catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Malaysia planning blogger crackdown?

with 13 comments

According to Australian IT, the Malaysian government is now considering new laws to crack down on bloggers and other ‘net users.

“Deputy Science and Technology Minister Kong Cho Ha said moves such as registering bloggers would be difficult, but accused some writers of posting controversial articles to attract readers.

“We are talking about creating cyber-laws to control those who misuse the internet,” Mr Kong told the Star newspaper.

“We need to have stricter cyber-laws to prevent these bloggers from disseminating disharmony, chaos, seditious material and lies,” he said.”

If there’s one thing that is sure to send politicians looking for a way to control a particular media, its when that media is used to attack them. While tighter control of the Internet has probably been on the agenda for a while, a recent scandal involving government members seems to have been the catalyst for the latest censorship proposals.

“Mr Kong cited the posting of a photo on an opposition politician’s website last month of a pictures of a Muslim male and Muslim female lawmaker, reportedly showing the man in a bathrobe with the woman lying on his chest in what appeared to be a hotel room

The photo sparked a political scandal, since the two were not married, and there were accusations that the pair had committed the Muslim sin of khalwat, or close proximity, when two unmarried people of the opposite sex are alone in each other’s company.”

I don’t know enough about Malaysian politics to comment on whether these proposed controls will get through or not. If they do pass though, it will be another sad day for internet freedom in an otherwise technologically savvy country.

Written by Admin

December 5, 2006 at 7:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

13 Responses

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  1. The fact that they want to restrict blogs is probably a sign that blogs are being effective.


    December 5, 2006 at 8:41 am

  2. [bloggers are] posting controversial articles to attract readers.

    The scoundrels! Surely none of the bloggers I know would ever do such a thing.

    derrida derider

    December 5, 2006 at 10:23 am

  3. Why do Malaysians put up with this bullshit?

    Mark Hill

    December 5, 2006 at 10:49 am

  4. For the same reason Singaporeans put up with this bullshit. The Opposition parties are pissweak and their ability to oppose is undermined by the government anyway.

    But what are the alternatives? One multiracial left leaning party which isn’t going to appeal to an electorate that still mostly votes for parties representing their particular community and one Islamic fundamentalist party.

    Malaysia will not liberalise until its ruling party decides it’s time to liberalise. Same with Singapore.

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 10:57 am

  5. I’m sorry, but some of these Muslim dudes need to get over their outdated attitudes to sex. That’s what this gets back to, sex.

    We had the most appalling social upheavals in the West over this kind of crap. Surely they can learn from our mistakes?


    December 5, 2006 at 10:57 am

  6. Skeptic
    This really has nothing to do with sex but with politics. The female lawmaker in the picture was presumably from the government party. There is relentless courting of the rural religious vote (sort of the like the equivalent of the US Christian right) and therefore the picture was presumably an indirect attack on the government.

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 11:00 am

  7. i.e. all sorts of shit goes on behind closed doors in urban middle class Muslim households, porno videos are actually easily available, etc. But it’s appearances that matter.

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 11:02 am

  8. Sounds a bit Victorian, Jason – more prostitutes per square mile in Whitechapel than you can poke a stick at, but people cover the curvy piano legs at home.

    Why does that not surprise me?


    December 5, 2006 at 11:04 am

  9. The people in the more … err … economically backward rural states on the east coast of the peninsular do take their religion very seriously but in the metropolises it’s a different story. So this picture would have repercussions for the voters there.

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 11:07 am

  10. more prostitutes per square mile in Whitechapel than you can poke a stick at

    An amazing use of words.


    December 5, 2006 at 12:22 pm

  11. It was meant to be an amusing comment, Terje. I don’t flag my puns/word games in quite the same way as Homer đŸ˜‰


    December 5, 2006 at 12:29 pm

  12. Please allow me to flag your puns/word games for you when they are amusing. This one was both amazing and amusing.


    December 5, 2006 at 1:05 pm

  13. The main opposition in Malaysia still calls itself democratic socialist – how depressing …

    The alternative opposition of course is this

    Jason Soon

    December 5, 2006 at 1:09 pm

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