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Friday, May 23, 2008

‘Be Orwellian like Singapore’

KUANTAN: Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob briefly became a newscaster during the state assembly sitting here yesterday, reading an article about stringent measures taken by the Singapore Government on a group of political activists who screened a film about Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew without obtaining approval from the media regulator.

The article was carried by a local English daily yesterday and with the paper cutting in his hands, Adnan took several minutes reading it.

It was to drive home the message that by being too lenient and open to media practitioners including bloggers, there could be an influx of articles so much so that readers were inclined to believe falsehoods.

Adnan said that it was good if Malaysia could be strict like Singapore.

“In Malaysia, we just let them be and due to some bloggers, people tend to believe unfounded articles as the truth.

“This is to show that this is what we get when we are too open,” he said.

Adnan, however, noted that a blog had its uses as it could be a platform to explain the government's policies and programmes.

He also spoke in jest that even he had a blog while state Information, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin had none.

Earlier, when replying to a written question from Abdul Rahman Mohamad (BN – Padang Tengku), Mohd Sharkar said he had no intention of setting up a blog because readers whose negative comments were not posted might take the matter into another blog and condemn him or the state government.

The same time an UMNO member calling for more press freedom, this time it's another UMNO member calling for less press freedom!

Don't you just love it?

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