“The prime minister's remarks and support for this legal action send a message that could well intimidate online writers and stifle the growth of the country's new media."
- Joel Simon, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [international media watchdog]
As I mentioned in my previous posting Ikan bilis-ness of chooks? PM AAB has virtually condemned the two bloggers facing a defamation suit as 'guilty until proven innocent' when he stated in the most terribly prejudicial fashion: "They cannot hope to cover themselves or hide from the laws."
CPJ has expressed its alarm over AAB’s unmitigated support for the civil suits against two bloggers. They criticised him for calling his online critics 'liars'.
Lucia Lai, our sterling miss from Penang - Penang lassies are certainly of sterling quality ;-) - has admirably retorted to the PM in her posting bloggers are liars:
"mr prime minister, i am not a liar. i am a blogger with a face and a name. i write mostly based on what the media reported, what i had seen and heard. so if you think what i wrote were lies, then it was them who lied too!"
Then even more succinctly she asked AAB:
"anyway, what is a lie? how do you define a lie? how can you tell that we lied? what made you think we lied? when we write something not to your liking? when we unearth some ’secrets’ you are hiding?"
As I oft mentioned, AAB is just too thin skin, but worse, he is what Penangites would describe as 'hee yaa kheen' (very light ear), meaning that he is a man who's easily influenced by whoever whispers first in his ears (obviously those nearest the throne), instead of checking out the facts.
He may do better to check for himself the reality of the situation in the country, which may possibly reveal the stark naked truth to him that he is now an Emperor without any clothing.
Oh, talking about an Emperor without any clothing, I seem to recall my kindergarten story, a Hans Christian Andersen tale with a moral (Malaysianised by KTemoc). It narrated how two rogues sweet-talked and conned an elegant but vain Emperor.
The two rogues sat up the whole of the night before the day on which the procession was to take place, and had sixteen cemerlang and gemilang lights burning, so that everyone might see how anxious they were to finish the Emperor's new
So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people holding keris and flags standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, “Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor's new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!”
In short, no one would dare say he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his
“But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little child who would grow up to be a blogger one day.
“Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed his father who himself was a blogger; and what the child had said was swiftly posted on websites and e-mailed from one to another.
“But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all the people who read what the blogs published. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! So he called those who spoke the truth as 'liars'.