Berita Harian's frontpage headline yesterday reads: "Ghost" blogger banned. No more anonymous blogger?
Afraid? No, just surprised.
Why are we surprised and not afraid?
Is it because when "ghost" blogger or anonymous blogger are banned, it would mean the end of our profession. It will mean us so-called elitist blogger, as some blogger wish to label us as, will not get to collect fee in the million ringgit a year for each blogger.
Hope they reveal the paymaster correctly.
We sure could use few hundred thousand to patch our old leaky air-con vent and put a deposit for a Lambourghini similar to the one bought by a condo dweller near Seri Pacific hotel.
Off course, there will be those claiming we are brave because we are anonymous. But then again, we are not that anonymous. Many people know of us.
Off course, we will never admit in a court of law if we ever need to be present.
In fact, if we are anonymus, why is it someone told us of an attempt to sue us.
Since our lawyer (quite famous and a mamak, mind you how good those lawyers of subcontinent origin are) told us there is nothing to be worried, we ignored any legal threat or summon. Maybe the chap said that to us because we are supposed to be pro bono. Just kidding bro.
If weapons do not get the better of us, there is always gout, asthma, etc waiting.
Our only fear is if we are on the wrong side of the truth.
Off course, it takes somebody to claim to fight for a cause and believe the truth has to be made known without batting an eyelid or flinching their eyeball or hint of uneasiness.
We are not such somebody but not without our own noble causes and passion
It is quite a surprise that such an important statement about banning anonymity is not reported in The Star. The report below:
Thursday June 13, 2013Perhaps, it is reported in the News Straits Times.
PM Najib: Govt won't impose licensing for news portals
By WONG PEK MEI
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will not impose licensing requirements for news portals, as implemented by neighbouring countries, said the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"Instead, to maintain the country's harmony, the federal government will enforce laws already in place to ensure that action is taken against anyone who fans hatred and racial sentiments or belittles the monarchy, and those who try to subvert the parliamentary democracy," he added.
Najib said this in his speech at the presentation ceremony of the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI)-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards 2012 here Wednesday.
He said the people must be mature and ensure social media was not misused.
"We must create an environment where there are principles and values as well as responsibility towards anything published in social media," he said.
He suggested a "positive control" to ensure that there was responsibility and that information published did not go against any laws.
The Singapore government recently announced that online news portals that regularly reported on the city state would be required to procure a licence, effective June 1.
Frankly, we welcome the position taken by the Prime Minister. Self regulation or self discipline is the way to go.
If there are bloggers or social media practitioners and commentators that got out of line, let the existing law takes it's course. We are quite sure the wayward ones will get back in line.
Provide budget to MCMC, police and public attorney to monitor and enforce the law. There is nothing to stop them since MCMC can trace the IPs of all users.
Blogspot.com cooperate to change the blog registration, sign-in and commentator format to insist only real names used for Malaysian?
Can Blogspot.com verify if the names are genuine?
If foreigners used to operating anonymously abroad decide to blog or comment when in Malaysia, are we to refuse them Internet access?
If Blogspot.com refuse to cooperate because anonymity is an accepted practise on the Internet worldwide, will MCMC block out Blogspot.com sites totally?
Before attempting to answer, remember that the Bill of Guarantee of the Multimedia Supercorridor (MSC) guarantees no censorship on the Internet.
Supposed with the smart thinking Ketua Penerangan UMNO, they still get to implement the ruling to use actual names.
To be fair, will it mean that practise of using pseudonym is no more practise in newspaper article, poems, books, etc.
Otherwise it is not fair to the bloggers and social media commentators. It affects the bigger majority of non political users of Blogspot.com.
Blogspot.com refuse to cooperate, will the Government refuse access to Google.com?
This is a bigger matter than Blogspot.com. It is access and also investment.
Google.com has a collaboration in developing a Malay search website. Will it mean the end of that collaboration and investment?
How will the government make Blogspot.com to agree?
Is it by getting Google.com to sign an agreement with the government for those criteria and term of usage in Malaysia to be acceptable? Or get Google.com to move their headquarter from the US to Malaysia, thus make them abide Malaysian cyberlaw and practise?
One thing for sure is that combating anonymity for non political use will only anger the public towards government. Political news and discourse is only 10% (just a guess) of the purpose to use the Internet.
We have the strange feeling that someone must have written a report based on a circulated text that was not used by the PM in his speech.
It is supposed to not happen because any prior circulated text would request that they be check against the delivered speech.
Should the remark be true, it will be a case of some adviser or speech writer that do not understand the subject they advise or wrote.
If the government wants to address the excesses on the Internet by the opposition, other than using the process of law enforcement, they should understand how the opposition cyber propaganda works or they will be made a laughing stock.
Keep in simple and effective. But then again, PM will not impose a licensing requirement on news portal.
Let's leave it at that cause we can't give away any advice for cheap. We have to be true to the allegation that Rocky's gang got millions and millions and millions.
The alleged amount seemed to be in the multiple of 45 times to the acknowledged million received to certain state outfit. Read it somewhere in one of the eastern blog.
With so much hype over Red Bean Army, we hope we will not be doing trend following like the rush to create bloggers after the 2008 general election.
These days every other person want to start their own such army.
Some are individual initiative. Some are UMNO initiated units. Some are component party units. Some are coalition unit. Some are agency units and that sounds like agent in 007 movie. Some are Ministry level units.
It is laughable if we are to reveal of a Ministry that intend to hold a forum on Red Bean Army. We'll give a hint. Their scope of work is related to areas with limited Internet access.
It really does not need a forum if politicians understand effective communication and know when to shut up and let professional civil servants and corporate men carry out their work.
Before the regiment or batalion is formed, they are already talking about an army like the Allied forces. But, do they know what cyberwarfare is about.
There is such task as understanding the terrain and opponent of such war. Prior to winning a war, one has to be capable at winning battle. The soldiers and the ranks have to be trained, capable and have some sense of strategy.
No time for theoretical first timer to act as General. They must be players themselves in order to be respected by the troops.
And not General who tells the President that our blogs are highly ranked, dissemination is very successful and controlled 8 out of the 10 hot issues effectively, but yet say we lost out due to Red Bean Army. What a bummer!!!
It should be someone who not only understand but had experience in both mainstream and non mainstream media. Smoke created by burning dry twigs has been used before as media although these days it will be more related to technology.
There is also the matter of information and propaganda with it's different objective, time span effectiveness and characteristics.
If proper strategy formulation is done, they should realise that they do not need too much infantry. Unless, someone has other reasons.
Wink wink ... boy, that million could sure get us that dream house with indoor swimming pool, Merc and big bike.