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Malaysia censors news portal August 29, 2008

Posted by Sverre in : Malaysia , comments closed

A number of sources can report that the Malaysian government has ordered a ban on the popular independent news portal Malaysia Today, and Malaysian ISPs have reportedly complied. According to the website owner himself, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the reason is his article “Malays, the enemy of Islam“, an attack on conservative Malay Islamism and corruption and abuse by the Malaysian Sharia court system.

The article in question is in my opinion neither well written nor particularly constructive in its criticism. Nevertheless it is a matter of course for me to defend the writer’s right to make the claims he does. Freedom of speech is natural to us in the west, not so in Malaysia. Malaysia has never had a completely free press. The government has always reserved itself a right to protect the people against statements that threaten racial harmony or public morale. And the Malaysian government has a long history of abusing this legislation to crack down on political opposition.

Malaysia claims to be a democracy, but this isn’t the behavior of a democratic state. It is further proof to the autocratic nature of the Malaysian regime. (more…)