Sunday, February 04, 2007

Silencing Cyberspace: The Final Frontier?

This forum is part of a event by the Democratic Action Party (DAP) to promote and protect the freedom of expression by the Malaysian civil society, particularly on the Internet.


Date: 6 February2007 (Tuesday)
Time: 7.30 pm
Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

  • Mr Yeo Yang Poh, President of the Malaysian Bar Council
  • Mr Jeff Ooi, Pioneer Malaysian Blogger
  • Ms Sonia Randhawa, Executive Director, Centre for Independent Journalism
  • Mr Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader
  • Mr Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP
As of today, we have the Printing and Publications Act 1984which provides that it is a criminal offense to possess or use a printing press without a licence granted by the Home Affairs Minister. The Minister is given "absolute discretion" in the granting and revocation of licences, which is required to be renewed on a yearly basis.

We do not require such an Act to govern us in the cyberspace. The Bill of Guarantees of the Multimedia Super Corridor project assures us, Malaysians, and the world that there will be no censorship of the Internet.

Hence it is important to protect the civil society's rights to express fair-minded views, opinions and commentaries on the Internet through arguably Malaysia's only source of freedom of expression.

Instead of making veiled threats in the news media or through our legal system, which appears to be increasingly prevalent, to silence the cyberspace, we hope that our Government will play its part to promote responsible freedom of expression on the Internet.

See you there! ;)


Anonymous said...

While Jeffooi claimed that Kalimullah become the spokeman of Pak Kah , he himself become the crusader for Dr M.

While Jeffooi claims himself to promote freedom of speech, he will bar you from posting to his blog if you offend him.

He is not a trained journalist but always talks of professionalism in journalism. He puts his own hatred to issues that he deals with. Jeff Ooi has given blogging a bad name by dragging Kalimullah Hassan's innocent daughter into their feud. He posted their wedding invitation card with detailed contact which bascially violate the very fundamental principal of human right. In this incident , why no other bloggers denounce him ?

Look at Jeffooi blog now, he is still carrying the picture of theSun and Nexnews Group Executive Editor P. Gunasegaram . I could not comprehend what Mr P Gunasagaram had done that make Jeffooi can't erase his picture off his blog.

Freedom in every domain , whether in politics , academic or social must be bounded by certain restriction. The restriction could be one's own moral stand or legislation .

Journalism equals to neutralism.

Bloggers only create sensations and nowadays, there are professional bloggers who blog or become media mercenary for living .

We are must re-think (critically) the support for JeffOoi

The Unladen Swallow said...

Brave words, coming from an anonymous commenter. While Jeff is promoting freedom of speech, that doesn't mean he is also promoting freedom of stupidity. I've read quite a number of comments that have been made on his site, and a number of them were made in ignorance, or just not thinking before they typed.

As you say, freedom in every domain must be bound by certain restriction, and even when I don't agree with some of what Jeff writes, I'm not reconsidering my support of him, or Rocky, because as Voltaire said, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

And that's what it's really all about. Its not just Jeff Ooi. Anyways, I won't be there, but good luck to you, Tony!

Anonymous said...

For a game of football, we will punish by showing a red or yellow card to those players who obsessively tackle an opponent.

Then in cyberspace , how do we penalise a blogger who obsessively tackling or mounting personal attack based on a public event ?

We should not be united based on Jeffooi incident as the cause is not justifiable to crusade in the name of freedom.

I am sure I still have the right the post this comment, but not always happens in Jeffooi Blog

Anonymous said...

I am very concern about the way the issue has been framed by those who oppose the government actions against the bloggers.

Why is it we are framing it as a issue of censorship on the internet went legally in Malaysia we have ridiculous censorship? I don't see an appeal of censorship as appealing to the sensability of most Malaysia.

To me the issue is not that of censorship but that of the rule of law and justice system. Everything I have read tells me that THERE IS NO STILL NO CASE OF DEFAMATION UNDER MALAYSIAN LAW AS BAD AS THE LAWS MAY BE so long as there is a modicum of interest to intrepret the law judiciously rather than for the powers may be.


This is a prefect case for arguing why our laws are so wrong not on censorship but on justice itself. The law and justice system should protect the meek and raise the standard of behaviour of the powerful but this case clearly shows that the mediocre can be powerful and abuse it to the detriment of all even the meek and brave.

