporate lawyer Marcus van Geyzel.
The LoyarBurok blawg has become a place to hunt for witty and honest commentary on Malaysia’s social, political, and economic issues.
For ground initiatives, LoyarBurok also launched several offshoots: LoyarBurok Rakyat Centre, a physical manifestation of the blawg in Bangsar that’s also a home to litigation work handling court cases relating to human rights, as well as UndiMsia!, a voter education movement to encourage greater participation by young Malaysians in our democratic process.
“We have this flawed belief that we can only exercise our democratic rights every four or five years. We need to learn to keep our leaders accountable,” says Marcus.
In a state where freedom of expression in Malaysia remains tenuous, LoyarBurok actually brings an intellectual (and sometimes snarky) quality to alternative views. But the team has always maintained an objective and tongue-in-cheek attitude.
Marcus concurs, “We’re politically non-partisan, but we sure love a party, son.”
LoyarBurokkers You Should Know
Marcus van Geyzel (Twitter @vangeyzel). Corporate lawyer and Blawgmeister Minion, tasked by Lord Bobo to run the whole blawg.
Fahri Azzat (Twitter @LBMinion1). Lawyer, and one of the founders and most prolific writers for the blawg.
Edmund Bon (Twitter @edmundbon). Lawyer, fashion designer, and one of the first LoyarBurokkers.
Syazwina Saw (Twitter @syazwinasaw). Curator of the blawg’s Masthead editorial team.