It’s a sham from the very beginning. The government’s proposal for a media consultative council is meant as a propaganda tool, at best, and at worst, to stifle more the current oppressive scenario of the Malaysian media. Thank you CIJ (centre for indepedent journalism) for saying it to their faces!
Already we are shackled by countless laws against press freedom and free speech – the Printing Presses and Publications Act (which determines whether a news organisations get the license to operate yearly) , the Internal Security Act (detention without trial for an indefinite period of time), Sedition laws, and the Multimedia and Communications Act. And now a media consultative council, which would be everything accept ‘consultative’?
Now way, siree!
Why not have a council to abolish all these repressive and anti-freedom law first? Then, let’s talk. You treat journalists like your enemy, then ask us to sit at the table for dinner with you? Well, gangsters do that. But we are not gangsters.
Which is why even academics consider the move as an “attempt to combat “non-conformist” views especially in the alternative media” (Zaharom Nain).
What the media wants is to govern itself. We believe we are capable of doing that. And we’ll do it by expressing our views not silencing or controlling them. Let the voices of dissent flourish, lets a thousand opinions bloom! We’ll deal with unethical journalism by confronting them head-on in our articles and stories, that they are wrong and unacceptable!
But when you have government heads on the ‘consultative’ board, they don’t consult. They’ll come with their authoritative view and do just that – authorise. Who doesn’t know that their ‘chats’ are orders, perintah, as they say in Malay. That’s their ‘meetings’ are warning sessions.
And to top it all, to have BLOG HOUSE – Prime Minister Najib Razak and Mahathir Mohammad’s propaganda tool – to represent “the new media” is the most blatant show of disregard for free speech and the most obvious indication that this ‘consultative’ council is only meant to propagate a one sided and jaded view.
I don’t mind if Blog House is non-partisan and have been conducting itself credibly but it doesn’t. It’s secretary Tony Yew recently lodged a police report against a fellow blogger Lillian Chan of Penang for her twit asking Christians to join the Bersih rally. If the secretary of Blog House cannot tolerate dissent, how can it represent the new media?
What more, Blog House patron is former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad – he put 106 people in ISA (detention without trial) and closed down several newspapers in 1987, and ruled with an iron fist for 22 years until his resignation in 2003. This can represent the “new media”?
Bullshit to the core!!!!!!
Well, after what the government has done to the Economist – blacking out relevant parts of the Bersih 2.0 rally for electoral reforms, what can the council hope to achieve with free press?
I knew from day one where bloggers who follow the tails of bloggers like Rocky Bru would lead to. And my premonition has proven me correct. Bloggers, who used to think that I was a fool, have now told me “You were right, Susan”. I itch to tell them “I told you so”. But I shall remain humble in my farsightedness.
No, thanks! Probably the only good this it does is to disallow online media like Malaysiakini.com to join its ranks. Would be a bloody waste of precious time.