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Malaysian Blogger On Trial For Sedition

ScuttleMonkey posted about 6 years ago | from the because-creating-martyrs-is-good-for-civil-obedience dept.

The Media 183

neonsignal writes "Raja Petra Kamarudin, a Malaysian blogger, is in court under the Internal Security Act, under which he can be detained indefinitely. He is well known for his commentary on the Malaysian government, and was arrested after a piece on the murder of a Mongolian woman, who was allegedly killed by two policeman and an associate of the deputy prime minister."

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well (1)

chibiace (898665) | about 6 years ago | (#25278541)

at least he is not charged with sodomy like that other dude.

Fuck "sedition" (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#25278561)

Man, it's about time that countries which value free speech got rid of sedition laws.. so as to send a clear message to countries that don't. What constitutes "sedition" is so vague, anyway, that the laws should be struck on just that basis.

Re:Fuck "sedition" (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 years ago | (#25278659)

Man, it's about time that countries which value free speech got rid of sedition laws.

Agreed.

What constitutes "sedition" is so vague, anyway, that the laws should be struck on just that basis.

Don't worry, we'll keep refining the meaning over time until its crystal clear. ;)

http://www.issuepedia.org/Night_Watch [issuepedia.org]

The horrid acting and overall cheesiness in Babylon 5 becomes less noticeable the more you watch.

True the first time through. It suffers badly on repeat viewings though.

Re:Fuck "sedition" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25278755)

Why? Only those who hate freedom would ever speak seditious thoughts. And why do you want to protect them anyways?

Re:Fuck "sedition" (3, Informative)

slughead (592713) | about 6 years ago | (#25279659)

We've had one [wikipedia.org] since 1940. Thank you, FDR!

Re:Fuck "sedition" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25281199)

(I blame ajax and my mouse for mismodding your post as funny instead of informative)

Re:Fuck "sedition" (1)

mqduck (232646) | about 6 years ago | (#25279779)

Man, it's about time that countries which value free speech got rid of sedition laws

Okay, but what about Malaysia?

Re:Fuck "sedition" (2, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280125)

I think you posted in haste in an attempt to get your comment in quickly? This is MALAYSIA and this is NOT an area known for freedom of speech as near as I can tell.

Re:Fuck "sedition" (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#25280165)

I think you're unable to follow a basic argument or you're unaware that western countries also have sedition laws.

But hey, don't let that get in the way of your assumption that everyone is an idiot except you.

Re:Fuck "sedition" (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280497)

Uh huh... Because that makes sense to you? Read what you wrote, what I responded to, and what the context was. You *might* try to save some face by attempting to change your stance after posting or to "elaborate" but no... You wanted to post quickly, get the karma points, and maybe grab a fan or two. I don't mind, if that means something to you, but I'll call it when I see it.

Re:Fuck "sedition" (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#25280601)

Everyone else understood it, including the other people who responded.

Get a clue.

Re:Fuck "sedition" (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280669)

I'll watch the moderation for a moment and have faith in the /. system but, no... I don't think *we* got it. It isn't that I don't like you it is that you appear to be making a claim without, you know, actually doing a lot more than being unhappy about being called on it.

I'll let you know my opinion on the matter but I doubt you'll care. So...

I think it is high time we stop trying to think our values apply to all people and allow them the freedoms required to run their own country. I don't know your values but if you want to point out "American Democracy" (and I am American) as a solution than look and see what happens. If you want to point out the "free market" then cite some evidence other than theory. If you want to point out how a theocracy of any type is bad then do so.

To blindly recommend striping a law off the books for all countries (or the likes) when the applicable country has an entirely different method of government and citing that as a reference point is purely illogical and, I may be mistaken here, the only reason I can think of for someone doing so was so that they could get their post in early and see whatever benefits they felt.

We *have* sedition laws (in THIS particular government style) to curtail specific behaviors. Can those laws be expanded to really screw us? Of course. That doesn't mean that they are bad. It also doesn't mean that CIVIL behavoirs to thwart something you feel is wrong is not okay either in these countries.

