Saturday, January 27, 2007

get up, honeymoon period is over!.. "declaration of war" against the media coming up next!...

they sense something is wrong?!?... or perhaps, they sense that there are something very wrong made right and/or gonna be made right and they are very afraid of it?!?... like the saying, siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas...

2 'mainstream newspapers'?!?... wait... got to be nstp and the sun, i think... the star belongs to mca wat, so dun think there's anything gonna happen to them... on top of that, they in the star thinks that siti nurhaliza and datuk kurita's wedding news is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy important than the current issues the world is facing...

the star do have articles here and there about the current govt and all... at times they do hit back they themselves without knowing and realising it... funny but true...

can't even have this kinda freedom of speech in a democratic country... wat more in freedom in religious practices!... yawn!...

the only way to bring back the democracy in the country is the next election... at least let the parliment seats be filled evenly like wat happened in the 90s... approx 55%+-/45%+-... that will at least strike a decent balance, if you ask me...

Zam’s “Declaration of War” against the media – a setting for another Operation Lalang and the first public fissure of contending factions in the Abdullah Cabinet?
Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Parliament, Saturday) The Information Minister, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin, has issued a “declaration of war” against the media. At stake is not just press freedom, but also human rights and good governance in Malaysia.

Zainuddin accused two “mainstream newspapers” of abusing their “freedom”, claimed that the government has already collected ample evidence of the “crime” of certain local newspapers to “undermine the credibility of Islam as the official religion and the rights of all communities as contained in the Federal Constitution”, raised the spectre of May 13 and the possibility of another “Operation Lalang”, warned that the government “means business” and “will not tolerate” the media which “inflame communalism and religious issues”.

Most ominous of all, Zainuddin dismissed the view that the “honeymoon” period for press freedom of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is over by declaring that there was never any such “honeymoon period”!

Is Zainuddin’s “declaration of war” against the media a sombre setting for a major crackdown on fundamental liberties and freedoms in Malaysia – another Operation Lalang?

Has Zainuddin the full authority and prior clearance of the Prime Minister to issue such a contentious and combative statement – especially the assertion that Abdullah never intended to have any “honeymoon period” for press freedom, and by extension, accountability, transparency and good governance, on becoming Prime Minister? If so, why wasn’t this announcement made by Abdullah himself? Is this because Abdullah wants to continue to appear as a “Mr. Nice” in a Jekyl-and-Hide scenario?

Or is Zainuddin’s outburst the first public fissure of contending factions in the Cabinet where the Prime Minister’s writ cannot even extend to his own Ministers, with Ministers openly misinterpreting if not hijacking Abdullah’s wishes and intentions?

Zainuddin also referred to the recent controversy over the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Ethnic Relations guidebook, citing it as the latest example of newspapers of being “unnecessary contentious” and “blowing out of proportion” religious and communal issues.

In making such a comment, is Zainuddin seriously suggesting in a very public manner that the Cabinet, or at least the Prime Minister, had been wrong or misled into ordering a withdrawal of the UPM Ethnic Relations guidebook and a review of the university module?

Although all Cabinet Ministers have openly declared support for the Prime Minister in the escalating “war” between the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah, no one can be sure as to how many Cabinet Ministers will fully back the Prime Minister when the crunch comes – and Zainuddin clearly belong to the list of “doubtfuls”.

Abdullah should immediately clarify the many questions raised by Zainuddin’s “declaration of war” against the media, including:

whether Zainuddin is fully authorized by him to issue such a “declaration”;

whether it presages another Operation Lalang and crackdown on the media specifically and human rights generally;

whether Abdullah’s position has become so weakened by the Mahathir attacks that hardliners in Cabinet and government are having a upper hand to hijack his agenda and even to conduct an open internecine warfare.

The ball is in Abdullah’s court. He should be the one to disabuse Malaysians of the belief that there had been a “honeymoon period” for press freedom when he first became Prime Minister.

Abdullah should also clarify whether he had elevated Zainuddin to be the “czar” of the Malaysia media, delegating to the Information Minister all the powers of the Internal Security Minister with regard to mass media in the country.


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