Control, control, and more control

Before this when Malaysia Today was first blocked, it was reported that the government is considering setting up a committee of sorts to help “monitor” what gets written and posted on the Internet so that there won’t be any more “rumours and statements that could incite”.

In an article in Malaysiakini today, it is reported that Syed Hamid Albar said that the ISA can be used on RPK.

On another issue, there is this big furore over what exactly Ahmad Ismail said during the campaigning in the Permatang Pauh by-elections. Ahmad is saying that he was merely stating “historical fact”, though one must question why he felt the need to bring up a “historical fact” during a campaign in the present.

The journalist who wrote the particular article, and others have since stood their ground to defend that they indeed heard it right, and didn’t “spin” anything.

In the wake of this, what does the Information Minister decide to do?

[T]he Government would set up a National Media Council which would function as a monitoring body for the media and ensure that reports were made based on true journalism ethics.

More HERE.

Okay. So let’s recap, exactly how many laws do we have that bind the hands and feet of our journalists today.

1– Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA)

2– Sedition Act

3– Official Secrets Act (OSA)

4– Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA)

5– Internal Security Act (ISA)

That’s 5 of the worst, and 5 of the ones that really shouldn’t even be there. There are, of course, other laws that the media need to adhere to, especially when it comes to spreading rumours or untruths, or intentionally inciting hatred, or anything else like that that also bind us rakyat of Malaysia.

The Sedition Act is one that I have a lot of trouble understanding. Because in the Act itself, one is not even allowed to repeat or quote anything deemed seditious, even if the writer does not mean it. So then, if someone says something seditious (under the Sedition Act), how are the reporters supposed to do their jobs without risking detention, if they aren’t even allowed to “quote”?

And don’t even get me started on the ISA.

So even with all these laws and acts, that should be reviewed, the government wants to come up with even more laws and “councils” to monitor what gets printed or posted on the Internet?

I don’t want to, and will not be all apologetic for the under-par journalism we have today. What with biased reports and even more biased opinions (opinions are what they are entitled to though, no matter how biased), it’s not hard to see why the people are not supportive of them.

But with the archaic laws we have in Malaysia that go all out to make sure that there is no such thing as “press or media freedom” in Malaysia, it’s also not hard to see where Malaysian journalism is heading.

You think it’s enough that we have the Internet?

Recent events should have you thinking twice. The powers-that-be will go all out to spread their tentacles of power and control to all areas deemed “dangerous”.

If you’ve signed the petition to the Agong to save the judiciary, but not the memorandum on Media Freedom, I ask- why?

If you’ve not signed either one of them, my question is also – why?

Then isn’t it even more useless to be doing nothing at all?

“There will be no change”?
Then what change will there be if nobody does anything?

“The Agong won’t do anything”?
Well, he certainly wouldn’t if he doesn’t know what you want.

This is no time for retreat.

Remember that the only time the turtle makes progress, is when it sticks its neck out.


9 Comments on “Control, control, and more control”

  1. Paul Warren says:

    So who do you reckon those legislations are supposed to protect at the end?

    Certainly not the people. And not the state.

    But UMNO!!!

  2. […] the rest of what Michelle has to say HERE. Posted by Haris Ibrahim Filed in People […]

  3. KC Pirates says:

    (“The Agong won’t do anything”?
    Well, he certainly wouldn’t if he doesn’t know what you want.)

    My dearest Agong and Sultans,

    In my humble opinion, whether with 1 signature or a million signatures from the Bangsa Malaysia, our Agong and Sultans should feel what is in the Malaysia’s air. They should not read, and listen to what BN or Pakatan telling. They should ask, listen, feel, and read what the Bangsa Malaysia’s heart and soul are feeling.

    I am just another human being on this lonely planet.

    “…to gain a respect, you need to respect other…”, unknown source

  4. aimi says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Rest assured, i’ve done my part 🙂

    Thanks. Now let’s get MORE!

  5. If only plain common sense prevails
    Then good governance should follow
    We’ll all know what to proudly hail
    With the removal of all human sorrows

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 070908
    Sun. 7th Sept. 2008.

  6. lulai says:

    thanks, michelle, for highlighting our memo for media freedom. and thank god it appeared in haris’ blog too as it gets more signatures in. i was hoping haris would promote it when we first launched it but he didn’t (well he did but just a one line mentioned). then i was hoping he will put the memo image on his sidebar (like what you did, alongside with the bangsa msia, no to isa, etc images) but he didn’t either!

    the petition is suppose to end at end of august but we had extended it and we hope with that, we would be able to get our target of 5000 signatues.

