Bintan (Indonesia), Friday:
Blogger crackdown in Malaysia. No, I haven't fled the country.The day they brought in RPK for questioning, I was at the KLIA on my way to Bintan en route Singapore for a regional IT conference and media awards. I have been
invited as one of the judges for tonight's media and blogs awards. Needless to say, the delegates - from Australia, the UK, the US, Asean, and China/Hongkong - have been hounding me with questions about what's going on back home.
David Chavez Dizon, a journalist with ABS-CBN, asked me over dinner at Kelong last night: "What makes your country so unique that the government thinks it can come after bloggers?"
I was struggling with the question, when he shot again. "If I blog something bad about your country, is your Government going to come after me in Manila?"
Geoff Long, one of the finalists in the technology blog category, said he found the government's treatment against RPK, and earlier Nathaniel Tan and the suits against Jeff Ooi and I by a pro-government media group, daunting.
Even the executive chef at the resort we're staying, a Malaysian who reads blogs to keep tabs or the goings-on back home, is disturbed by the threats to detain bloggers without trial.
I am due to make a presentation in an hour's time about journalism and the IT industry back home, and a bit about the blogging scene. I guess you know what these delegates (who include senior execs of technology companies and vendors) would be wanting to know about. The news about RPK's grilling hasn't just affected us, it has spooked them as well. We read this morning in the (Singapore) Straits Times about RPK's allegation on Umno using cyber-troopers to undermine blogs and Norza's pathetic defence.
What do I tell them?
I guess I'll start my presentation with: "Ladies and Gentlemen, Malaysia is a unique country, indeed".
Friday, July 27, 2007
Why is Malaysia so unique?
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