Thursday, August 03, 2006

Freedom Should Not be Abused

I agree with Badawi, but....

I am not surprised that it has come to this. If you've read the papers yesterday, Badawi warned all bloggers that those who are found disseminating disruptive lies and untruths will be detained. He went on to say that the full-weight of the law will be felt by those who instigate social unrest and religious tensions by spreading lies ad rumous over the Internet.

Now I agree with what Badawi is saying. Some people might call this an infringement on our freedom and rights, but let us step back for a second and try to determine what true 'freedom' really means.

To me, the word 'freedom' does not conjure up images of a society in which there are no rules and regulations. In fact, in such an environment, anarchy will reign and true freedom will ultimately suffer. Some shallow people in fact equate freedom with the ability to, say, run down the streets naked, have sex with any person (or animal...ughhh) they want to, or to do whatever he or she pleases, irregardless of the consequences. These views are so obviously wrong that I sometimes wonder what's wrong with those people. How can they not see that true freedom flourishes when people have the ability to function within clearly socially and culturally defined 'rules'?

Just compare Malaysia, a land with (what some would say) many rules and regulations, with Iraq, a land where (at the moment) basically anything goes. In which country are the people more 'free'?

The same goes for freedom of speech. Some people equate freedom of speech with the ability say whatever they want, nevermind the fact that it may consist only of lies and untruths. Now these lies and untruths, while they may seem relatively harmless, can easily snowball into something which has the potential to undo all the progress which has been made over the past decades. Now who wants that eh?

..but I doubt that this new ruling will be implemented fairly

Yup, you heard me. I agree with Badawi that people should be held accountable for the things they post on the Internet. However, I do have my reservations on how effective this approach will be.

You see, I don't entirely trust that our government and it's related bodies (the police, the ISA etc) will be unbiased in their assessment of what sort of comments and posts are punishable, and what are not.

Will they crackdown as hard on the bloggers who spread lies about the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia? Or are they mainly focusing on stamping out the allegedly anti-Bumi, or anti-Islam posts which are swirling about in the blogosphere?

What if someone were to post blasphemous lies about the other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism? Will the government even bother to crack down on the people responsible? Or does their 'tough stance' only apply to posts which criticize Islam?

Although I hope that the government will be fair and unbiased in this, past experience has taught me a lot.

I won't be holding my breath.



Anonymous pelf said...

Our PM is Abdullah, my dear, NOT Badawi..

4:26 PM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

Oops, my bad...heheh. I have 2 friends called Abdullah actually, so I always tend to refer to our PM as Badawi.

5:09 PM  
Blogger F.O.N. said...

I'm not gonna hold my breath either.

3:37 PM  

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