While I was on strike ... The PM hits out at
bloggers for the country's current political tragedy. The
Sun called me for my comments, and I said my piece (see
the article below or click here to read the online version).
I am a big critic of Mr Badawi. In my posting to announce
my 48-hour strike in protest against what was being
allowed to happen in the political sphere, I wrote: "I blame
one man for our woes. I blame the Prime Minister".
[Read? Malaysian Bloggers go on strike].
I still blame him for the current situation.
Abdullah hits out at slander and lies spread in cyberspace
PUTRAJAYA (July 7, 2008) : Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi yesterday labelled as treacherous, the deliberate
attempts to create perceptions of uneasiness and distrust among
the people, via the Internet and SMS.
He said these attempts, undertaken through Internet blogs,
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to the truth is not
is appreciated is the
perception, and along
with it the lies. Perception
negates the truth. The
truth is no longer talked
about. The important
thing is the perception"
YouTube and SMS, had blemished the principles of the
Rukunegara such as loyalty to King and country,
upholding the Constitution, the rule of law, good
behaviour and morality.
"All the slander and lies spread through the blogs and
YouTube do not contribute to ease and confidence in
the people," Bernama quoted him as saying at the monthly
assembly of his department staff.
"There is no more regard for statements of truth in law. Little
attention is given to (one's) demeanour in life. The sovereignty
of the Rulers is turned into an issue."
A stern-looking Abdullah said not all of the people believed
in the negative perceptions created but it was portrayed
that more people had become trapped in that situation.
"Conduct attributed to the truth is not appreciated. What is
appreciated is the perception, and along with it the lies.
Perception negates the truth. The truth is no longer talked
about. The important thing is the perception," Bernama
quoted him as saying.
Abdullah said perceptions had influenced the attitudes and options
of some people in decision-making, including those related to
investment and business.
He said it must be rectified but, unfortunately, it had become a
subject which the people were most interested in, so much so that it
had become word of mouth and they resorted to exaggeration.
"The people must be appeased so as not to have any fear of a possible
shortage of food. They must be pacified so as not to have any worry
over their own safety and that of their families," he said.
He said the people had given the government a new mandate to
administer the country and they "must have confidence in our
The government, he added, had adopted and would take measures
to reduce the financial burden of the people arising from the increase
in fuel prices which had caused them some restlessness.
Abdullah urged enforcement authorities to be firm in maintaining
peace and security.
"Let's stop doing what is undesirable. The people must exercise a
high sense of responsibility. Our priority must be to maintain
In an immediate reaction, National Bloggers Alliance pro tem
president and National Press Club adviser Ahirudin Attan, who blogs
as Rocky's Bru, urged Abdullah and other leaders to look at the
positive side of blogging.
"Labelling blogs as something negative is going back to the stone-age,
because we have been through this before," he said.
He said if blogs make slanderous or defamatory accusations, the
government or authority should address these allegations and take
Ahirudin cited the example of Malaysia-Today blogger Raja Petra
Kamaruddin’s (RPK) recent statutory declaration on the Altantuya
murder, adding that the declaration had been online for about
two weeks now and the police had questioned RPK several times.
“If there is something to charge him with, go ahead and charge
him,” he said, adding that he was sued by The New Straits Times
for defamation early last year.
“The situation we are in now is also partly contributed by the
authorities. It is compounded by the inability of the authorities to
enforce the law,” he said.
Ahirudin said the government should not accuse bloggers of
attempting to create negative perceptions through their
postings, but should instead act on slanderous and defamatory
“Just like there are good cops and bad cops, good politicians
and bad politicians, there are good blogs and bad blogs,”
Ahiruddin, the former editor of the Malay Mail, said that
politicians were to blame as well “because they are the ones
who give out statements”.
A blog is just a medium for discussing issues affecting the people,
adding that the traditional media were also reporting the same
thing, said Ahirudin whose blog shut down for 48 hours over the
weekend in protest against the political mud-slinging over the
Altantuya Shaariibuu and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy cases.
He said there were more important things to focus on, adding that he
was fed-up with what was happening.
Datuk Marina Mahathir also shut down her blog, RantingsbyMM for
the same reasons.