Malaysian Atheist

An avowed atheist living in Malaysia.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Malaysian bloggers to register?

This is getting ridiculous. I'm sure by now, many have heard that the Malaysian government is thinking of registering bloggers in order to stop them from spreading 'lies' about the government.

As you already know, the TV stations, newspapers and radio are all controlled by the Ministry of Information, so it is no surprise that they are all pro-government and seldom report anything really news-worthy. They will always tell you the economy is doing well, and our leaders are the smartest in the whole world. Many concerned Malaysians, especially the young and middle-aged turn to the Internet for the real news. Already, Malaysian bloggers have uncovered many skeletons in the government's closet such as numerous corruption allegations involving high-profile ministers.

The bumbling government doesn't know how to react. They started by suing two prominent Malaysian bloggers. And now they want to register all bloggers in the country. Personally, I find such actions absolutely disgusting. If blogs indeed tell lies, as the government claims, it wouldn't be difficult for the government to dispel them. Just show Malaysians the evidence and we'll believe you. You cannot hope to silence the people. You cannot hope to get away by sweeping everything under the carpet.

I hope all Malaysians feel as disgusted with this oppression. Let your voice of disapproval be heard in the forth-coming general elections. Don't let the ruling government bully you and strip you of your rights.

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At 12:06 AM, April 09, 2007, Anonymous mephis said...

I thought this was a .my only thing. Most Msian bloggers uses blogspot which is not hosted in Malaysia no? This is only going to harm Malaysian-based company thinking of jumping on the blog-hosting bandwagon.

At 11:11 PM, April 10, 2007, Blogger Meursault said...

Yep, I know it'll never work, but I'm just peeved that the government is even considering such a ridiculous idea. The whole world will be laughing at us.

At 6:22 AM, April 11, 2007, Anonymous mephis said...

Wait till they see this or this!(Sorry if those are old news, I am slow like that.)

At 12:57 AM, April 12, 2007, Blogger Meursault said...

My goodness, I was wrong... I previously wrote here that Malaysian schools avoid the subject of creation completely in Science classes, but according to the Elizabeth Wong article, the curriculum now mentions God!

At 1:28 PM, April 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bloggers may be the real opposition
Apr 12th 2007 | CAIRO

From The Economist print edition
How the authorities are being nettled

THEY call themselves pyjamahideen. Instead of galloping off to fight holy wars, they stay at home,
meaning, often as not, in their parents' houses, and clatter about computer keyboards. Their activity is not as explosive as the self-styled jihadists who trouble regimes in the region, and they come in all stripes, secular liberal as well as radical Islamist. But like Gulliver's Lilliputians, youthful denizens of the internet are chipping away at the overweening dominance of Arab governments.

In Egypt, for instance, blogging has evolved within the past year from a narcissistic parlour sport to a shaper of the political agenda. By simply posting embarrassing video footage, small-time bloggers have
blown open scandals over such issues as torture and women's harassment on the streets of Cairo. No comment was needed to air widespread disillusionment with last month's referendum to approve
constitutional changes, after numerous Egyptian websites broadcast scanned images of a letter from one provincial governor to junior bureaucrats, ordering them to vote yes. (The government claimed a 27% turnout, with three-quarters approving; critics claim fewer than 5% voted.)
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's main Islamist group and most powerful opposition force, has countered a recent government crackdown not with street protests, but far more effectively with a web-based campaign to help its arrested members. More playfully subversive, an anonymous blogger has drawn a rave following for his spoof version of Egyptian politics, which pictures the country as a village ruled by an ageing headman. Through overblown praise of this exalted leader, and of his plans for his son to inherit the post, the blogger runs mocking circles around the suspected ambitions of Egypt's 78-year-old president, Hosni Mubarak.

Such pinpricks have yet to puncture the dominance of any Arab state. But with internet access spreading
even to remote and impoverished villages, and with much of its “user-generated content” pitched in pithy everyday speech rather than the high classical Arabic of official commentary, the authorities are beginning to take notice. In February, an obliging Egyptian court fired a shot across the bows of wouldbe web dissidents by sentencing 22-year-old Abdelkarim Suleiman to four years in jail. A law student in Alexandria, he had strayed by penning bitter critiques of Egypt's main centre of Islamic learning, al-Azhar university, and of Mr Mubarak, and posting them on his personal blog.

Bahrain, another country that hides authoritarian rule behind a veneer of democratic practice, has taken
to summoning bloggers for questioning, and tries to make them register with the police. Saudi Arabia, which blocks thousands of websites, has silenced many web critics with quiet warnings. Syria's most prominent web activist, who runs a news service reporting opposition, as well as government views, recently quit the country for similar reasons. But like the controversial opinions of Mr Suleiman, the Alexandria blogger, the real story of what goes on in Syria is still on the web, for anyone inclined to find

At 1:52 PM, April 16, 2007, Blogger Meursault said...

Looks like our friends in the Middle-East face the same problems.


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