Sunday, May 4, 2008

Why Did You Pick This Taxi Man of Padang Rengas?

This week is World Press Freedom week. The latest rankings released by the RSF shows that Malaysia has dropped from 124 to 141 out of 195. Things are getting from bad to worse and this year's BUM 2008 as well as this two days of 'Press Freedom' campaign had called upon the government to speed on reforms for greater freedom in the press.

At BUM, in which I attended, there was a debate on who should be blamed for the decline of press freedom in Malaysia. From the citizens point of view, they accused the reporters for pulling back the punches, writing the inaccurate facts. On the journalist point of view, they countered back that accusation saying that the editors are the ones responsible and they changed what was written by the journalists substantially before publishing. Yes, it's them, the editors but they just don't blindly do that but they did out of fear of two hounds hounding them: The PPPA (Press, Publications and Printing Act 1984) and the so called Fourth Floor Boys (Kamal Khalid, Vincent Lim, and some of the boys ) as what Mr. Mahathir would call.

Well, following the this last two days of Press Freedom at Central Market, BN MPs and certain ministers have called on Datuk Dollah (surprised to see that he's on Facebook) and the Home Ministry, Mr. Syed Hamid Albar to make reforms including doing away with OSA and this act, even with son-in-law echoing for that call. However, they did point out that one minister says no and that man is Nazri, the taxi driver of Padang Rengas.

That asshole said no way to PPPA. From the Star:

However, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri
Aziz felt that the PPPA was necessary because Malaysia had a multiracial population.

“I will not allow this country to be destroyed by extremist views. We have to be careful with what is written in the newspapers,” he said.

Nazri said he held this view not because he did not believe in freedom of the press but because he loved Malaysia more.

“For as long as I am a member of the Cabinet, I will argue for not abolishing the Act. I love Malaysians and the good relations we have. This must be maintained,” he said.

Nazri said the problem with having more freedom was that it would become difficult to determine limits.

He said it was better to have a law that could be used to ensure that nobody
crosses the line.

“What is this line? The Government decides what it is,” he said.

“Prevention is better. For me, I think you have to defeat me in the elections and then let the new government do it.”

In the recent elections, he managed to retain his MP post but at a reduced majority (less than 1500 votes) . But with the kind of remark here, I was wondering why would this guy walk one step backwards with his kind of views. Why did the people of Padang Rengas foolishly pick this guy when everyone knows the kind of person Nazri is? Such comment can put Malaysia down further. But then, if there is a change of government, he's going to be out of a job soon. Who knows he might go back to become a taxi man there on a worst case scenario?

Bodoh!Bodoh!Bodoh! (to those people and loyalists)

I would agree to having the PPPA and the OSA taken off but that's half of the cake. The other half lies with those meddlesome 4th Floor Boys. Editors have been complaining that almost everyday, particularly calls from Zaki Zahid and his sub-ordinates. If that is the case, both parties, journalists, citizens, editors will have to to be daring in disobeying the directive of the 'rogue' 4th Floor entity.

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