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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Controlling blogs and web in Malaysia

A new chapter of Internet and blog control has been opened in Malaysia. Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said that "We need to have a similar form of control over Internet media and blogs, as the medium is used to spread unfounded allegations that pose a threat to national security and racial unity.”

There was once a discussion about the openness of Malaysian Internet highway as a tool to promote the country to foreign investors. Is this now going to slither away? Hopefully not.

But he touches on an issue that is growing throughout the world. Bringing hate to the Internet - hate against those that are different. Different religion, different races, different opinions. This is what makes the Internet vulnerable because too many times, "people" just write and blog without actually reflecting on the impact of what they are writing.

Hence, it is not the Internet that causes this, but the lack of open-minded values and an understanding that differences increases variety and learning opportunities.

But clearly, it is not that the "mainstream media had gained credibility because of the laws making them responsible for what they published". Newspaper's credibility has been criticised before, even in Malaysia but also elsewhere. nevertheless, even because the Internet is wild and unruly, it has become so popular.

Newspapers have realised the importance of the web increasingly, where traditionally framed media starts to lose out. Some start to involve bloggers in their business to stay more relevant in a changing environment that clearly disadvantages them and forces changes upon them through a new way of communicating.

Just my two cents worth - what are your thoughts?

(By Asia Business Consulting)