Maybe you're incapable of seeing the difference? I don't really know. Either way this is a system of government and a way of thinking for a culture that is not the same as we have here in the west. They don't equate. I tried being basic and hoping you understood but I failed it seems though it appears that other people caught the falicy and that's okay with me.

Re:Fuck "sedition" (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 6 years ago | (#25280641)

no you retard, this is an asian country, western laws have nothing to do with it.

trial shmial (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25278589)

At least he gets a trial. A USian would just wind up in gitmo.

Re:trial shmial (2, Funny)

chibiace (898665) | about 6 years ago | (#25278627)

i certainly wouldnt want to be stuck with elmo.

Re:trial shmial (3, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 6 years ago | (#25278645)

Yeah, but I'd rather be in gitmo then a Malaysian prison, or worse its neighbour, a Thai prison. In a Thai prison the guards will give you a chance to run for freedom and get shot rather then spend your sentence there eating cockroaches for nutrition (no I am not exaggerating).

Re:trial shmial (2, Funny)

TinFoilMan (1371973) | about 6 years ago | (#25278781)

Yeah, but have you seen those thai cockroaches, they'd feed a family of 8 for a week.

If a Thai monkey doesn't move for 60 seconds, the cockroaches think it's fair game and they'll carry it off.

Re:trial shmial (1)

Maxmin (921568) | about 6 years ago | (#25280285)

I'd rather be in gitmo...

Oh really? [youtube.com]

Re:trial shmial (1)

fishbowl (7759) | about 6 years ago | (#25278805)

>A USian would just wind up in gitmo.

Cite please? Just a single case of a US Citizen being incarcerated there will do.

Re:trial shmial (1)

owlnation (858981) | about 6 years ago | (#25278867)

Cite please? Just a single case of a US Citizen being incarcerated there will do.

There are other ways... being audited for example, no fly lists. There's plenty of ways to remove your freedom -- seemingly legally.

Re:trial shmial (1)

KillerBob (217953) | about 6 years ago | (#25278955)

Would a Canadian do?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr [wikipedia.org]

I'm not saying he's specifically innocent. I don't know enough about his case to say one way or another. But we have an extradition treaty with the US, and have requested his repatriation through official channels. So how come he's still at Gitmo?

Re:trial shmial (1)

fishbowl (7759) | about 6 years ago | (#25279015)

Canada doesn't want him back badly enough to take a few navy ships down there and liberate him? That'd be my guess.

Re:trial shmial (2)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280137)

Canada... My how I do truly love Canada. I even go there often as it is quite literally a short drive from me.

However... Canada has a smaller navy than many landlocked countries.

Canada hasn't got the balls to stand up against America (which is where I live and I wish they would).

Re:trial shmial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279131)

Keep him!

Re:trial shmial (1)

n dot l (1099033) | about 6 years ago | (#25279359)

But we have an extradition treaty with the US, and have requested his repatriation through official channels. So how come he's still at Gitmo?

Because Canada's wishes are irrelevant?

Re:trial shmial (2, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | about 6 years ago | (#25279535)

He's lucky he survived having two 500 pound bombs dropped on the house he was in. He WAS involved with the militants who attacked and killed two Afghan fighters and then opened fire on the US troops outside.

Also I don't think you understand what extradition means. You ask for extradition when you want to try someone in your own country. Canada doesn't want to put him on trial. They want to repatriate him whatever that means.

When in Malaysia.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25278613)

.. I read in the local English news paper about the "victory" of a muslim group that stopped the government changing a women's ID card which had her religion as Muslim.

Since she converted to Christianity she wanted her ID card changed. Yeah, that was big news at the time and gives on an insight into how backwards the place can be.

I say backwards not because it's about religion, but because I can't believe these strangers that don't know her have nothing better to do then demand the government not give her a new ID if she wants one because "if you're Muslim, you're always Muslim"

Posting Anon - I might still need to go back some day.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25278763)

I guess that makes me another anonymous coward. I'm in the same boat as yourself as I don't want any of my family to 'suffer' for speaking out freely.

