Bumiputera Malaysia

Bumiputera Malaysia

By a Malaysian for his country

Friday, November 03, 2006

Where do you want to hide, Pak Lah?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi needs to divert the attention of the country when his former boss Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad continues his "doses of venom" attacks on his 3-year-old administration.

Latest, the Malaysian premier capitalised on the country's improved ranking of press freedom index, released by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders' 2006 Worldwide Press Freedom Index. The report said that Malaysia jumped from the 113th spot last year to 92nd rank this year.

However, Malaysian reporters are questioning the report, as the following events in 2006 clearly show that "a climate of fear has enveloped in this country", as claimed by Dr. Mahathir:
a) Political interference in China Press for inaccurate reporting
b) Non-renewal of Suara Keadilan's publishing permit
c) Suspension of Sarawak Tribune & Berita Petang
d) 2-week suspension of Guang Ming daily
e) Political threats against the New Straits Times & TV2 over images related to Danish cartoon
f) Closure of Chinese talk programme on Ai FM radio station
g) Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin and Deputy Prime Minister Najib warned the media about reporting "sensitive" issues
h) Prime Minister Abdullah banned all public inter-faith forums and discussions
i) Malaysiakini reporters are barred from covering the UMNO annual general assemblies

Press freedom in Malaysia is effectively curbed through the use of legislation that gives the politicians absolute powers to take action against dissenting voices. These laws include the Printing Presses and Publications Act, Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act and of course, the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The Prime Minister is trying to show that his way of ruling the country is right and that he is indeed in control but, to where does Pak Lah will have to hide next time?