Thursday, August 23, 2007

Free Press? (II)

Overwhelming support for Wee Meng Chee

The forum "In Solidarity with Wee Meng Chee" held on Sunday evening was an absolute success. The 400-strong standing-room-only crowd was literally roaring and we had to move to a larger seminar room to accommodate the incredible turnout. The turnout is even more amazing in the light of less than 2 days' notice when we decided to hold the forum on Friday.

Needless to say, everyone was unanimous in their anger towards the Cabinet for the absurd high-handedness in dealing with the issue over a controversial song, which created a political circus. You really had to be there to feel the pulse of the audience. It was quite unbelievable.

Similarly, on Monday evening, our forum in Melaka attracted a 200-strong crowd, again, equally upset with clowns who were in-charge.

The powers that be clearly heard our voices loud and clear, for the all-powerful Publications Control and Al-Quran Texts Unit senior officer Che Din Yusof of the Ministry of Internal Security, once again flexed their muscles to ban all discussion of Wee Meng Chee in the print media. He did the exact same thing on Najib's proclamation that Malaysia is an "Islamic state... and never, never a secular state."
“Yes, the directive was issued today,” he said when contacted. “What more is there for the papers to write? Enough is enough.

However, Che Din said the media can still report on comments made by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak on the issue.
This directive also follows an internal directive within MCA-owned The Star which had blacked out news on Wee Meng Chee earlier last week.

Sdr Lim Kit Siang rightly lamented that:
The Internal Security Ministry ban on mainstream media from reporting the Wee Meng Chee Negarakuku rap controversy marks a quantum jump into the abyss of media control, censorship and blackout completely unthinkable when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister 45 months ago.
Referring to the MCA Youth executive committee's public relations act of waving the Federal Constitution during the MCA General Assembly, the Parliamentary Opposition leader rightly asked:
Where are the MCA and MCA Youth wavers of the Malaysian Constitution only a few days ago to stand up for the fundamental rights of Malaysians, including freedom of speech and expression to protest at the latest denial of the basic human rights of Malaysians?
Or is this all a plot by MCA to "silence" the damaging leaks in the Malay press which are detrimental to MCA's political fortunes? For example, it appears that the very minister who eeked an apology out of Wee Meng Chee, who at the same time gave him a public nationwide reprimand, was actually in agreement with the cabinet decision to proceed to refer the matter to the Attorney General for possible prosecution!
MCA bersetuju dengan gesaan pelbagai pihak supaya tindakan undang-undang dikenakan terhadap Wee Meng Chee kerana mencipta klip video menghina lagu Negaraku dengan menggunakan bahasa kasar dan lucah.

Naib Presiden parti itu, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek berkata, persetujuan itu selaras dengan prinsip parti berkenaan bahawa perkataan lucah dan yang menyentuh sensitiviti kaum dan agama tidak boleh digunakan semata-mata atas nama kebebasan.

"Kita berharap kerajaan mengambil tindakan tegas kepada sesiapa yang melanggar prinsip ini dan kita serahkan kepada kebijaksanaan Peguam Negara untuk menyiasat dengan lebih terperinci mengenai apa tindakan yang seharusnya dikenakan," katanya.
Why did the Minister of Health pressure Wee's family to make the apology, when he believes that Wee should be prosecuted even if he has apologised? MP for Jasin, Mohd Said "Close-One-Eye" Yusof and MP for Kinabatangan Bung "Bocor" Mokhtar were both allowed to get away from punishment scott free after a qualified and contrived apology.

Why is a 24-year old student treated like he was serial rapist cum murderer?
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