But until the attitudes of many of those in power changes, it doesn't matter if the sedition law is removed. They'll still jail or murder opposition but without the justification of the 'law'.

Have we all forgotten the dark events of May 13th [wikipedia.org] ? There are still people who have been arrested on that day who are still 'missing' today.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279225)

First sign of a problem was that her faith was on a government card at all.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (2, Insightful)

SupremoMan (912191) | about 6 years ago | (#25279877)

I say backwards because the ID designates your religion....

Re:When in Malaysia.. (5, Informative)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | about 6 years ago | (#25280001)

O.k. I'm a Malaysian (Malay) and I consider myself to be quite progressive in my views. Yet, what the rest of the world does not realise is that Malaysia is sitting on a highly unstable racial powder keg. It's like a bad Tolkien-knockoff fantasy kingdom. We have the Malays who are something like the Hobbits in temperament, the Chinese who are like Dwarfs and the Indians who are just unpredictable. The Malays rule the country, the Chinese controls the economy and the Indians corner the legal and medical professions. It has been like this since the British dramatically changed the demographic from almost all Malay to something like 65% Malay, 26% Chinese, Indian 8% in less than 100 years. It didn't help that the British used divide and conquer to keep everyone in check, by assigning roles to each race. The end result is that each race wants to keep their identity, religion and language intact. Keep this in mind when you read anything about Malaysia. Malays by history and by law, are Muslims and it is firmly tied to our identity. This is why there is such a big hue and cry over the case that the AC mentioned as it is perceived more as a slap to the racial identity, than just to the religion. To Malaysian's credit, we managed to live together for 50 years, barring several flare ups. We did this by very carefully tip-toeing around controversial issues and making deals and compromises between the major races. Undeniably, this means that many issues have been swept under the rug but progress has been made. Unfortunately, many people, like the blogger mentioned (who is a Malay) are impatient and want change NOW, without realising the inherent instability of the country. My view is that change, towards a more liberal political and social environment is inevitable as the country matures but we must do it slowly and with deliberation.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 years ago | (#25280257)

The catch with that is change does not occur unless, instability forces it. A minority of people speaking out who a willing to accept the risks of doing so are the ones who force positive change. The only other change that occurs, is negative change, the ones who wish to maintain a facade of traditional values, of religious observance, while they corruptly loot the country to sate their own greed and lusts. That is the reality and the religious crap is just that 'crap' a diversion to keep the poor general populace focused on other issues, rather than their livings conditions versus the living conditions of the rich and greedy or that the legal system is distorted to provide one set of laws to protect the elite and another set of laws to persecute the rest.

Change can happen very fast, it is naturally always disruptive, that is the nature of change and it is most destructive when it is blocked from happening and comes as a dam bursting. Do you know when this happens, it happens when the corrupt leaders at the top are focussed on keeping everything they have stolen and will do anything to keep the corrupt system going as it is, with nothing but platitudes of offer for the rest of the population.

Any government with sedition laws sucks, there is no excuse, they are full of it and those leaders should be treated with contempt by every one who values freedom and democracy. Slavery was a cultural thing for centuries in a lot of countries, north, south, east and west and today very thought of sickens and infuriates most reasonable people, so culture is just a weak excuse not a valid reason, neither is racism ie. they are all citizens of Malaysia so it is Malays who rule the country, Malays who control the economy and Malays who prosper in the legal and medical profession, if you see it any other way, recognise yourself, you are racist and a bigot.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25280865)

Stop being an apologist for a repressive regime. It is people like you that ensure the dictators stay in power.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25281337)

As you sit back and enjoy your preferential ASN government bonds (mostly open for Malay or Bumi purchase only) and 7% discounts for all housing preferential university placing, and a raft of other racial benefits, please reflect that our competitiveness is shot, nobody want to invest or list in a country that requires you to give 30% of shares to Malay cronies at a steep discounts, nobody want to set up factories here when they got better places like Vietnam and China that do not have such policies.

