There has a been recent flurry of wings in the government with regards to blogs and the free flow of *dissenting* information, especially with regards to *sensitive* issues like race and religion. Blogs have come under the target mainly because they are on the Internet, they can be seen, and the fact that they are PERSONAL JOURNALS AND THEREFORE ARE RATHER OBVIOUSLY SUBJECTED TO PERSONAL OPINIONS AND BIASNESS seems to have missed all of them.
To that person who so happily wanted the blogs to “not blow their own trumpet” PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE BLOGS ARE OUR JOURNALS. WE ARE FREE TO WRITE WHATEVER WE WANT (With regards to our own personal space, I’ll come to politics and the like in a moment). If this includes blowing our own trumpet, so be it. You don’t like it, don’t read it.
Then there’s the disturbing news today regarding bloggers to be wary of what information they publish on the Internet. To me, it smacks of dubiousness and that the authorities are taking the easy way out.
While it is true that there are many sites that publish misinformation, what about the hundreds, if not thousands of blogs who complain about the government, and whose complaints are VALID? Is the government and the relevant authority simply going to shut them down for spreading slander? Are they going to do a “whoops! we pressed the wrong button” scenario? (The grammer mistakes in the previous sentence is deliberate).
While I agree with YAB Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi (may he outlive Najib) regarding that the information posted in websites and online portals must be correct, I feel that there should be a certain leeway when it comes to blogs and websites (online portals should ALWAYS make sure their info is up to date, no questions asked). In most cases, dropping the relevant authors and webmasters of the sites should suffice in asking them to check their information, or to remove comments.
The majority of bloggers in Malaysia are lifestyle blogs; they’re people who blog to talk to friends. The majority of us do not blog about politics except when it touches our lives, directly (in this instance).
So for all those who want to censor blogs, I’d say this.
Censor your brains first. UNDERSTAND before you speak. THINK before you utter.
I’m directing this especially to Najib and Rais, though I’d doubt they hear this.
Oh, and in case you guys haven’t noticed… Badawi’s PR skills are getting better, and that’s a good thing. As long as the action keeps up.
Edit: Tiara has given an excellent site for bloggers to refer to when it comes to writing on their blogs. Althought right now it’s in the US, you might still want to look at it here.