Joining the ranks of oppressed and censored, Malaysian bloggers now face indefinite jail terms for inappropriate posts. Now the Malaysian political bloggers get to spend their days waiting to be arrested just like their counterparts in Iran, China, Egypt and others. So much for freedom.
The Malaysian government has warned it could use tough anti-terrorism laws against bloggers who insult Islam or the country’s king.
This is new. I was unaware a rude blog could be an act of terrorism!
The new rules would allow a suspect to be detained indefinitely, without being charged or put on trial. But officials insist the law is not intended to strangle internet freedom.
I guess that makes sense. Why would a fear of indefinite prison without a trial hamper anyone’s freedom of expression?
From the BBC:
But the BBC’s Jonathan Kent in Kuala Lumpur says the government also appears increasingly concerned about the growing online criticism of its record.
Raja Petra Kamarudin, the editor of one of Malaysia’s most popular political websites, Malaysia Today, turned himself in to police on Wednesday, to answer allegations that he had mocked Islam and threatened racial harmony.
Bloggers who insult the king could be subject to anti-terror laws
Raja Petra is known for his frequent criticism of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and other government figures.
“I was alleged to have insulted the king, and also Islam and incite racial hatred, so I am going in there to reply to all these charges. I promise I’m going to give them a hell of a tough time,” he told the BBC before he turned himself in.
Other bloggers have been arrested earlier this month. Nathaniel Tan was led away by police along with his computer. Nathaniel works for a political party called Parti Keadilan Rakyat or PKR.
“The police must act to prevent those (bloggers) from tarnishing the image of the country,” said Baharum, deputy internal security minister.
Here is my offer. If you are Malaysian and have a comment about any of the forbidden topics, please post a comment here. If I get enough comments, I will repost them all (without names) on a new site. Anonymity will be protected.