Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Malaysiakini Must Be Stopped!

Well, well, I’m sure you must be feeling really safe and secure knowing that the Umno regime is doing its utmost to apparently protect us all from the dangerous influence of Malaysiakini.

Indeed, despite what some might think, I find that we’re most fortunate to have a regime such as this that recently mobilised the MACC to breathe down the Opposition’s neck at every chance, and now we also find the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) springing into action to do its fair share – in the name of protecting us the naïve public – from the apparent monstrosity that is Malaysiakini.

After all, how dare Malaysiakini report – and worse yet – publish the video clip of the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s September 2 press conference. I mean, do the people at Malaysiakini not have the common sense, let alone the journalistic acumen - to see that reporting the Kris-waver Hishammuddin’s words would amount to violating Section 211/233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act (CMA)? Now for those of you who are not familiar with this section of the act, you are prohibited from publishing material "which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person," and if found guilty, you are liable to be fined up to RM50,000 or find yourself in jail.

Come on la, you people; can’t you see how dangerous it is ah, to have Malaysiakini putting the minister’s own words – blabbered out of his own mouth by him and no one else – as he tries to provide political cover for the racist and vile protesters in Shah Alam? Now why does it matter that this Umno ultra-nationalist might have spoken the words he did and did so surrounded by what any reasonable person would assume are his posse of sympathizers?

And from all accounts, there were also other media present there as well, which would also lead one to believe that the minister obviously meant for his calculated remarks to reach his intended audience: yes, both those whom he was defending and those whose sentiments he was clearly not showing much deference for.

No, sir; there would be no reason for the Attorney-General or the Chief of Police, for example, to question Hishammuddin’s judgment in making the kind of remarks he did, but Malaysiakini must definitely be dragged through the coals under the CMA.

So in case, you’re confused, let me clear this up for you in simple terms: it is apparently quite politically correct for a home minister to hold a press conference and spew his propaganda (I suppose that is covered under some kind of free speech clause we must all enjoy under this Umno regime), but it is apparently not kosher to broadcast the press conference because it was allegedly “indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character….”

Therefore, the Kris-waver is permitted to hold a press conference and spew his venom but Malaysiakini should know better and not make the video of the press conference available to the public.

Get it? Good.

So, Malaysiakini, let this be another lesson to you about how our democracy and free speech in our society works. Indeed, I hope that instead of the specified punishment, some judge (appointed by Umno, of course), sends your reporters for some “re-education” to the same journalists training school from which the Utusan Malaysia reporters and editors are hand-picked.

Now, wouldn’t that be just a shot in the arm for freedom of the press in this country?

And, by the way, MCMC, thank you - once again - for protecting us innocent and naive Malaysians from those people at Malaysiakini. What would we Malaysians do without you? (Sniff, sniff).

G. Krishnan