Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scare, Threaten, Oppress, Scare Again... Repeat Cycle (2)

If the "untouchables" can be caught, then the touchables are certainly dead meat.

There is a close relationship between the government and newspapers. Instead of a fruitful relationship, it has now turned into something akin a master and his dog. The dog disobeys the master's orders, he smacks the dog. Now that the dog is angry and has bitten his master, he beats the dog to its death. This kind of abuse (metaphorical or not) is unacceptable, but then if the master was hauled off to court, he would've been slapped with a RM200 fine. This goes to show how much our laws need to be rehauled.

Back to topic, it is a bit hard to swallow the fact that the government had just crippled one of its own fingers to teach the MIC-owned newspaper a lesson. Despite any contempt for the mainstream media, let's not forget that 100 families will lose their major source of income, advertisers will have one less avenue to turn to, printing presses will have one less customer, newspaper vendors will be earning less and so on. I suppose the government can afford to close down a small newspaper with a circulation of 52,000 or so but if they target larger English and Chinese dailies that exceeds a daily readership of 300,000, they might as well commit economic suicide.

Both Edmund Bon from the Malaysian Bar Council and Singapore Democratic Party head Dr. Chee Soon Juan have cited the existence of just and unjust laws. Dr. Chee says that unjust laws "are put in place to prop up the ruling party" and Bon says that "the unjust law deserves to be broken". Although Malaysia and Singapore have two different political situations, the same concept is still there. To the government, stop shooting yourselves in the foot and start abolishing unjust laws! If they don't do it soon, perhaps Anwar might help them do so.

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