  7. MY at/in NZ!
    Good Morning & Sa’alam!
    Have been very tied up with personal & family matters that I could only scan the Net & Blogs without having the frame of mind to participate!
    In any event have done the needful & will return to active participation after 11/09/08!
    Check my
    Keep the flame going!
    Hope everything’s alright for you. God bless!

  8. Devaraja says:

    I want to think that our Judiciary is simply stuffed with a lot of not so competent people with low standards. A fresh face like Tansri Zaki is put in to whip up a sense of responsibility and discipline amongst them because any promotion within the ranks will simply not work. I have heard something of the man , his work ethics and recent events in the higher echelons of the judiciary seem to indicate that he is cracking the whip.
    Noted he is an ex UMNO lawyer ; also noted he was a very reluctant recruitment into the judiciary.
    I want to give him the benefit of doubt; better a new devil than the known devil

  9. Pahlawan Melayu atau Pengkhianat Bangsa?
    Perwatakan dan gaya Dato’ Ahmad Ismail menampakkan beliau seorang Panglima Perang Besar bangsa Melayu yang begitu garang dan tegas. Seolah-olah tidak ada seinci pun yang akan diberikan oleh panglima ini dalam menegakkan kedaulatan dan keagungan bangsa
    Tetapi adakah ini kebenaran atau persepsi semata-mata? Kalau benar ia hanya persepsi, silat persepsi sebegini rupa hanya boleh diajar oleh seorang ahli politik sahaja. Ahli politik yang ketandusan prinsip. Ahli politik yang dahulunya berwajah pejuang bangsa dan kini sudah bertukar rupa untuk menjadi musuh bangsa Melayu nombor satu, Anwar Ibrahim.
    Seni halus yang dimainkan oleh Ahmad Ismail berbau Anwar. Anwar dengan liciknya menarik perhatian orang ramai kenegeri Sabah dan Sarawak sedangkan pergerakannya banyak tertumpu di Semenanjung Malaysia, terutamanya di negeri kuatnya Pulau Pinang.
    Fakta yang sahih menunjukkan Anwar Ibrahim telah mengambil Ahmad Ismail sebagai anak didik politiknya ketika Anwar menjadi Ketua Perhubungan Negeri. Dari ahli biasa, Ahmad Ismail diangkat oleh Anwar hingga beliau memegang tampuk kepimpinan Bukit Bendera. Dalam tempoh ini, segala kemahuan dan nafsu duniawi Ahmad Ismail dipuaskan oleh Anwar. Ahmad Ismail begitu terhutang budi dengan jasa yang telah ditabur oleh mentor politiknya.
    Pada tahun 2008, Anwar meraih hutang budinya dari Ahmad Ismail. Namun, bukanlah kenangan kisah silam sahaja yang berjaya membuat Ahmad Ismail mengkhianat bangsa sendiri. Kerakusan dan ketamakan Ahmad Ismail menjadi pendorong utama mengapa dia sanggup menggadai maruah diri, maruah bangsa dan maruah UMNO.
    Setelah Pulau Pinang jatuh ketangan Pakatan Rakyat. Dunia Ahamad Ismail menjadi semakin gelap. Dia seolah-olah karam dalam lautan politik yang bergelora ini.Hanya Anwar sahaja yang boleh menyelamatkannya.
    Dengan sekelip mata, Ahmad Ismail dengan relanya menjayakan wayang dan mengupas agenda sebenar Anwar Ibrahim yang telah menggegar negara baru-baru ini. Ketika sidang akhbar itu berjalan, pesan Anwar Ibrahim bergema di dalam Ahmad Ismail – “Bakar semangat Melayu, Pastikan BN berpecah tanggal 16 Sepetember ini. Pastikan Gerakan dan MCA keluar dari Barisan. Bila aku kembali berkuasa kau akan menerima habuannya.”
    Tanggungjawab UMNO ialah untuk memperjuangkan nasib anak bangsa, dan dengan nada yang sama, kepada pemimpin yang sengaja membelakangi tanggungjawab ini demi kepentingan peribadi, UMNO harus berani menjatuhkan hukuman seberat beratnya. Kerana UMNO alaf baru ini tiada tempat untuk pengkhianat anak bangsa dan boneka Anwar Ibrahim seperti Ahmad Ismail ini.

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