Written by Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle
This is it. The retaliation.
In order to stop it from looking like his own personal vendetta, Rais has enlisted the help of the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and also the Minister of the Prime minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.
The three will be finalising the guidelines that will define “online sedition”, which critics say is an overt attempt at cyberspace censorship.
These laws are going to be passed because BN leaders are unable to control the sexual urges of party members. Well, it does not help if the senior members are themselves responsible for outraging the modesties of a string of girls. The BN politicians are also getting careless, arrogant and more daring. Last week, it was about a rape allegation. This week, there is an alleged sexual assault by an MCA man.
In fact, they don’t care about maintaining propriety; they just need to sate their lust.
If these members will not behave, then the next best thing is to censor the papers. That way, no one is any the wiser and people can continue to think that their BN politicians are good as gold.
According to Hishammuddin, six existing laws will be incorporated into the guidelines - the Penal Code, Sedition Act 1948, Film Censorship Act 2001, Printing and Printing Publishes Act 1984, Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 and the Internal Security Act 1960.
He said, “Offences will be charged under these six laws”.
Nevertheless, Hishammuddin believes that his new guidelines will “… consider the interests of others in this multiracial country” and that they are necessary to “protect the rakyat”.
We see different. All these guidelines are a ruse to control the internet which currently exposes the wrongdoings of our politicians and is just another nail in the coffin of democracy. Do the authorities seriously think that they can gag the public that easily? Do Hishammuddin and Rais think that these errant politicians can hide their crimes?
In the book, “Small Acts of Resistance – How Courage, Tenacity and Ingenuity Can Change the World” by Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson, there are some passages that are devoted to censorship in authoritarian countries.
An author publishes a piece of work that the government disapproves. The publisher and author are fined and/or jailed; however, this form of punishment by the authorities will not work if people support each other and defy the authorities.
When Yasar Kemal, a distinguished Turkish writer was jailed for an article he wrote, he was charged under the anti-terrorism laws. However, the Turkish authorities could not cope with the deluge of articles that were collectively written and jointly published by hundreds of people.
The prosecutor tried to open a trial against 185 prominent intellectuals but dropped the charges as it was too cumbersome and politically embarrassing.
Perhaps that is the method Malaysians will have to adopt when the time comes. Together we can beat the corrupt system.