Bloggers VS. Government

Information and articles plucked from :
The Star Online
Marina Mahathir’s Blog
Elizabeth Wong’s Blog

Bloggers may have to register

AT THE DEWAN RAKYAT

Bloggers using locally hosted websites may be asked to register with the authorities, Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said.

He said registration was one of the measures the Government was considering to prevent the spread of negative or malicious content on the Internet.

Shaziman said this while winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address for his ministry.

He added that the ministry did not have any problem with bloggers who identified themselves, and he welcomed blogging activities.

However, he said there were about 50,000 websites registered under the .my suffix and there were a lot of avenues for anyone to host websites with malicious content which could harm the country’s security.

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, who interjected when Shaziman was speaking, said the negative comments of several ministers about bloggers reflected their lack of understanding about information flow in cyberspace.

“They should be educated on the vast benefits of blogging, which will help them to interact more with the people. Many politicians overseas already have their own blogs,” he added.

Asked to comment on the matter, Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said bloggers were very aware of their own ethics and responsibility for content on their sites.

While agreeing that there were bloggers who had inflammatory content, he said unidentified bloggers could still be traced through their website addresses.

He added that the problem was also about inflammatory comments by unidentified visitors to the blogs.

Ahirudin Attan of Rocky’s Bru said the move to compel local bloggers to register was effectively the Government trying to control what Malaysians were writing online.

“This violates the Government’s no-censorship policy with regards to the Internet,” he said.

He added that the move would just create fear among the bloggers and would encourage them to host their blogs overseas.

Marina Mahathir, a blogger and activist, said the Government really should “get real.”

She said the move “is just going to make Malaysia look ridiculous in the eyes of the world.”

Blogger Jeff Ooi wondered why the Government was pursuing this course of action.

He said the Government had already set up the Content Forum to deliberate on complaints by any party.

Ok, this is just NONSENSE!! Even if you’re the government, doing such a thing is just incomprehensible!! Seriously, who do you think you are referring to when you are telling them to “register or face the consequences“?

Malaysian Minister for Tourism, Tengku Adnan was reported by Sin Chew to have said the following :

Bloggers are liars. They use all sort of ways to cheat others. From what I know, out of 10,000 unemployed bloggers, 8,000 are women.

“Bloggers like to spread rumours, they don’t like national unity. Today our country has achievements because we are tolerant and compromising. Otherwise we will have civil war.

“Malays will kill Chinese, Chinese will kill Malays, Indians will kill everybody else.”

He asked people not to believe bloggers and gamble away Malaysia’s future because 50 years of Merdeka (Independence) takes a lot to achieve it.

“We have to show to the people our positive attitude. If the world learns from us, there will peace and no civil war.”

I’m assuming when you started this whole issue, you were referring to them? -quirks an eyebrow- let me say that THESE bunch of people, employed OR unemployed are still human beings, they eat what you eat, read what you read and even pay their taxes which help pays for almost everything. But what you have failed to see that THESE people are also voters OR future voters. THESE people control your (government) fate.

So am I to assume that in the coming days/months/years that I would have my freedom of speech stripped and my rights taken away due to the fact that I’m a blogger and that whatever I have to say online will have to pass through inspection just cause you’re afraid that THE PEOPLE are telling as it is?!?! Ok…that’s just bullcrap…

But according to this article :

Thursday, August 03, 2006
No censorship of Internet, says Lim

But Bloggers can be charged

By Hamidah Atan
New Straits Times

There will be no censorship of the Internet but bloggers are not above the law for what they publish in cyberspace.

Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said action would be taken against those who disrupt peace and harmony through their postings.

He said there was no censorship of the Internet as promised in the Bill of Guarantee with the Multimedia Super Corridor “but if any bloggers go against the law of the country, they can be charged, whether under criminal law, sedition or whatever law it is”.

He said it would be difficult for the Government to take action against foreign bloggers but it would not be a problem against local bloggers.

“We will also take action against those who spread rumours or malicious materials via the SMS.
(Tho I think they have shied away from doing this when it comes to prominent religious persons…)
“Once registration for mobile pre-paid numbers is completed, we will start monitoring.

“You have to keep to the law of the country.

“Local bloggers must control the contents of their blogs and be responsible. If the contents are seditious, they will have to face the music.”

He said the law applied to all bloggers irrespective of their standing in society.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said such activities could affect peace and harmony in the country.

They could also make the people, including investors, lose faith in the economy and development programmes.

Abdullah said the Government could not allow the Internet or Short Messaging Service to become a platform for people to spread rumours or threaten others.

He said the type of liberty found in the blogs and websites had exceeded the freedom given to the Malaysian media.
(well, duh…)
He was responding to Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin’s call for control over the Internet.

Dr Lim said he explained to the Cabinet on the types of action that could be taken against local bloggers.

“The explanation was detailed and the PM left it to me to handle the matter with other ministries.”

It’s stating that “You can have all the freedom you want on the internet, we’ll not censor what you have to say.” but wait, wait!! There’s a catch “BUT if you’re a blogger, and cause ALL of you are liars, you don’t get no such thing as freedom of speech on the net, take that!!

Almost every blogger in the world Malaysia wants their names, personal information to stay anonymous. Also, isn’t that the whole point when people created such things as blogs? To stay anonymous? For many, they just enjoy blogging as a hobby, obsession, pastime, and to just rant cause they have no one to go to. You can thank these blogging services for the reduced amount of psychotically ill individuals in the world even if it DOES decrease the number of patients I will have in the future…. So by registering, you have defeated the purpose of these individuals who blogs just cause they don’t want to be known. Not just that, you’ll be held responsible for the declining in our (Malaysia’s) revenue after you implement this due to the fact that all bloggers and hosters would rid themselves of the “.com.my” and opt for domain names with only a “.com” and such. Are you saying that you are all ready to take up this responsibility when it comes up and hit you in the face? Also, the fact that you are implementing this, aren’t you at all worried that the bloggers will find themselves having a better reason to fly overseas to get back their freedom of words on the net?

Does the fact that almost all of the Malaysian population who are both voters and tax payers appears to be bloggers, alarm you? Perhaps this is why you are doing this. Are you afraid that your voters will abandon you after reading the “lies” from bloggers who you thought “lied” and what they thought, the “truth”?

Another question. Why aren’t all of you focusing on MORE serious problems (corruption, people who are getting attacked/raped/murdered and etc) rather than getting yourself in petty issues like these? It’s like telling the public that you’re not taking what matters most into your priorities and that you just have too much time on your hands to start such an issue.

This issue has help cause an uproar in the blogging community in Malaysia, and soon, people from other countries will get involved and this will only help the world look down upon us as the ever closed-minded country we truly are…oh wait…that’s the government’s fault…but hey, not all people working for the government are bad. In fact, those who are, are those who hold the power and of course, we mustn’t forget the subordinates 😀 in fact, why don’t we all stand up and give all of you a round of applause ^^

-Gives a HUGE round of applause- “Thank you for making Malaysia and Malaysians seem closed-minded” 😀 I mean it, I seriously do ^^ good night 🙂 at least we don’t have a George Bush running things around here I guess :s

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