MCMC 'exercising its power' to tell ISPs to block RPK's site
Friday, 29 August 2008
Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, the Home Minister said that the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission was ‘exercising its power’ after directing the 19 ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to block Raja Petra Kamarudin’s website, Malaysia Today.
He said “Everyone is subject to the law, even websites and blogs. We do not intend to curtail people’s freedom or right to express themselves. But when they publish things that are libellous, slanderous or defamatory, it is natural for SKMM to act,” Raja Petra said that the action had contradicted the 10 Point of Guarantees under the MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) charter which states that there would be ‘No Internet Cencorship’.
Ahirudin Attan, the interim President of the National Alliance of Bloggers said "The promise was made not only to Malaysians but to the world that there will be no censorship of the Internet in the country. Google is planning to build a multibillion-ringgit datacentre here.
"If this is the way the Commission behaves, it is as good as telling Google to please go away." While V Gayathry, the executive director of The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) said "The Commission and the Government should acknowledge that the problem at hand is the failure of the mainstream media to fulfil its duties in reporting information adequately, truthfully and fairly.
"Even Datuk Ong Tee Keat, the vice-president of MCA voiced a similar sentiment where he wrote in his blog, “Under the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees, the government promised there would be no censorship of the Internet. I do not understand why the SKMM is resorting to this. We should let the courts decide his fate. In fact, it is foolish to think that online censorship works effectively. There are still many other ways for surfers to access the portal.”
To me this is purely act of cowardice by the government.
I am sure he is given the instruction to do so in order to save someone's ass.
They might think that by blocking websites will help reduces the people's alternative form of information but they do not understand that this act might backfire them locally and internationally.
I know the Arabs countries such as Qatar block pornographic websites but that moves is acceptable. Blocking a source of information by labelling it as slanderous and defamatory are the act of shallow minded people, coward and are of low esteem.
Perhaps they are scared of their own shadow?
Or maybe they thought it will make it easy for them to twist and turn their statements sans an alternative news portal slammerring their words.