Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Press freedom and cyber information: a paradox

In the era of globalization, cyber technology plays a vital role in human daily life, to be the medium of communication. Human become more advance day by day with the existing of technology, because it simplify the human activities. With the introduction of BlackBerry, IPhone, tablets such as IPad, and etc. human can send and receive information with just in blink of an eye, without any geographical boundaries, time and cost consuming. Press freedom and cyber information phenomenon has widespread through all the country that imply democracy, people want their thoughts to be heard, express their opinion, but sometimes it can be misleading. However, in Malaysia, the information in the cyber world and the press are bound to the Multimedia and Communication Act (1998) and Printing Presses and Publication Act (1984) respectively. 

Based on my opinion, there is no such thing as freedom when it comes to press and information. Yes, the Malaysian government act stated that “there is nothing in the Act can be construed as permitting the censorship of the Internet (AKM 1998: 3.3)”, but in reality, all the information and press are controlled by other kinds of act such as Internal Security Act (1960), Official Secret Act (1972),  Malaysian Cyber Law and etc. Is this the press and cyber information freedom people are talking about? Think again. We have limited freedom as the reason given by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, we need to restrain our freedom of speech as it may led to touch the sensitivity of the multiracial people in our country. This is the ugly truth about our press freedom and cyber information, but still, Government didn’t have measures to prevent and filtering the information flow in cyber world. Thus, people still can freely apply freedom of speech in the cyber world, they also can upload video, access all the webs, blogging, and the social network site such as Facebook and Twitter creates a new phenomena towards the people. Today, people use this new kind of media to achieve the freedom of speech and cyber information. They can gain access to all webs, spread gossip or rumors to create delinquency and other negative things. Take this for example: 

Profile created by anti-Muslim to criminate our beloved Prophet Muhammad!!

News website condemning the Prime Minister as a snake. 

Is this how we show our respect and thankful to our ex-prime minister??

However, there’s a good thing about press freedom is, it would acts as a check and balance on both individuals and institution – Government, legislature, judiciary, business, civil service, NGO’s and etc. which plays a vital role in building a just and democratic society. It also can prevent corruptions and abuse by being transparent and accountability by reinforce good governance. But, it’s the law of nature, people must have rules and oblige to it in any civilization, they must be restrict in order to control them. The greatest law of all is Allah commandments, which we Muslim have to oblige and bow to it.

To sum up, the press and cyber information freedom was not been fully exercise in Malaysia, because, they are bound to other laws and act. Thus, people must be aware of what they want to say and to publish because if it go across the line you can be prosecute by the legislature body.

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