You might have breezed through the last 20 years because other countries are more fuxked economically and Petronas is pumping all the oil you can splurge and waste on mega-projects, but things are not quite the same anymore. Reflect also on whether 30 years of preferential treatment have made your race better, more competitive, or have just enriched the select few select cronies, or reflect if racial tensions have really been reduced by these policies, or have just merely kept it from bubbling beneath out of view?

So I suggest, wake up and smell the roses. Sorry, but the option to take your own sweet time to change is a luxury your country and your race can ill afford.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25280435)

I say backwards not because it's about religion, but because I can't believe these strangers that don't know her have nothing better to do then demand the government not give her a new ID if she wants one because "if you're Muslim, you're always Muslim"

On the contrary, it is entirely about religion. In Islam, it is a capital offense to leave Islam. And in many Muslim countries (and even some non-Muslim countries), former Muslims get executed for that.

On the other hand, leaving Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, Anglicanism or Lutheranism doesn't result in a death sentence. Isn't that odd?

Islam is still stuck in 7th century barbarism. It needs to go through a renaissance. The problem is that Muslim theology says that is impossible, since Islam as revealed by Mohamed is considered to be perfect, infallible and therefore unchangeable.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (4, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 years ago | (#25281571)

7th-century barbarism? Try 17th - as late as the 1690s, people in some European countries were still liable to be executed, not only for leaving Christianity, but for switching to the wrong sort of Christianity.

This in no wise excuses what is done to people in some Muslim countries today should they try to renounce Islam; I'm merely pointing out that it's not been so long since such treatment was commonplace in the West as well.

Re:When in Malaysia.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25281619)

7th-century barbarism? Try 17th - as late as the 1690s, people in some European countries were still liable to be executed, not only for leaving Christianity, but for switching to the wrong sort of Christianity.

Yes, and they have evolved far beyond that. You know, elections, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of thought.

Today, how many religions execute people who leave? I can only think of one.

Works for me (4, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | about 6 years ago | (#25278619)

While I can't speak to the specifics of this particular government, or this particular implementation of the policy, I don't see any reason why sedition on a blog should be treated any differently from sedition on a streetcorner or a radio program or a billboard or a secret revolutionary committee meeting (for some definition of "sedition"; and obviously your mileage will vary based on local customs, values, and priorities).

Re:Works for me (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#25278663)

I don't see any reason why sedition on a blog should be treated any differently from sedition on a streetcorner or a radio program or a billboard or a secret revolutionary committee meeting

I agree. If a society can't survive dissent it shouldn't survive. None of these should be suppressed.

Re:Works for me (1, Interesting)

susano_otter (123650) | about 6 years ago | (#25278779)

Dissent and sedition are two separate things.

Sedition aims to disrupt the public peace. Most societies, I imagine are quite capable of surviving disruption of the public peace, but that doesn't mean all--or even any--such disruptions should be permitted.

But of course the specifics will vary from society to society. What may be good-naturedly tolerated as peaceful dissent in one society may be quite rightly suppressed as an unacceptable threat to the public peace in another society.

And of course none of this (while covered quite clearly in my original post) has anything at all to do with my point.

Re:Works for me (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 6 years ago | (#25278843)

Free speech is meaningless unless speech is completely, universally free.

There should be absolutely zero restrictions on what can be said.

Re:Works for me (2, Interesting)

susano_otter (123650) | about 6 years ago | (#25279029)

I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm inciting your neighbors to riot, or urging them to lynch you, or advocating election fraud.

Re:Works for me (1)

eosp (885380) | about 6 years ago | (#25279811)

Sometimes letting the idiots speak is much more effective at achieving your goals than banning their speech. For example, Westboro Baptist Church.

Re:Works for me (4, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 6 years ago | (#25279925)

Bah, I've had this argument before. Telling people to riot should be perfectly legal. If they actually riot, the charges should be incitement to riot. If they don't riot, there should be no charges at all.

