Protests, media training, and democracy

To be fair, Kenny Sia over-did the “election” vs. “erection” thing. But the transcript, I would have thought was a joke, is actually true. So kudos to Kenny Sia for typing it all up.

Now, an Information Minister (Zainuddin Maidin), speaking to a television station, in that kind of language? Someone ought to send him for media training.

Highly entertaining. Watch the video. I mean, I thought he was stupid a few weeks back, just didn’t know he was this stupid.

In the newspapers, there are some quotable quotes from Zam slams Al Jazeera’s coverage:

  • “They also cited a blogger as an independent journalist when the blogger is actually a DAP member,” he said. –> referring to Jeff Ooi, who in every respect is an independent journalist (isn’t that what bloggers generally are? I mean we refer to housewives [and to be politically correct, house-husbands] as domestic engineers…)
  • “The police only used water cannons and tear gas and did not shoot anyone,” he said. –> shoot anyone? Really, who knew you could be shot for protesting. Well, maybe you can be in the current situation in Burma, or Pakistan, but in Malaysia? Shocking.
  • Zainuddin said Al Jazeera should use its base in Malaysia as an opportunity to strengthen bonds with the West rather than to portray Malaysia as anti-West. –> how is the video in any way, portraying Malaysia as being anti-West? Is the idea of democracy, a Western one? What is the West anyway? India is the world’s largest democracy, and its hardly located in the “West”

All in all, its great to see Wikipedia being used to push truths (or untruths). Currently, as I write this, the neutrality of the article is being disputed. Article in question: 2007 Bersih rally.

Oppressive governments, like the one in Malaysia, is probably really feeling the pain of the Internet. Blogs, video distribution, immediate distribution, rallies being organised via the Net. Wind back a decade ago, and I think the then-prime minister, Dr. Mahathir had no idea of the power of the Internet. Even then, the bungaraya and sangkancil lists were being run, and the early birds saw what was coming. Arguably, soc.culture.malaysia on Usenet was a good venting point for folk too. Yes, there was online political activism, before Jeff Ooi ;)

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  1. aubs says:

    what this – are you moving from the technical arena to the political one???

    when do i get to hear your comments on the australian political arena??

  2. byte says:

    @aubs: no, i occasionally have random political rants… its after all a personal blog ;) not a technical one. i have /other/ interests too :)

    well, the aussie arena… i dunno, don’t feel i’m ready to comment yet…