July 31, 2006
I gotta shut up soon
According to our dear Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin, or otherwise more fondly known as ZAM, websites are going to be controlled by the government. Ooooooh… And why?
The government must control the internet and websites to curb the spread of rumours and news that can harm racial unity in the country, said Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin today.
He said he agreed with Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow that stern warning must be issued and action taken against rumour-mongers for causing problems to the extent of disturbing public order.
Now doesn’t this seem like a backward clock that our country is experiencing. And the citizens are getting more and more confused over the state of Malaysia, its direction, and what the leaders foresee for the country’s future. First they say they want openness, transparency and so on. Then there’s stopping the forum on speaking rights – more ridiculous is that they are propagating rights from the Constitution, the very legal document that forms the backbone of Malaysia. And now this clamping down on online websites and media.
The control was not to muzzle press freedom but to stop the spread of news based on rumours, articles and features with racial undertones, he added.
Now let’s see…. his reason for doing so was to stop the spread of news based on RUMOURS. Okay, I do understand the government’s concerns that rumour-mongering will certainly harm race-relations in the country. But what the government does not seem to understand is that a country that is seeking to move towards being a developed nation by the year 2020 is also characteristically practising liberal democracy. The aspect of giving information freely to all its citizens is apparent.
Whether or not this information is true is a different matter altogether. Daily we receive lots of data on the internet – borders are no longer in place. It is really up to the individual to THINK for oneself and SIFT through the facts and figures one receives. Furthermore, it will be disturbing to note who will decide upon what is fact and what is fiction!
That we are not mature enough to decipher rumour from fact is all the more TELLING of our EDUCATION SYSTEM. This means we are not educating our children enough to teach them CRITICAL THINKING!!
The control on media content will boost credibility of a website as the people will know the news published was accurate and no longer based on rumours.
Does he know how ridiculous he sounds? Who gets to “control the media content”? Oh yes, the government. And we superly duperly trust that.
So, I guess, the price that we bloggers and site builders have to pay for a poorly executed system of teaching Malaysians how to THINK for themselves, is that eventually we have to shut up. Let’s count the days till the close of this blog. Boo hoo for the Jeff Oois, Raja Petras, Aisehmans (men?) of Malaysia. Boo hoo for Egalitaria.
*Note: i’m not saying online media is all that reliable. I’m just for freedom of information, so people can judge for themselves. Saying we are not able to – is just downright insulting.
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