Recent developments in this country gave the perception that we are heading to the dark ages where dissemination of information is restricted, and giving out opinions are curtailed. So much for moving towards a developed nation, or being a champion of democracy.
So many websites and news platforms which are giving alternative news and opinions have been blocked. Last year, the Home Ministry suspended The Edge newspaper. The matter was settled when the courts lifted the suspension barely three months after it was announced.
But the employees in The Edge suffered when in those months, they lost their advertising revenue. Now The Edge had to restructure their company to overcome the tough times ahead. The suspension was authorised without any valid reasons but innocent people lost their livelihood because of that. Oppressing our own people is now a second nature.
Afterwards there was the blocking of Sarawak Report (SR). Just like what happened to The Edge, they were blocked because they had published some damning reports and documents which had incriminate certain individuals and exposed a huge financial scandal.
The words ‘tampered, doctored, and fake’ were abundantly thrown about as if that would make the public more incline to believe the government propaganda.
And just like what happened to The Edge, when the people asked which documents that are claimed to be fake or tampered, no answers were forthcoming. Imagine raging buffaloes stampeding towards you bellowing and snorting those words yet when you ask for proof, those buffaloes went silent and tiptoed back to hide behind some bushes.
The more neutral readers of SR do want to know which documents are fake but since nobody on the other side can debunk their reports, the public have no choice but to trust SR more. They wanted to trust the Government, but alas, the Government itself has no evidence to back up their claims.
What they did however, was to unleash Lester Melanyi. Now that fiasco was one of the funniest moments in media propaganda history.
For the past 24 hours, several websites have been blocked by the government. One of them is Medium, for carrying Sarawak report news. Medium is a platform where community of readers and writers can share perspectives via writing in their ideas and opinions. It is an international website frequented and participated by many Malaysians. Even one of this blog’s authors write in ideas on IT and Finance.
Medium even posted an email from MCMC demanding a posting to be removed but when they replied asking for proof and further information, MCMC did not respond but proceeded to block Medium anyway.
Raging buffaloes indeed.
At this point of time, Medium is still banned. Now other Malaysians who have been avid contributors and readers of Medium could not access it. This is a loss to Malaysia.
Usually when something could not be counter argued, the ones lacking brains but having the brawn to bully will resort to this same tactic.
Another blog that is blocked is TabungInsider. It is a dream blog for investigative journalists. We had come across a few for the past few years. The earliest one we can remember was Truth For Teoh Beng Hock. It had published many documents which had provided some evidence behind Teoh Beng Hock’s death.
It was so damning towards DAP, they even labeled it a black blog.
Another blog that is an expert in exposing sensitive documents is The Benchmark. This was the blog that broke the story of Tabung Haji buying TRX land which was initially denied by its Chairman but soon after he had to pitifully admit its veracity.
The public must thank these two blogs for doing its service towards the good of society. And fortunately, these two blogs have not been banned yet.
Blocking views which are not in line with the pre-set narrative is not only oppressive but also denying the people of free and more fairly distributed information.
Surely Malaysia do not want to fall further down in the press freedom ranking come 2016. We have already dropped 4 places in global corruption perception index.
The inability to properly counter any views comes perhaps from the desperation of defending the indefensible. Siege mentality kicks in and everything that is construed to be against the dictatorship, will be targeted, slandered and oppressed.
But the cycle of life continues and what is up will come down eventually.
In conclusion, if you find your blog is blocked or your favourite news platform is banned, here are a couple of videos which teach us how to bypass the blockade.
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