Another example of how other countries (in this case Malaysia) like to emulate our superior system of government, especially with regard to controlling the flow of information. Perhaps we will soon be hearing of debates in Malaysia about raising their ministers’ salaries. After all, Malaysia has a corruption problem right? And we all know that high salaries will eliminate corruption…
SINGAPORE, April 6 (Bernama) — Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin Friday lent his weight to a proposal to register blog sites, especially those which are politically-motivated.
He said the mainstream media were subjected to registration, monitoring and specific laws, and as such, there was no reason why the same should not apply to blog operators.
“We must know who they are. So there must be laws that will facilitate their identification,” he told reporters here.
However, he said, the need to register blogs with entertainment and social commentary contents might not be as great as politically-motivated ones.
“When people involved in politics want to use blogs for their political interest or when blog operators are politically-motivated, we have to know who they are.
“Politics is meant to gain influence among the people, politics is meant to obtain power. When it comes to power, it’s the people who are in control.
“When the people use the power, they’ll have to identify themselves. They are dishonest if they hide themselves when talking about politics,” he said.
Zainuddin said in the quest for political power, people were willing to resort to slander, disseminate lies, use unauthorised sources or choose not to verify the source of the information.
“This is very dangerous as they are writing and taking steps to gain power. Their objective is to topple the government, widen the reach of their political doctrine and assist any parties for political purposes,” he said.
Zainuddin said he concurred with the monitoring and registration proposal forwarded by the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry.
Zainuddin discussed the blog issue and how the island republic was approaching the matter in a meeting this morning with his counterpart, Information, Communications and the Arts Minister Dr Lee Boon Yang.
The Malaysian minister said Singapore had formulated a mechanism for the registration of blogs which consistently churned out articles on politics.
He pointed out that Singapore had a class licensing framework to supervise new media forms such as blogs, subjecting them to certain code of ethics under the supervision of the Media Development Authority.
A class licence involves the gazetting of the terms and conditions of a particular industry, and anyone who provides the services within the scope of the class licence will be deemed to have read and agreed to the terms and conditions, and would be considered licensed.
Zainuddin felt that the method implemented by Singapore was practical and it could possibly be modified for use in Malaysia.
“We’ll see whether or not this version can be done in Malaysia. I don’t know yet but I feel that the method is a practical one,” he said.
Here’s what another Bernama article has to say about the discussions between the Information Ministers from Malaysia and Singapore:
On the issue of new media, including the proliferation of blogs, Zainuddin said the issue was also touched on during the discussion.
“We do not want to control blogs. We just hope for the bloggers to be responsible, and to be held responsible for what they blog…I share this view and I think the Singapore approach is practical,” he said.
Asked to comment, Dr Lee said that Singapore had an advisory council to study the impact of new media, among other things, including the rising popularity and influence of blogs and try to anticipate its impact particularly on the younger generation over the long term.
“We recognise that the blogs are there; that many young people are very enthusiastic about blogging and are becoming very active players in this so-called Web 2.0 where instead of using the Internet to draw information, users are now generating content to be shared with others.
“So this is quite a significant development. As of now, our regulatory approach to the Internet has been a light touch. Our position in terms of new media is that the law of the land applies in the real world as much as in cyberspace,” Dr Lee said.
Read the full article here.