Saturday, August 30, 2008

MCMC's Mystery

Something odd happened today and international ICT companies have a valid reason to be concerned.

Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor said the Government had only given a “general instruction” to the commission to allow all blogs and websites to function provided they adhered to provisions under the Communications and Multimedia Act.

“MCMC runs on its own. I am not briefed on the things it does although it did tell me it was blocking the Malaysia Today website under Section 263 of the Act, which I believe has something to do with threatening national interest.”

So, it is apparent now that MCMC has acted on its own prerogative. Then, the commission must explain why it has chosen to act in such manner i.e. to block the critical socio-political website, Malaysia Today. What is the main duty of the commission? It is also a watch dog for the government? It is inevitable that the commission's action is not consistent with the MSC Bill of Guarantees which pledged no Internet censorship.

Shaziman appeared confused and not in control. As a minister, the commission should have sought his advice before making such a drastic decision which may affect Malaysia's image as an international cyber hub. Since he did not instruct MCMC to do so, will he reverse the decision made by MCMC? If not, the minister cannot distant himself from this action. His inaction will be perceived as an endorsement for the unpopular move.

Some BN MPs, including Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, have spoken against the move claiming that “such blatant and crude employment of state power is inconsistent with the widening of democratic space. Citizens’ right to information aside, MCMC’s high-handed approach also sends the wrong message as it is at odds with the Multimedia Super Corridor Bill of Guarantees – a 10-point Bill that prescribes zero Internet censorship.

This reflect badly on the BN government. We deserve consistency from the government.

Shaziman also denied that MCMC was targeting Malaysia Today, which is run by Raja Petra Kamaruddin, due to its anti-government views.

“There are other blogs and websites like those of Opposition parties PAS and PKR, which criticise the Government. The commission has not blocked access to those sites,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here yesterday.

Shaziman's denial smacked of blatant inconsistency. If the MCMC is consistent with its action, why didn't the commission take similar action against other blogs and websites which are critical of the government? Making Malaysia Today as an exception exposes the commission bias intention against the blogger, Raja Petra.


Abi Ayyub said...

All said, sounds like someone is lying, and guest who could that be. On the other hand, what is the big deal, as said so often, if anyone goes against the law, than take him to court.

Something fishy ... but more so it is just someone cannot stand MT any more and wants to show power.

KongKor said...

It's called passing the buck and running away from being responsible and accountable.

The finger has to point to someone to take the rap and your guess is as good as mine.

Is there no shame?

Anonymous said...

Both parties are practising 'tai chi', trying to push the blame to each other!