Would you register your blog if the Government ask you to? Although I rarely write about any sensitive issues related to the Government, I have to express myself on this one.
So now Malaysian Government is planning to make it compulsory for bloggers to register themselves. Here is an article from The Star: Bloggers may have to register
According to another this news in The Star Online, “… plan to register all bloggers using locally hosted websites …”. If this is true, I am not related anymore since I moved out from Malaysia hosting. So was my decision to move from Exabytes the correct decision to make?
We have to wait for the official announcement from the Government.
My opinion is that this is entirely not necessary. From what I see now the Government is creating another enemy, instead of embracing bloggers for a better country. Why can’t the Government take it as a challenge to make things better, or even take it as the voice of the people living in this country? There must always be a reason why people talk about bad about the Government, not only in Malaysia. A Malay proverb: Kalau tak ada angin takkan pokok bergoyang which means exactly that.
And really, this is the classic case of kerana nila setitik rosak susu sebelanga (because of one bad thing/person the entire group receives bad reputation).
So after this there should not be any question anymore why Malaysians do not host their website within the country. Not that the service is good anyway.
As usual I include the original news below in case the original article is no longer available.
News on 5th April 2007:
Bloggers may have to register
AT THE DEWAN RAKYAT
BLOGGERS using locally hosted websites may be asked to register with the authorities, Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said.
He said registration was one of the measures the Government was considering to prevent the spread of negative or malicious content on the Internet.
Shaziman said this while winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address for his ministry.
He added that the ministry did not have any problem with bloggers who identified themselves, and he welcomed blogging activities.
However, he said there were about 50,000 websites registered under the .my suffix and there were a lot of avenues for anyone to host websites with malicious content which could harm the countryâ€™s security.
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, who interjected when Shaziman was speaking, said the negative comments of several ministers about bloggers reflected their lack of understanding about information flow in cyberspace.
â€œThey should be educated on the vast benefits of blogging, which will help them to interact more with the people. Many politicians overseas already have their own blogs,â€ he added.
Asked to comment on the matter, Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said bloggers were very aware of their own ethics and responsibility for content on their sites.
While agreeing that there were bloggers who had inflammatory content, he said unidentified bloggers could still be traced through their website addresses.
He added that the problem was also about inflammatory comments by unidentified visitors to the blogs.
Ahirudin Attan of Rocky’s Bru said the move to compel local bloggers to register was effectively the Government trying to control what Malaysians were writing online.
â€œThis violates the Government’s no-censorship policy with regards to the Internet,â€ he said.
He added that the move would just create fear among the bloggers and would encourage them to host their blogs overseas.
Marina Mahathir, a blogger and activist, said the Government really should â€œget real.â€
She said the move â€œis just going to make Malaysia look ridiculous in the eyes of the world.â€
Blogger Jeff Ooi wondered why the Government was pursuing this course of action.
He said the Government had already set up the Content Forum to deliberate on complaints by any party.
News on 7th April 2007:
Shaziman denies censorship goal
PUTRAJAYA: The Government’s plan to register all bloggers using locally hosted websites is merely to collect data rather than to censor them, Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said.
He said the Government’s move should not be misconstrued as hindering bloggers from continuing with their activities.
“The plan to register bloggers is merely to assess the situation and keep track on how many bloggers there are in the country and on the information provided by them. It has nothing to do with censoring the contents in the blogs,” he said, adding that the plan has yet to be finalised by the Government.
Shaziman also said Singapore had started registering its bloggers while Thailand, China and Middle Eastern countries practised censorship of their blogs.
He was clarifying his statement made in Parliament earlier this week that the plan to register bloggers was a move by the Government to prevent the spread of negative or malicious articles on the Internet.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said it was up to bloggers to start an association, but that “rights come with responsibility.”
“They have the rights and it’s up to them, but are the bloggers practising responsibility? Who is disturbing their rights? If they are responsible, the rights are always theirs. But if they are not, then we will take away those rights,” he said yesterday.