Free Speech means you can say whatever you want. It doesn't mean that there is no accountability for what your speech causes. If the speech causes something illegal to happen, then the illegal activity is the problem, not the speech.

Re:Works for me (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | about 6 years ago | (#25279075)

So I can say that you're available on the 'ave by the nickname '3 buck chuck'? Think on what you say.

Re:Works for me (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280199)

In *your* society perhaps. When are you going to accept that freedom is not what you think it means but rather allowing other cultures to have their disparate values/morals/ethics and to make their own choices as to how they will retain their civilization and culture? Your statement rings eerily like the idea that we're at war in Iraq for democracy - forcing our views on other people.

Re:Works for me (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 6 years ago | (#25278895)

"If a society can't survive dissent it shouldn't survive?"

Such a statement is either flamebait or idiocy. The person who wrote it must not be able to conceive of the great pain and suffering that social disorder can bring. A society should not be scrapped just because it does not realize the author's ideal of social justice.

A stable, imperfect, society can always be replaced by something much worse. The social fabric, once torn, can be very hard to re-weave.

Re:Works for me (1)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25278817)

I don't see any reason why sedition on a blog should be treated any differently from sedition on a streetcorner or a radio program or a billboard or a secret revolutionary committee meeting

The streisand effect comes to mind. Even if you're okay with censorship, doing it on the internet is stupid. You can arrest someone on the street corner and silence them. If you arrest someone for a post on a blog, you're only going to get more people to read that post.

Granted, it would be more effective in the long run for the fascist to jail the blogger, but it's less effective if there's a particular post you want buried. Like if you are a dictator or prime minister wanting to, say, keep quiet the fact that a friend of yours and some of your police murdered someone, arresting the blogger is stupid, since the blog is then probably going to get posted to a website for nerds and distributed around the world, increasing the number of people who know.

Re:Works for me (1)

susano_otter (123650) | about 6 years ago | (#25279001)

Actually, the propaganda side-effects of martyrdom were well understood and commonly experienced long before the Internet came around. Blogs are a different form of communication, sure, but they're not magical. They may change the values of some of the variables of the propaganda equation, but they don't actually replace the propaganda equation itself.

Re:Works for me (1)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25279215)

Blogs are a different form of communication, sure, but they're not magical.

What about blogs about magic then, smart guy!?!

Anyway, you're right about martyrdom, good point. And even without the internet, this was a well publicized event that wasn't quiet, the news in Malasia was reporting this apperantly.

Hmm.. Sedition (3, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#25278641)

Have the plebes learned? One doesnt mess with those authority types, especially when they revel in power?

Happens here in the USA, happens in UK, happens in Germany, happens in Australia, and damn near everywhere else where there is power at a few people and the will to keep it.

Malaysia is NO different in that regard. We just cover it up a bit better.

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (4, Insightful)

TorKlingberg (599697) | about 6 years ago | (#25278727)

As much as I hate the erosion of civil rights in the west, I don't see bloggers getting arrested for sedetion. Or are you saying they are secretly arrested and replaced by CIA men, so nobody notice they are gone?

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 6 years ago | (#25278923)

First they came for the communists...

Talk to the many muslim leaders in the US whom have been arrested for preaching hatred towards western civilization.

BTW, the bloggers are mentioned in the 5th stanza.

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (1)

naturjunge (1279888) | about 6 years ago | (#25279115)

I'm sorry but sedition != preaching hatred.

"The leaders of this country are corrupt and you should examine their actions and motivations" != "The leaders of this country are the spawn of the devil and it is your duty to kill them".

I suppose the gray area is something like "The leaders of this country are corrupt and you should get rid of them".

Is this a call for violence or a rallying call to become involved in the electoral process. Of course getting involved in the electoral process itself has been cause for imprisonment in Malaysia.

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279199)

Talk to the many muslim leaders in the US whom have been arrested for preaching hatred towards western civilization.

Name one.

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (3, Interesting)

SpecBear (769433) | about 6 years ago | (#25279263)

Can you provide any examples of Muslim leaders who have been arrested in the US for preaching hatred?

