Clamp Down on some Malaysian Bloggers – Justifiable?

So what’s happening to Malaysian bloggers?

Why is the government keen to clamp down on them? See this article –Bloggers warned of price to pay from The Star.

 I will give my opinion. I will also give my opinion what should the government do.

Actually, I think that the government real intention is to clamp down on some of them. There are two categories of bloggers which I think is troublesome to the government. The first category might be classified as those bloggers who promote false information to a point where public interest might be harmed. Examples are bloggers who spread rumours to such an extent where panic or confusion is created in the community

The second category can be classified as those bloggers who promote social disharmony by using words that inflame racial and/or religious sensitivities. These bloggers are also often accused of insulting the King and other important institutions of the state and society. Simply speaking these blogs promote hatred.

I would say that the government is justified in taking action to clamp down those bloggers. This is because in my opinion, the Malaysian society is prone to gossip. Gossips and rumors are of course bad to society. So, the blogs that encourage gossiping and rumours and hatred in a society which is prone to believe gossips should be taken off the internet.

However, I would say that the government the government’s proposed action may have negative effects on the future. What I mean is that by imposing tough restrictions (and legal sanctions) on bloggers and blogging, the society might be dumbed down. You see, the future of Malaysia rest in the ability of its citizen upgrade their human capital. Human capital can be upgraded with knowledge, and this knowledge can be in any form. The upgrading of human capital can only be done if the flow of information is not restricted. Of course there will be bad or false information. But that is part of the process. Bloggers and users of the internet will eventually learn that the best way is to write and disseminate accurate and truthful information.

I understand that what I said above will happen in the long run. In the short run,… yes the short run…. the implicatios of these “troublesome bloggers” can be very devastating.

However, I think there is a better way than imposing strict regulations….. basically, why not the government inform the public what it thinks of these so called “troublesome bloggers”.

The government can impose a classification system to Malaysian bloggers. The most simple classification system might simply be blacklisting those blogs. The government can blacklist undesirable blogs and then give reasons for doing so. This blacklist can be disseminated in the numerous government websites. The government can also use the print media to inform the public on these black-listed blogs. An if there is a need, the government can also force websites such as the PPS to carry the details of the black-listed blogs.

Now, this is one suggestion. With a bit of imagination, one can design a more detailed classification system. The purpose of this system is to inform the public on which blogs the government thinks that are believable and which blogs the government thinks that are not believable and are likely to disseminate rumours, hatred and all those bad things that harms social harmony. Another suggestion is to “fight back” these “troublesome bloggers”. The government can employ bloggers and use blogs to deal with the offensive information piece by piece. In other words, the government can publicly refute the false information and rebuke those “troublesome” bloggers.

In conclusion, I sincerely think that blacklisting or classifying troublesome bloggers etc are much better than imposing strict regulations.


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