The decision to censor the internet in Malaysia has been on and then off; but is it really off? Let's checkout a few Ministers' Press statements of late:
"...internal threats in the form of comments via blogs are becoming more dangerous than external elements, as they sow the seeds of restlessness among the various races...", Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen- MCA Vice President. The Star Aug 14, 2009.
"We want to look at how parents react to the extreme display of child pornography in the Net, Internet gambling and postings that can encourage terrorism...", Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim Information, Communications, Culture and Arts Minister. Bernama Aug 13, 2009.
"But it's got nothing to do with censorship...", Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim Information, Communications, Culture and Arts Minister. Bernama Aug 13, 2009.
Censorship or not, it depends how lawmakers in the country want to define the words 'censorship', 'terrorism', 'dangerous blogs' and so on. Worse still, political blogging against the Malaysian Government could be well labeled as cyber-terrrorism if there's any chance that the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 or Internal Security Act 1960 is 'revamped'. Yes, political blogging can become an outlawed activity in the future if 'non-BN' bloggers are seen to be terrorists. The stakes are high in the political arena when it comes to press freedom and dissemination of information on the internet- the 2008 General Election results was an example of this.
Looking at the table below, can anyone notice any similarities between Malaysia with any of the countries listed down here:
And today, the guy who hid behind the keris (guess who) says:
“We are not clamping or censoring the Internet. But when it comes to issues involving race, religion and our royalty, the Internet cannot be allowed to go on to de-stabilise the country and do whatever they like...”.
Thanks to the keris-raising scene by the person above 2 years back (a 'salivating' threat to the extinction of a percentage of the population in the country) which will be immortalized in pictures and video for generations to come, there was a raise in political awareness amongst citizens whom were sitting on the fence because the scene scared the crap out of them. Now, he's talking about the internet being a destabilizing factor? Indeed I find Malaysia quite near to either one or all of the political systems depicted in the table above.
Lastly, if you have noticed, the phrase "..we will not censor the internet..." appears many times in the Ministers' press statements, followed by other conditions. If you get my drift, this is how 'no censorship' of the internet is defined in Malaysia.