INTERVIEW Pro-PKR blogger Yusuf Al-Siddique, who runs the Milosuam blog, admits that political blogs like the one he runs can be a source of income.
However, he refuted the widely-held view that their ‘bosses’ are politicians from certain parties.
He noted that instead, the income comes from advertisers who want to advertise on his blog because of the high traffic he gets.
“If you were to say I am specifically paid (by politicians) to write in my blog, this is not true.
“Does this blog make money? Yes. I have advertisements so all those who write for me get their portion.
“Previously (the money) was from Innity and Google Adsense - so it did get income,” he said, admitting that he handled the blog along with several other administrators before this.
Nonetheless, after his case came for trial, the name ‘Milosuam’ stuck as his pen name and he became known by that name everywhere he went.
Yusuf is now appealing his two-year prison term after he was found guilty under Section 505 of the Penal Code for his article which appeared on the Milosuam blog.
According to Yusuf, he was at first shocked at the publicity he had received after he was arrested a few days before the 2013 general election.
He said he was treated like a celebrity when he returned to Batu Pahat to cast his vote.
“When I came back (to Batu Pahat) and went out to vote, it seemed like everybody recognised me.
“They approached me and wanted to take photos with me, saying I was a brave fighter. Some families brought their children and also asked me to have a photo taken with them.
“At that time, I thought perhaps there had been some disturbance (outside the lock-up) because I was inside (the lock-up) so I didn’t know,” said Yusuf in an interview with Malaysiakini.
According to him, other friends of the Milosuam blog did not have a problem when he came better known as the ‘face’ of the blog.
He said he was ready to bear that burden because he was confident that fellow Milosuam blog writers would have done the same in his place.
“(They said) You are now officially the Milosuam blog owner.
“If someone else had been punished, I would have stepped aside. Now I am punished, the others pulled back and did other things,” he said.
According to Yusuf, he used to be close to Umno politicians who wanted him to write about their political enemies.
“Sometimes there were roilings within Umno - there was something to be said - so they asked me to write about it,” he noted.
Asked about his feelings after being charged and sentenced to two years’ jail, Yusuf said: “Frankly, before I was sentenced I was a bit scared. I felt like I need to ease up my writing, to be less outspoken.
“When I was sentenced like this I became encouraged. Something worth doing is worth doing well.
“When I heard the judge say two years’ jail I was shocked, but at that moment my mind was strengthened.
“I said this is the warriors’ way - I am willing. If (I were to be) jailed, all right.”
To other pro-Pakatan bloggers, Yusuf had this message: “We who are in this field know the risks. From the start, we knew we are doing something with high risks.
“If we don’t dare face the risks, it's better to stay at home and eat groundnuts. This is the road we chose, we have to be ready to face the risks.