Sunday, 10 August 2008

Open Threat To Bloggers

So someone wants us bloggers to be monitored.

I'm in the mood to dissect statements, so here goes:

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim Friday called for the creation of an internal council or mechanism to monitor bloggers.

He said that in terms of law, the Sedition Act was sufficient but he was worried about enforcement which was not up to the mark and having such a council would help in enforcement.

He said that the arms of the law might not be long enough to reach bloggers outside the country but if the blogger was in the country, something could be done and it was all a question of will.

Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is a thinly veiled threat. It is telling bloggers, "Either you shut up, or we shut you up." Hence the ominous reference to the Sedition Act.

It obviously doesn't matter who posts what. All they need is the random blogger to throw in jail and make an example of.

He told reporters this when asked to comment on a blog posting calling on the people to display their unhappiness with what is going on in the government by flying the national flag upside down.

He said that rather than resorting to such an act, it would be better for them to express their dissatisfaction through the proper channels like writing articles and to speak out on whom they disliked, what was wrong and what was inappropriate.

"Rather than bashing the flag, it's better for them to take it out on the person concerned or the leaders that they don't like," he added.

The minister is a man of words. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to read any of them.

Otherwise, he'd know that we do write plenty. We certainly express our views in no uncertain terms.

We agree with some of our fellow bloggers. And disagree with others. After all:

For the most part we are mature, and some of us have actually developed thinking skills, a concept that is largely alien to the majority of Malaysians.

After all, the government has invested a lot of time and effort to ensure that our education system does not allow us to question authority or the veracity of the statements (masked as 'facts') made by them.

But somewhere along the lines, we started thinking.

Like Aisehman says, If the Government feels it is “losing it”, it is only because the public finds the Government’s explanations and arguments less convincing than the other explanations and arguments out there.

And most bloggers make more sense than the government.

Sure. The government can arrest a few bloggers and put them away. They have tried to with Raja Petra Kamarudin and Abdul Rashid Abu Bakar.

But they cannot arrest this movement of change that this nation so desperately wants.


walla said...

Puzzling. He wants a mechanism to fix bloggers, yet he tells them to write candidly instead of showing through the flag.

Income gap, racial gap, faith gap, communication gap, now thinking gap.

We're really going into some limbo state. There's no credible leadership anywhere. Nor the right type of organizational structure to lead this country forward. Expect more heart-rending, soul-searching, chest-beating angst ahead. There must be a way out for everyone. Sleep on it. After all, fifty one years of sliding between gaps already happening. Sigh.

zorro said...

Desperate people make desperate threats....fighting imaginary giants a la Don Quixot? Remember the song: Everything will be all right, come september.Keep faith girl.

Patricia said...

I wish I shared Zorro's faith about what awaits us come September.

But back to your post - they can't stop us from thinking. Despite our deplorable education 'system'. I think the blogs - yours included - help us think about who and what we are about. Exactly what the msm has sorely failed to do.