Oh wow, this comes as a surprise in the ongoing saga of NameWee. According to an article in TheStar today, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said that our cabinet has rejected the apology from NameWee. But then, according to an article in Bernama, Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said that we should all forgive and forget, and move on.
So, what is actually happening? I certainly don't know. There is too much confusion and I am not smart enough to figure out the truth. So, let's try to piece together the facts from both the news articles. Let's first assume that neither one of the ministers had been quoted out of context and that both articles are accurate.
Let's first start with the official statement of apology issued by NameWee on his blog. One read of it and you will know that it was definitely not written by him. All you need to do is compare it with the previous blog entries. You will find that his Bahasa Malaysia is once again, too politically exact, for the apology. As anyone can figure out, it was probably drafted out by someone else and he was merely told to stick it up. That's fine with me as long as it came directly from NameWee.
On the 14th, the Information Minister told reporters that, "he should not be punished but instead be guided and educated to enable him to understand the basics and to distinguish between political and national issues," and that "there are political parties, for instance, the DAP has offered Wee to be its member just because he was vocal in criticising the government. I regret very much things like these." However, he praised MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting for taking a pro-active stance by not turning the issue into a racial issue.
On the 16th, the Minister in the PM's Department told reporters that, "If he had committed an offence, which I think was an offence, then we must allow the Attorney General to investigate and decide whether to take him to court," and that "To not prosecute him is not ‘on’ at all because he has committed an offence against the nation and no one, not the Cabinet or political parties, are in the position to forgive him." Furthermore, he goes on to say that he wanted action to be taken against video-sharing portal YouTube and other bloggers who have allowed sensitive material to be published that went against the law of our country.
You know, sometimes I do wonder if someone within our government actually reads my blog as I had just mentioned this solution yesterday. I had commented that the government should go after YouTube if they can prove that publishing the video is against the law in Malaysia, just like what the Thai government did a few months ago. YouTube would then happily comply with local laws and remove all instances of the video from their servers.
Back to the issue though, I think I see the main problem now. NameWee's video, Negaraku Ku, was never the main problem. The people that the government really wanted to gun down are the bloggers. They are trying that by going after prominent political bloggers such as JeffOoi, RockyBru, NatTan and RPK (and Mrs RPK). However, building a case against these people is much harder as these people have backing and ammunition to fight back with.
So, since the government cannot make an example of these big-shots, they decided to target a powerless young man. Way to go, Gahmen! The words blog/bloggers had been mentioned so many times in this saga when the issue had nothing to do with blogs/bloggers at all. My final verdict is that this is a tactic to spread FUD amongst the small time bloggers everywhere. They're trying to link this issue to blogging, which is the same thing only in their minds (they must think that the Internet is evil).
I'm interested to see how the MCA are going to play this now. They have come up with a political solution that has been rejected by their colleagues in the other party. This is pretty much a slap in the face for MCA. Either MCA had failed to consult with UMNO before executing the solution, or that they had, and UMNO is reneging on the agreement. Either way, this is bad for NameWee. Looks like he is now a wanted man, for no apparent reason. I really feel sad for him, and our country.
If the other side refuses to back down, there is only one solution, which is to fight them with all your might. Since the Gahmen refuses to take the polite way out, then, they need to be forced into a checkmate. Haul them to court and have it settled legally. It's better to have it settled, than to have this cloud of uncertainty over the head of this young man. It needs to be proven that he had not committed any crime in Malaysia. But, this is an expensive solution and I'm not sure if he can afford it.
UPDATE@1600: There doesn't seem to be any confusion anymore. The hunt for NameWee continues!