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (1)

owlnation (858981) | about 6 years ago | (#25279133)

As much as I hate the erosion of civil rights in the west, I don't see bloggers getting arrested for sedetion. Or are you saying they are secretly arrested and replaced by CIA men, so nobody notice they are gone?

No need to replace anyone. People give up on blogs in their hundreds ever single day. How would you know? It would only be a blogger that could tell you. Or do you think CNN or Fox News or any mainstream news outlet will? How would you know?

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (5, Insightful)

n dot l (1099033) | about 6 years ago | (#25279227)

Don't you watch the news? There is no sedition in Western nations. There are only consumers, harmless foil-clad lunatics, criminals, and a few terrorists.

But yeah, cynical statements aside, there's less control here because the government simply doesn't fear us. Honestly, I could wear my fingers to the bone blogging about $700B bailouts, Iraq, Guantanamo, torture, the politicization of the DoJ, the Valerie Plame thing, etc, and nothing would happen to me because honestly my voice is worthless when it comes to these topics. People have seen it on the news so many times that the reaction is just, "Meh, shit happens." and nothing changes. Random words on the internet won't start riots, strikes, or boycotts, nor do they change anyone's vote in a meaningful way (how could they? elections are a popularity contest) - so why bother censoring?

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (5, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | about 6 years ago | (#25279333)

there's less control here because the government simply doesn't fear us.

Mod parent insightful.

Yes. That's the thing. Hiding in plain sight. The truth is in fact out there, plain as day. But no-one cares. The fact that the media is for the most part complicit or even controlling much of what happens in the West notwithstanding.

This is the mistake of Malaysia and China and the old soviet states. Don't throw people in prison for speaking out, just make sure that reality tv and celebrities behaving badly is much bigger news. That way you can do anything you like. Anything at all.

Bread and circuses. It's astonishing that it's taken modern Governments so long to figure this out, the Romans nailed it 2000 years ago.

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 years ago | (#25280091)

Honestly, I could wear my fingers to the bone blogging about $700B bailouts, Iraq, Guantanamo, torture, the politicization of the DoJ, the Valerie Plame thing, etc, and nothing would happen to me because honestly my voice is worthless when it comes to these topics.

Yes, whining like a kicked puppy is surprisingly uninteresting or useful.

I call bullshit. (4, Insightful)

nobodyman (90587) | about 6 years ago | (#25278863)

Really? Happens all the time? Interesting. Then I suppose you can cite one instance in the USA, UK, Germany, or Australia where a citizen has been incarcerated for a minimum of two years without trial for a blog post that is critical of the government. Go ahead and include some links under my post. Take your time. I'll wait.

Your post is offensive on multiple levels: It minimizes Kamarudin's plight ("well what else should you expect when you criticize the government?"), but it also makes the claim that *every* other nation has just as bad a civil rights record. I can tell that you've never spent much time in Malaysia.

Re:I call bullshit. (2, Informative)

owlnation (858981) | about 6 years ago | (#25278933)

Then I suppose you can cite one instance in the USA, UK, Germany, or Australia where a citizen has been incarcerated for a minimum of two years without trial for a blog post that is critical of the government.

Granted, not specifically two years (maybe, I haven't checked) and not for a blog post, however people in the early 70's in the UK were indeed incarcerated on a ship on a lake in Northern Ireland for long periods without trial. Read up on Internment, and then come back and call us all paranoid. The UK categorically does NOT have the right to freedom of speech. And in the UK you do NOT have the right to remain silent, since remaining silent can be construed as an admission of guilt in UK law.

Re:I call bullshit. (4, Insightful)

nobodyman (90587) | about 6 years ago | (#25279145)

Are you referring to the Prevention of Terrorism Acts [wikipedia.org] ? From what I can tell you could be held for up to seven days without being formally charged with a crime. It would be a *big* stretch to equate this with Malaysia's Internal Security Act, under which they can hold you *indefinitely* (though the Malaysian government claims that Kamarudin will be held for at least two years).

