Oct 23, 2008

Fall Again?


Malaysia fell to its worst ranking ever - dropping by 8 spots to 132 - in the latest worldwide press freedom index by Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) which released recently. The index immediately drew criticism from Malaysian groups, which called on the government to free the press and bloggers.

Last year, Malaysia was placed 124nd. Its ranking puts it almost in the bottom quarter of all the countries surveyed.RSF cited the repeated violations of the free flow of press and the bullies on bloggers as its reason for giving a low rating to countries like Malaysia It explained that the violations included arrests of bloggers and closure or difficulty in accessing news websites in our country. The increase in cases of online censorship is because the government has realized that the Internet can play a key role in the fight for democracy and they are establishing newmethods of censoring it. The government of repressive countries is now targeting bloggers and online journalists as forcefully as journalists in the traditional media.

The fall should be accepted as a wake-up call for the nation and the government. With the nation 51th anniversary of independence, shows how low the country has sunk after half a century in the press freedom. The harassment of web activists and cyber-dissidents - from Raja Petra Kamarudin (malaysiaToday), Sheih (Kickdefella), Namewee (Negaraku rap version video) are reasons why Malaysia performed poorly in the ranking.

The usage of Internal Security Act (ISA) against bloggers and journalists worsen the Malaysia ranking more or less. Suspension of Tamil daily Makkal Osai, ban of the word ‘Allah’ in the The Herald weekly and also ban of several columnists among the factors to the massive drop.

The new ranking of Malaysia worst than most of the African nation and South East Asia nation in press freedom index that released yesterday. Our placing in the RSF press freedom index this year is worse than Timor-Leste (65), Indonesia (111), Thailand (124), and Cambodia (126). One consolation, though, is that we are slightly better than Singapore. For more details, view the chart that I have uploaded in this post.

''More freedom of information will lead to a stronger, transparent press, a more vibrant democracy and a more competitive economy!''-TAN SRI RAMON NAVARATNAM

1 comment:

Satish said...

Probably it's a test to see how low can we go...hehe..nice post man