UMNO Info Chief did a police report against Malaysia Today

Yesterday was a bit of a pandemonium, here in Bloggosphere. I received so many messages asking about Malaysia‘s editor, YM Raja Petra Kamarudin being arrested. Apparently, the story about the arrest is not true. What actually happened was the UMNO Information Chief, former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib made a police report on Malaysia Today’s article first published on 11 July 2007, deemed to have some highly inappropriate and insulting comments posted by readers against HM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong and Islam and they are deemed seditious. The report was made against Raja Petra because he is the editor of the political portal.

It was a very hot story. It was news in NST and Utusan this morning. It also appeared as an item in Bulletin Utama, TV3 last night. The rumour about Raja Petra being arrested drew so many concerned and curious internet users alike, cramping onto Malaysia Today, until it jammed. Over 3 million hits were recorded and additional temporary capacity was needed to cater for the upsurge.

In retaliation, Raja Petra posted this article in Malaysia Today. It kind of reflect Raja Petra’s anger to the police report made against him, especially by someone like Tan Sri Muhammad. Tan Sri Muhammad, who was caught with millions in various country bills leaving Australia almost ten years ago turned a lot heads when he was acquitted by a Brisbane court for admitting in court his understanding of English was very poor.

Raja Petra is not new against internet political writing and being detained by the Police for that. He was arrested by the Police at least twice and once in 2001, he spent 60 days being detained under ISA.

The main issue in this case most probably the authorities will hold the editor or moderator of a website or blog for the comments posted by the readers. Raja Petra, like many other moderators, prefer not to moderate his website for the principle of “Freedom of Expression”. It is shown here that the readers abused the openness that Malaysia Today has to offer and totally unrestrained comments might get the moderators into trouble.

This is not the first time it happened. Apparently notable blogger Jeff Ooi also got into trouble once because of the comments posted in his blog.

So the issue here is that serious bloggers like Raja Petra and Jeff Ooi usually know what is the very fine line and parameter that separate from ‘acceptable’ and ‘inappropriate’ but readers and commenters don’t. Some are very reckless. In the zest of putting their thoughts and emotions, often they cross this near invisible line and thread into what is abstractly insensitive. Then again, in other blog, moderators purposely and irresponsibly allowed slanderous lies and defamatory remarks against leaders and even HRH Malay Rulers be posted and continuously linger for public consumption, like in the case of Susan Loone.

Its up to the readers now. Do they want the freedom for information or they simply what to thrash out their emotions and untrained thoughts. Like other public apparatus meant to be consumed by many, if some incorrigibly refuse to restrain and observe maturity and appropriateness, then maybe the facility might be withdrawn for all the wrong reasons for the rest.

Like they say in Malay, “Tepuk dada, tanya selera“.

*Updated as of Tuesday, 25 July 2007. Malaysia Today Editor YM Raja Petra Kamarudin was asked to go to Dang Wangi IPD, for his statements being recorded at 11.00 am. After a long interview, he walked out of the Police HQ at 7.10pm. The Star has the story.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz said this and this in the Parliament yesterday, in response to the issues raised in Dewan Negara pertaining to the police report made against Malaysia Today.

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Photos were obtained from Jinggo’s posting Forum

Published in: on July 24, 2007 at 11:30  Comments (8)