I'm not making the claim that these other countries are perfect. I'm refuting the GP's claim that all countries are just as bad. To say such a thing is just lazy relativism that trivializes the situation that this blogger is in.

Re:I call bullshit. (2, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280337)

Never been arrested I take it? I got arrested on a faulty warrant and then lost in a bus around the country for someone who's name, prints, etc didn't even match my own. This is in the United States of America, CCA jails, and TransCorps. This happened while I was at work. I was an eight hour drive from home, if I'd known that there was some sort of problem I could have driven home to deal with it.

It turns out that they used my name in part and had a SSN "near" mine. That was enough for a bench warrant.

It took me 23 days to get "home" and then another 5 days sitting in a county jail to get to court and be released with apologies.

I don't have much experience beyond that but I can say that 2 days == 30 days == 12 hours == 1 minute.

Nothing, at all, equates to being held against your will and powerless for something you did not do.

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

nobodyman (90587) | about 6 years ago | (#25280701)

I don't have much experience beyond that but I can say that 2 days == 30 days == 12 hours == 1 minute

I dunno man. I'll admit I've never been arrested, and I ain't gonna argue that your situation wasn't outrageous... because it sounds like it was. But if I had to spend time in jail for a bureaucratic screwup, I'd rather spend 1 minute than 23 days (let alone two years).

Again, my point wasn't to say that countries like the Germany & USA don't have problems. They do. But... it's not like you've been thrown in jail for a journal entry [slashdot.org] , right?

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280833)

I'm not really sure I was clear enough. After an hour or two it is tough. After a week it is horrific. After two weeks it's not so bad. Somewhere in there is the tipping point. I was livid and did the true American thing and sued only to settle out of court. A part of me wished I'd kept the suit up but it was expensive at the time. (No, the ACLU wouldn't touch it, it wasn't "popular" enough was a direct quote.)

I don't really know? Somewhere in the two to five day range it just got... Well... "The Same®" I'd already bawled my eyes out, I did see some fights but no rape or anything, and the only fight I had been in was over quickly as I'm a cheap bastard who's also a Marine and studied jujitsu so I just let them swing and moved aside and pushed them from behind and asked if they still wanted to fight as I stood behind them. They said no and actually said sorry after just that little bit.

It wasn't anything like the movies. As I was in "private" transport I mostly rode around in handcuffs which hurt but I ate a lot of fast food and the bus had a DVD player.

Seriously, after the third or so day (there was some oddities in time that I can't explain) it was if I'd been there for years. It probably mattered that I *knew* I was going to get set free shortly. It probably helped that I knew I could prove an RMI and that I'd not even been in the state at that time, but each day was equal to what felt like a year until the time came when I came to grips with it and realized I was powerless at that time.

It is bad when you can feel an hour's worth of time passing while a second hand makes a single sweep around the dial. One minute, while not being guilty, is too long.

Re:I call bullshit. (-1, Flamebait)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | about 6 years ago | (#25279119)

Civil rights, huh? In london, the cops sometimes shoot people in the face for being too brown, then lie about it afterwards. In Boston, litebrites are considered terrorist devices. In Chicago, cops beat people with near impunity. But we're not as bad as Malaysia.

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

negatonium (1103503) | about 6 years ago | (#25280083)

Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and Lewis Black routinely say some pretty awful things about those in power. Until Stewart is arrested for tax evasion, Maher for harboring terrorists and Black for... well being an asshole, I will hold out hope that Freedom of Speech at least is still flickering in my country.

