I view with grave concern the government contemplation of cracking down on bloggers.
If you were given the bad news and are not happy with it should you kill the messenger or do something to find out the source of your trouble.That's exactly what our government going to do with the internet,make it simple and easy, kill it.
In January this year, after the Davos conference, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that Google is interested in building a data centre in the country. Google is also looking at Japan,South Korea Taiwan,India and few other countries in Asia as possible data centres.Would Malaysia have one hell of a chance to compete with the others with the recent clampdown on bloggers and blocking of the most popular website?
The government have ordered 21 ISPs in the country to block the controversial website Malaysia Today as a prelude to a bigger and wider clampdown on bloggers and websites that are deemed to be anti-government.The government explained here.What happened to the BILL OF GUARANTEES that promised no Internet censorship? Where would the government stands in the eyes of the international community having reneged on its promise to foreign and local investors.
Is Raja Petra one bad apple that's going to spoil the whole damn basket? He might have spun a yarn or two, much to the anguish of the aggrieved party, but why punish the messenger when there are laws in this country to bring civil actions against him for libellous publications.Were there too many skeletons hidden in the closet that deter those who felt the heat of his seemingly venomous compositions to drag him to a civil court to settle the score.
Using the doctrine of fear to silence him have not deterred him at all.It appears the government have found Raja Petra a hard nut to crack and are prepared to lose its credibility by blocking his website which is more a news portal rather than a personal blog.Among other things including his own writings, his website also carries assortment of local and world news and writings from other blogs that he deems worthy of wider audience and readership.
The government is adding more iron to the fire. It's already suffering a serious credibility crisis,instead of simmering down the flame it has added more inflammable material to add to its misery.
For how long could the government stop bloggers from speaking up?
Any further clampdown and restrictions would send them underground, which is not too hard to do for those who are determine.Using a laptop and blogging under anonymity a blogger can move from one place to another using public wi-fi system, it would be hell of a hard time for the authorities to nap him.What than, ban all wi-fi in the country?
I am all for pulling in rogue bloggers and charged them with the relevant laws but to try close down or block websites just goes to show the government have ran out of ideas on how to find the right solution to the problem.It has brought itself to inextremis malady.
For those who truly believe in their political cause being incarcerated is not something that they fear.Anwar Ibrahim spent many years in prison and has come out stronger and more determined to change the political landscape in this country.He may be unstoppable if the government do not shape up pretty soon.