Why I had to shut down my blog

Recently, things have been pretty bad for naturists in South East Asia after the Malaysian government went ballistic over a video that went viral. A group of naturists, many of whom are my friends met in Penang to participate in a mini-Olympics in the nude. This was carried out in Telok Bahang, a deserted beach. The park ranger was ok with it and nobody saw them and there were no complaints. But a video that was taken and uploaded by one of them went viral some two months after the event. The Malaysian government rounded up all of them who were in Malaysia at the time, arrested and charged them. Some pleaded guilty to charges which did not fit their deeds and they were sentenced from one month to six months in jail and fines of RM 5,000 each.

During the furore in Malaysia, a lot of naturist forums and websites in the region were closed down. Even the owner of the the nude resort in Bali withdrew his plan to hold a huge Nude Halloween Party in Bali. Although Bali is primarily Hindu, Indonesia is still a Muslim-majority country and things can get ugly if Muslim fundamentalists had wind of the nude event. He shut down his blog on Bali naturism and decided to lie low.

I was also told to set my blog to private but I was reluctant to do that. Then newspaper reporters from Malaysia started contacting me and asking me for photos that they could use in the newspaper articles. How they knew my contact (they contacted me through my blog and by email and even Facebook) is a mystery. But I knew giving them photos would only stir Muslim sensitivity in Malaysia and add to the flames of fury and that can't augur well for some of my friends who are still awaiting trial. And of course my blog has a lot of photos. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love snapping pics all the time and my blog is always a little like a photoblog. So in the interest of my friends who were still awaiting trial, I password-protected most of the entries in my blog.

It's been some time now and the furore in Malaysia has somewhat died down. All the same, I know the old blog is followed by newspaper reporters and I just don't want to give them fodder for their columns. So I started a new blog that has no password protection. I don't think any Malaysian reporters are here on naktiv and so here's the link to the blog: http://itsmyprivatelife.wordpress.com

I hate to leave my blog under password protection all the time as if there were anything wrong with naturism. Hence the new blog.

32 thoughts on “Why I had to shut down my blog”

  1. We here see it as a crime to restrict people in their personal freedom. And we see it as a shame to criminalize natural nudity.
    But in every country there is something different.
    And everything is always moving, changing.

    Freedom starts in the mind, and needs a certain level of education. Fundamentalist groups around the world hate a cosmopolitan, broad, humanistic education.
    We are all part of a society – but who determines the standards? Humanity, honesty, … it is everywhere still really much to do.

    All the best for you and your friends!

    • Yes, Ms Chew, the organiser of the Penang Nude Games who has claimed trial in the case informed me about Gypsy Taub and the wonderful support that she and SF naturists gave to the Penang event. She was very touched by that. 🙂

  2. This is disheartening news. The most disappointing aspect are those that blind themselves with their ignorance. They render themselves incapable of comprehending anything beyond a narrow slither of understanding.
    Despite dwelling in a universe of ever changing light and wonder, they huddle under a heavy sack with a single candle.

    • That's true. The West has achieved so much liberty and enlightenment. The only thing that can go wrong is if it's not careful with its immigration policy. If you take in the wrong kind of people who don't believe in the philosophy of the host country, you're done for, especially if they have a tendency of being violent to have their way on everything.

  3. Yes, I agree. I have already made some inroads in my own community. My friends aren't so appalled any more but they still have a long way to go. In my new blog, I posted a 2-part article "Why I am a naturist" in which I explored my inner thoughts about naturism and what it means to me. I also explored how we can see how in some ways, our actions do sometimes affirm the textile worldview and that can be bad for our cause.

    Before I joined naktiv (and when I still didn't know about naktiv) I actually saw your blog post, Richard. I saw a link to it and I read it and I was very much inspired by it. I can't remember the details now but you mentioned how important it was for naturists not to be ashamed and you gave the example of how you used your real name. That blog led me to naktiv.

    What you said in the blog really rings true. It's an uphill climb to change the world but before we do that, we should all examine ourselves to see if there are areas that we need to change in. There's no denying that the shame of nudity enforced on us as kids has a strong impact on us.

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