As much as I believe the great benefit of freedom of expression ESPECIALLY on the internet, I don't believe the Malaysian public not even the cyberspace community truly can appreciate its importance and willing to defend it. To try and reach for this ideal when clearly the trend has been erosion over the last 40 years in print and other media is just not strategically optimal. Yes the internet is different with democratic power not available in mass media but can the even Malaysian cyberspace community appreciate the distinction if they lose that democratic right and power? Forgive my cynicism, I don't think so.

On the other hand, the public and cyberspace community worry about safety, the unreliability of our rule of law, the injustice of our court, they understand how the powerful have gotten away with theft and murder because of poor standards and the cyberspace have given them the right to reclaim some standards. If they are made to understand that the blogger lose is also their lose of standards in THEIR LIVES than they understand why its paramount for the bloggers to win this case..

Anonymous said...

To the person of the previous anonymous comment :

Your grammar is mind-joggling , could not really comprehend the meaning behinds your sentances.

Sorry , please explain the sentance below : " Why (is it) we are framing it as a issue of censorship on the internet (went legally) in Malaysia (we have ridiculous censorship)?"

Jerng said...

I wanna go for the forum. It's about time the government held bloggers accountable, and I want to hear what the kids have to say, who feel otherwise.

Anonymous said...

You know why I agreed with government actions? People like Tony are not as righteous as the government officials. They claimed they are intellectuals promoting freedom of speech etc. The real story is, these bloggers are promoting themselves or their related entreprises for some personal gains. Below please see remarks from an insider's remark which I saw in some of the Tony's blogs:
"Dear Blog readers,
Don't believe in a bit what Tony Pua says. He is setting up this Blog and 'Education Malaysia' tp pursue his selffish sinister personal golas. You can observe from all this comments in both Blogs having these common thread:
1) Boasting and showing off his Oxford qualification - while he was lucky to be in Oxford in the first place cos' he gets only 3 As.
2) Boasting about his success of being a CEO of a listed IT firm. The fact is his Cyber Village firm is losing small fly money-losing firm with high possibility of going bankrupt soon. He is still earning SGP10K a month (a mere middle manager Singaporean pay), claiming he is making big bucks financially while at the same time not paying a dime to shareholders or dedicating enough energy to revive the company.
3) Tony boasted he knows so-and-so and he is of the same upbringing or same 'batch' of these high flyers in order to boast his own values.

So his hidden goal is to sell himself and set himself up for something bigger financially. Guys, have your eyes open with his sinister agenda. If you are in doubt with my comments. Do some research yourself. Ask yourself, what good has Tony done to his country..

Anonymous said...

What's up with this dude man? He's really got an axe to grind

Anonymous said...

Since yesterday onwards, most of the entry og jeffooi blog are about Dr M.

Is jeffooi the mercenary hired by Dr M

Anonymous said...

Jeff does seem to be overly enamoured with Dr M lately. There have been caause in my mind to be concerned why he now seems to be a "crusader for Dr M", as commented by "anonymous" above.

It would do his credibility a lot of good if he takes some time to weigh how he handles dissent in his comments section. I have had a lot of run-ins with him recently due to our views being widely different with respect to Dr M. While he did allow my comments through, he may want to seriously consider if he had been fait in his responses, whether they had been below-the-belt cheap tricks.

In that respect, some of his respected journalist and blogger friends may be good sources of independant opinions. I hope he avails himself of their views and opinions.

Point is, Jeff is still a valuable member of the Net community, especially with respect to the fight against injustices and corruption. It would do him, and the cause, a world of good for him to objectively review his own behaviour.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 2:06 PM,
Smear campaign kah? How long it gonna last?
Did Tony done anything to you?

Even if you are a criminal, you are still allow to discuss issues of public interest. Why are you such a failure, resorting to smearing?

Anonymous said...

hey tony, sorry i missed the forum. quickly blog about it :)

Seri Naga said...

"While Jeffooi claims himself to promote freedom of speech, he will bar you from posting to his blog if you offend him" ...Anonymous

Apparently this can only be posted by a stupid idiot. The reason he do some self censorship on people that leave comment is to protect himself from further lawsuits and ISA. I can't believe you could be so STUPID.

Such stupid anonymous poster are the real "penembak curi" and not bloggers like Tony or Jeff Ooi who dares to put their face in their blog

"You know why I agreed with government actions? People like Tony are not as righteous as the government officials." ... Anonymous

This is another IDIOT BN asslicker. Fact remains Tony is a Oxford grad. Even he wants to promote that, that is none of your business. Again another penembak curi tanpa bola.

Tony, just ignore these suckers. They are just probably some low life BN cronies.