Monday, April 02, 2007

Blog Policing in Malaysia

I am a regular reader of Malaysia Today. While I was reading the comments posted on the blog yesterday, Raja Petra the owner of the site, posted a notice about having received a letter from his web host provider regarding the postings of a participant on the site. You can read the notice here.

In essence, the participant named FrenchFriedTacos was deemed to haven posted "false and poisonous comment about the Prophet Muhammad". The warning letter told Raja Petra to remove the offensive postings by FrenchFriedTacos, or the web host provider would have no choice but to shut down Malaysia Today.

If you doubt that there is a policing of the internet in Malaysia, here is a fine example of one in action.

If you are a regular at Malaysia Today you will no doubt be aware of the constant heated debate over religion. I was surprised that there was a monitoring of postings especially with regard to Prophet Muhammad.

FrenchFriedTacos had no choice but to withdraw from participating any further at Malaysia Today. He did not want Malaysia Today to be shut down just because of comments made by him.

Bloggers in Malaysia, there is no such thing as freedom of expression. Refrain from insulting Prophet Muhammad, or do so at your peril.


  1. So sad that this is happening..But i am sure the blogger who blogs is of his own opinion and would not have been able to create an upheaval...i did not read what he wrote...did u read it? Was it deem 'dangerous' to the country?

  2. thxsoWell, to insult a religion, any religion- shows bad taste. But it seems that to have to shut down the entire site just because somebody else wrote something of what is obviously their own opinion is preposterous.

    The fact that others would condemn his opinion is enough, but to shut down the site?

  3. You know what, it was April 1. The whole thing could very well be an April Fool's joke on FrenchFriedTacos! Some people at MT suggested it was a joke.

    If it was a joke, that means I'd been had! Better it be a joke than a reality in Malaysia's censorship world.

  4. Have you read RantingsbyMM about "The Frog and the Blog"? My goodness, just where and when and to whom can any Malaysian citizen ever voice their grievances when the so-called "ministries" who are supposed to be there for them, opposed to so many ideas, opinions, etc. The worse part is all these are hardly looked at what more to say valued? Malaysian has the “freedom of expression” BUT with HUGH conditions. Watch your sayings and be cautious to whom your speech is addressed to. Gee! Am I getting tired of all these pea-heads’ nonsense! Why are boundaries set when the others are standing beyond and yet we are talking the same language!

  5. No, I have not been to MM's site recently.

    I think the internet has allowed us some kind of freedom .. it is hard for the authorities to really police the internet.

    I don't know when it'll ever be anything like the more advanced democracies. But in the US and maybe in Europe too, the laws like racism laws or discrimination laws can be abused and used to shut down real honest debates about issues.

    But still after living in the US for some years now, I can honestly appreciate what "freedom of speech" means. "You have the right to say anything you want, but you do not have the right to be heard". That means I can choose not to hear that kind of speech if I don't like it, but I won't stop you from saying it.


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