Thursday, August 16, 2012

Freedom of speech and democratic country

Tuesday's 'Internet Blackout Day' campaign in protest of the new section 114A of the Evidence Act is no doubt quite a success. At least the Prime Minister has instructed his cabinet members to discuss about it because it seems 'the rakyat has said so'.

The stated objective is to demand freedom of speech be upheld. But is it true our right to speak has been stifled? Is Malaysia an authoritarian country as claimed by the detractors? I think not.

It is common nowadays whenever people has something to grouse, they will go straight to the Prime Minister, even if the matter is about water disruption in their area. Why don't they seek solution to the relevant authorities is still a mystery. Sometimes they were held government to ransom and demand this and that. Obviously the current weak government has no choice but to bow down to the demand.

Where can you find a country the civil servants can threaten and forced the government to make a u-turn about new salary scheme that was purely intended to revamp the bloated and inefficient civil servants?

Only in this country, the government education policy can be sabotaged by the stakeholders. The inconsistency of PPSMI is very telling.

Worse is, some government secret and private information can be leaked by the officials.

The corporate deal like share swap can be rescinded due to the strong pressure from workers union.

Genuine foreign investor namely those in rare earths business has been put under Parliament Select Committee's (PSC) scrutiny because of public uproar.

Here, politicians are free to switch camps- jumping from one to another without the law forbids it. Especially if they no longer holds the same view with the party they represented.

Everyday without fail, thousands of posts, status and tweets flooded in cyberspace whacking the government, opposition, celebrity- almost everyone. For everything people do not like, there are always FB page 'Kami benci...' or '1juta rakyat menolak...'.

Yet, we are claiming our freedom to speak is not being upheld.

We may perceive our election is not fair as alleged by certain quarters. Thus we feel that our country is not democratic as others. But looking at election alone is not enough. Democracy is also about freedom to speak. Looking at reasons stated above, it is obvious Malaysian are free to speak albeit is not absolute. Freedom of speech is very much alive and well listened by the government.

Who says Malaysia is undemocratic?

ps: Almost one year since the last time I updated this blog. Hopefully I can be consistent. :)

To all, Selamat Hari Raya. maaf Zahir dan Batin.