Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Shown the behind

Censorship is the prerogative of the sitting government, so the Malaysian government has every right to censor web sites that are spewing forth pornographic, obscene or libelous content. And so the Malaysia Today web site has been blocked. Netizens and free speech advocates are up in arms over it, reminding the government of the promise it made to the world that it will not censor the internet when it first set up its very ambitious MSC project.

But of course, the Malaysian government cannot be bound by its commitments, particularly when those commitments were made during somebody else's watch, especially when that somebody has already resigned from the political party under which he was PM and is basically acting as a lone opposition figure - opposition to the PM, i.e.

It is naive of anybody to think that a government can be held by its words, particularly where politics (and perhaps pornography) is concerned. Practically, it isn't an issue anyway because the web site that is being blocked has been mirrored and is still accessible. If the news had not broke, you'd think nothing out of the ordinary has taken place. That's the real power of the internet - it just cannot be controlled, at least not in the long run. So for the M'sian government to have done what it has done - blocking Malaysia Today's web site - shows how helpless it really is. Far better to leave it alone than to have its behind exposed, as in this instance.