Another Malaysian Messenger in the Firing Line

Early this morning, during one of my usual hunts across the internet in search of news and research material I came upon a blog that caught my eye and deals with censorship. The blog is called Dr. Hsu’s Forum, right here on WordPress and deals with issues in Malaysia, yes the other side of the world. With the constant spotlight on Iraq and Afghanistan we hardly ever notice things that are taking place in other parts of the world. Rather than publish something about the war ( again ) today I thought I would take a peek at things in Malaysia, especially the current trend on censorship there.

The article in question is Another Malaysian Messenger in the Firing Line
by Farish A. Noor.

His article starts off brilliantly with the following sentence:

A word, once uttered, can seldom be withdrawn.

It would seem that their Deputy Prime Minister made a remark that did not sit well with the people in general, from what I gather. That remark was the following:
Malaysia is an ‘Islamic state’ that has ‘never been affiliated’ to a secular position and that that Malaysia’s development ‘has been driven by our adherence to the fundamentals of Islam’.

According to Mr. Noor it would seem that that remark sparked protest in various sectors of the population and apparently the people were not happy about it. It struck the people because, as is stated in the article:

, the Deputy Prime Minister’s remarks were a cause of concern for many Malaysians who -for the past fifty years or so – have been living under the assumption that the country was a constitutional democracy and not a theocratic state.

Well, what does the Malaysian Government do?

It issued a blanket media ban on all discussion of the matter, on the grounds that it can only lead to even more public anger and misunderstanding between the racial and religious communities of the country; despite the fact that the source of the misunderstanding and discomfort was the Deputy Prime Minister’s remarks in the first place.

Now their National Front coalition have been calling for a curb on the activities of bloggers and those who post their ideas in cyberspace. Already a blogger has been arrested, a fellow by the name of Nathaniel Tan and another, prominent Malaysian cyber-writer, Raja Petra Kamarudin, who runs the hugely popular www.Malaysia-today.net site has had a police report filed against him.

Obviously everybody there is concerned that the government is attempting to crack down on ANY word of their current situation getting out to the world. Well, guess what, THEY FAILED! The word is out there in Cyber Space and there isn’t a thing they can do about it. Now the world knows and many will be watching and hopefully many more will be Blogging about it.

There is more regarding this article but I will simply direct my readers to:

Another Malaysian Messenger in the Firing Line . It makes for some interesting reading and gives us a demonstration on how a government might want to Kill the Messenger!

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