Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Malaysian Crackdown on Political Bloggers

Today, we have made it into the Beebs, again for the wrong reasons. The article calls the recent moves by the government, as a crack down on bloggers. TheStar has more details on the most recent crack down on a prominent Malaysian political blogger. All this is very funny though.

I sense that our government is just too afraid of it's own people. It is afraid that the truth will out and will cause an uprising and political unrest. Any student of our own Malaysian history will know that all revolutions, start with the pen. Words have this uncanny characteristic of staying with somebody for a long time after they've read them. Words also have this peculiar ability to ignite and inflame passions, with unforeseeable results.

In this world of the 21st century, it's things blogs that are stirring up the thoughts and emotions of the rakyat. If a government behaves in a logical and rational manner, it shouldn't be too difficult to handle any questions. The trouble is that our government doesn't behave in such a manner. It would simply crumble under too much scrutiny. There are just too many chinks in it's armour.

The Americans are way ahead of us on this, with their very recent YouTube debates, where the people were given the chance to directly question the presidential candidates through the site. This allowed the users to ask very poignant and emotional questions, which ranged from personal feelings to Iraq to the environment. In Malaysia, we aren't allowed to question anything that the government does. We are just supposed to bend over and take it.

But back to our problem with political bloggers. If political bloggers write things that are detrimental to the country's well-being, they should be handled under existing laws. The only trouble is that our politicians are so scared of the bloggers outing them that they have to start fabricating cases against these bloggers. They have to find all kinds of exotic excuses to sue these bloggers. Worst still is that most of the time, the cases are so fallible that it doesn't take a genius to see what's happening.

Our government is being led by a bunch of people who only know how to rule through fear. They spread fear in order to keep the masses in control. If anyone stands up, they try to beat that person down through the use of fear (the big stick). Fear of each other is also the only thing that keeps our BN government going. But ultimately, it's the fear of the people that the government is trying to hide. They know exactly how vulnerable they are.

At this point, I'd like to ask again, what our opposition parties are doing about all this. The trouble is that our opposition parties are all part of the same system. The only way for them to stay in power is to further the fear culture. They only ask open ended questions, which encourage people to speculate about what's going to happen next. It was fine for Opposition 1.0 to merely raise questions and let people's imaginations run wild but Opposition 2.0 needs to do more than that.

Just tell people exactly what you would do if you were in power. Tell them exactly what steps you would take to solve whatever pressing issues are present. Better yet, actually do something about it. Start pooling the bloggers together. Now, each blogger is an individual, which can easily be taken out. Strength in unity. A responsible opposition must show that it has the capability to do more than just perpetuate fear.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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