Bloggers in jeopardy

It seems like blogging is no more something personal. Ever since GE2008, blogging has been made so big that even newspapers are taking their news sources from blogs, because it seems that bloggers are getting more scoops than reporters these days! So then why are these journalists (if we can still call them that) getting paid?

But that’s not my main point. What I’m trying to get at is the fact that BECAUSE blogging has been made so huge in the last couple of months, all eyes are on bloggers. Big or small, no matter. I, for one, am not new to blogging, but THIS particular blog is definitely borne of GE2008, amongst the hundreds, or maybe even thousands out there.

But blogging, and bloggers, are no longer as “safe” as they were before GE2008.

22 websites, blogs probed

TWENTY-TWO websites and blogs have been investigated by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for airing false, pornographic and baseless allegations, the Dewan Negara was told.

Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum told Senator Sharifah Azizah Syed Zain that out of those blogs investigated, the commission had also forwarded three investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“Most of the blogs and websites are being operated using platforms from overseas and efforts to obtain evidence necessary for action often come to a dead end. Therefore, it’s very hard to take legal action against these blogs,” he said.

Joseph said the commission also did not license blogging activities, making it hard for both the ministry and commission to have a comprehensive list of those behind these websites and blogs.

Full article here.

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Papers are even sent to the AG Chambers? What kind of blogs are we talking about here? What kind of content warrants even the Attorney General to have a look at? How seriously “dangerous” are these bloggers?

Now, we still don’t know who these bloggers are, and we don’t know what blogs or websites are being “probed”. But we do know of another blogger who is currently also in hot water over something recently posted on his blog:

Kit Siang warned for hitting back online

KUALA LUMPUR, MAY 27 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang could face action including being suspended from Parliament if he uses his blog to question decisions made by the Speaker and his deputy.

This possibility was alluded to by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia yesterday when he ticked off the MP for Ipoh Timur for a posting in his blog concerning a rejection by the deputy speaker of an amendment to a motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s address.

On Thursday, Lim’s motion sought to debate the setting up of a Royal Commission Inquiry to resolve the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah. Datuk Ronald Kiandee disallowed the motion on the grounds that the motion was not related to the Royal address. He advised Lim to table it as a single motion.

Pandikar said he was disappointed that the matter was being published in the blog and certain newspapers. This gave the impression as if Lim could not accept the decision made by the deputy speaker. He then proceeded to read from portions of Parliament’s Standing Orders and rules from the House of Commons and Singapore’s Parliament to show that Kiandee’s decision was sound and based on the rules of the House.

Full article here.

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So now, even blogging over a disappointment is not allowed anymore. At least when it comes to a Member of Parliament.

Lim Kit Siang’s blog has been there for quite some time already. And I don’t think that this is the first time that he blogged about something like this. Could it be that because blogs are getting so much publicity nowadays that it is impossible to not address it anymore?

As it stands now, the Internet is still quite free from shackles of law. But then again, as it stands now, it looks like more and more restrictions will be imposed upon netizens the way law is imposed upon print media.

Are we bloggers in jeopardy?



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