From The Gathering Storm Blog

“The government has lost its patience with bloggers who break the law” said a Minister in the Prime Minister’s office of Kuala Lumpur.

And what law did the bloggers break? Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the government would be taking legal action against bloggers who flagrantly belittled Islam or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He told the Dewan Negara yesterday that three laws could be used against the bloggers: The Internal Security Act (ISA), Sedition Act and Section 121b of the Penal Code. Section 121b deals with offences against the authority of the king, ruler or Yang DiPertua Negeri and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Speaking at the Malaysian Press Institute Press Awards Night here yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government was deeply troubled by the growth of “irresponsible” alternative media.

In the name of freedom, these websites allow the broadcast of slander, lies and swearing, the use of harsh, degrading language and racial slurs without regard for the reader or those concerned,” he said.

In the name of freedom. Get that?

“Even though the government has been tolerant of anti-government positions and criticisms on the Internet, we are very concerned about statements that insult religion and reek of racism.”

Ah yes. He must have picked up that argument from our loyal Lefties quick to play the race card.

Najib said webmasters and web journalists were not exempted from the laws of the country and the government was duty-bound to protect the peace. “We will not permit any party to disturb the nation’s harmony and cause unease among the community,” he said.

Sure. Make freedom of speech illegal and you’ll have peace.

Nazri said the government was looking at formulating new laws allowing it to monitor and act against offending bloggers. He said the proposed legislation was not intended to strangle the freedom of the Internet.

Oh! Really!

“This is to put a stop to the freedom to lie in the blogosphere.

It’s OK if the government lies. Excuse me while I gag.

So what’s got Mr. Aziz’s panties all in a bunch? Was it a call to anarchy by bloggers? Or perhaps a plan to over through the government posted in detail on a blogger’s site? Nope.

Senators used the opportunity to criticise bloggers against the backdrop of a police report lodged on Monday at the Dang Wangi police station by Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib against the Malaysia Today website for insulting the king and Islam.

Nazri told senators that writings describing Islam as “a big lie fabricated by Arabs who had put a huge rock (the Kaabah) in the middle of the desert were not only ill-mannered but could provoke anger among Muslims”.

Oh those poor oppressed Muslims – even in Kuala Lumpur. Opinions freely stated can not be tolerated by upstanding Muslims. Riots anyone?

He said the hatred perpetuated by bloggers was spread further by those who read them.

Correct – and so is the truth. That’s the power of blogs.

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