Malaysia, Politics, and Bloggers
April 6, 2007 3:31 PM   Subscribe

An Indonesian TV crew was invited to Malaysia for their Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign but encountered many problems. They write up about it - and start a flurry of comments and controversy across the Malaysian government about blogging. [more inside]
posted by divabat (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Tourism Minister claims that all bloggers are liars and cheats; Malaysian bloggers go "WTF?". He then retracts his statement, referring specifically to the Indonesian TV host.

The controversy doesn't stop there though. The press is told not to trust blogs, debate ensures in parliament over ethics vs laws in blogging, bloggers are told that they're bound to the same laws as journalists and print writers while some have called for laws governing bloggers specifically.

Now the Malaysian government is mulling over registering Malaysian-hosted blogs, though they claim that they're not out to censor anyone. Bloggers are irate and find this a waste of time, while a group of bloggers have formed an alliance to protect blogging rights in Malaysia.
posted by divabat at 3:31 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Strange that the government would institute a crackdown over something so minor. That's the problem with censorship societies, even the slightest crack causes havoc.
posted by delmoi at 3:48 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Well, at least they aren't going to jail.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:56 PM on April 6, 2007

That's more yellow than a smile by Keith Richards.
posted by Dizzy at 4:04 PM on April 6, 2007

1) Invite journalists to festival opening.
2) Tightly restrict journalist filming.
3) Wait for inevitable criticism from journalists.
4) Make outrageous comments regarding all bloggers, and women.
5) Wait for media shitstorm over comments.
6) Retract comments except for those that were made by particular journalist.
7) Draw international attention to festival.

This guy's a PR genius.
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:13 PM on April 6, 2007

miss lynnster: Not yet, though they have been sued for "defamation".
posted by divabat at 4:14 PM on April 6, 2007

kisch mokusch: that could have worked, except now everyone's forgotten about the festival/VMY2007 and are too busy with this blogging frenzy.
posted by divabat at 4:16 PM on April 6, 2007

Registering each and every Malaysian blog? Impossible. And even if it was, I'm sure the ever-resourceful Malaysians would find a way to work around it, the same way some manage to work around registering their prepaid phones.

There were two girls who managed to blog the inside story of National Service, but no new ones recently. Government caging up the National Service teenagers nowadays, is it?

And then there's been plenty of toss-ups between the government and Jeff Ooi etc., oh my. A little paranoid, are we, Malaysia?
posted by Xere at 4:16 PM on April 6, 2007

This guy's a PR genius.

Funny how sometimes one can't tell an PR genius from a flipflopping asshole ! I wonder what the difference could be...
posted by elpapacito at 4:24 PM on April 6, 2007

The assholes drive Hummers.
posted by Dizzy at 4:31 PM on April 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

The Chinese-language newspaper Sin Chew Jit Poh quoted Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor as saying last week: "All bloggers are liars. They cheat people using all kinds of methods ... From my understanding, out of 10,000 unemployed bloggers, 8,000 are women." (article from AsiaMedia @ UCLA)

My God, this stuff is fascinating. It's like watching a train wreck, I just can't stop. It's even better than that one time when some random official decided to announce at a womens' forum (of all times and places!), "If you cannot fight rape, better lie down and enjoy it."

It also comes close to that one time the MCA Youth started throwing chairs at each other during their annual general assembly. Fun times. Makes me wonder why I ever left the country.
posted by Xere at 4:35 PM on April 6, 2007

Silly question, but why on Earth is it forbidden to shoot in Malaysia without a "permit"?
posted by LordSludge at 4:49 PM on April 6, 2007

Same reason you need permits to shoot in America, I'd suppose. All governments regulate that stuff. Pretty much every show or movie has had problems with a location permit here & there.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:51 PM on April 6, 2007

The council originally met in a closed-door conference last week and approved the shoot planned for later this month, following routine approvals from Bloomfield's traffic department.

But after pressure from McCarthy and Italian-American organizations, the council flipped and refused to allow the show to be filmed just one week later during its bi-weekly meeting.

Somebody made them an offer they couldn't refuse :) No really, as an italian my guess would be some people with power wants to get some 'candy' or 'deal' or... else ; ironically, it pretty much "proves" that the city is the perfect place to film a mobster could just hire locals ! To make it almost perfect, the local is called McCarthy...can't get much more mafia than this.
posted by elpapacito at 3:43 AM on April 7, 2007

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