uhh... no (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 6 years ago | (#25278999)

there is actually a difference between your rights in the say, germany, and malaysia. germans are more free than americans in some freedoms of expression, but don't dare mention nazis, for example, in germany. but in germany and australia and the usa, overall, your rights and freedoms to express views which run contrary to those in power is respected. no really, it is. to conflate that with what goes on in malaysia, and egypt, and iran, and china, and other places, where you can, and will be put in brutal conditions, simply for expressing a political opinion. of course its not pure freedom of expression in the west, but there are orders of magnitude in difference

to talk about your rights to expression malaysia in the same breath as roughly comparable to your rights to expression in germany, is to be woefully ignorant of the reality of the situation. this doesn't mean you aren't free to say lots of critical things in malaysia and get away with it. this doesn't mean you can't get abused by the authorities for simply expressing yourself in germany. but, overall, there are orders of magnitude of difference in the kinds of things you can safely say, and the punishment you face for saying unpopular things

and to not realize that, and to not think the difference is important and large, is pure ignorance on your part

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | about 6 years ago | (#25279211)

it doesn't happen here in Australia...
if it did do you think the Chasers would still be walking free? (the blokes that gate-crashed APEC under the Canadian flag)

Re:Hmm.. Sedition (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 6 years ago | (#25279681)

We just cover it up a bit better.

Better than who exactly? Stalin?

that link is not safe for work in some places (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25278703)

Oh nice, a link to Aljazeera. That will really look great in the server log.

Re:that link is not safe for work in some places (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | about 6 years ago | (#25278775)

I really hope you are not serious.

Re:that link is not safe for work in some places (2, Insightful)

DaleCooper82 (860396) | about 6 years ago | (#25278901)

Oh nice, a link to Aljazeera. That will really look great in the server log.

Shows the sad state of matters at your place/in your mind. Self censorship well done; did you report the submitter to authorities? That is probably what's left to make it complete 1984.

Go ahead and mode me down, have karma to burn, I guess. But this got me started as AJE is as reliable news source as any other, with ex BBC, CNN, ABC, Fox etc. people working there.

Re:that link is not safe for work in some places (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#25279103)

Oh nice, a link to Aljazeera. That will really look great in the server log.

What's the problem with al-Jazeera? They're about the only independent Arabic-language station there is, consisting in large part of ex-BBC staff who went their own way after the World Service shut down their Arabic branch. Everyone else is under the thumb of some government or other. Are we not in favour of freedom of speech and information here? Plenty of Arab governments have tried from time to time to silence al-Jazeera, and so have the Americans, occasionally with GPS-guided explosives, yet they're still going - must be doing something right.

Re:that link is not safe for work in some places (1)

rossz (67331) | about 6 years ago | (#25279777)

I read a few weeks ago that one of the ex-BBCers quit al-Jazeera because he got tired of being a terrorist sock puppet. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I read it, so I guess it's not true.

Re:that link is not safe for work in some places (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25281073)

Plenty of Arab governments have tried from time to time to silence al-Jazeera, and so have the Americans, occasionally with GPS-guided explosives...

In the absence of any other information, the fact that both sides of the conflict are trying to shut them up inclines me to believe that they're trustworthy.

A moment to admire your country (1)

bonch (38532) | about 6 years ago | (#25278789)

Despite all the criticism people direct at their country, the fact is that you're allowed to voice that criticism without getting thrown in jail. Incidents like this are a reminder that maybe the country you might criticize so much isn't as bad as it's made out to be, and that it really is a haven for free thought in an often dark world.

Re:A moment to admire your country (2, Interesting)

JoaoPinheiro (749991) | about 6 years ago | (#25278879)

Or maybe it's a taste of what it might become without such criticism.

Re:A moment to admire your country (1)

bonch (38532) | about 6 years ago | (#25279023)

Indeed, which is why our freedom to do so is that much more precious.

Re:A moment to admire your country (1, Interesting)

XchristX (839963) | about 6 years ago | (#25279577)

Constructive criticism, even if it is strident polemic, is fine and even worth aggressively defending by those who value true liberty.

What passes for "criticism" on slashdot, however, is not criticism in the political sense of the word, but knee-jerk Hesperophobia and anti-Americanism, and is grossly disproportionate on many levels. America, for all it's woes, is not as oppressive or repressive as Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Balkan Countries, the Maghreb, or any other third world disaster area, nor will it ever be.

All this so-called "critiism" is largely the result of far-left "postmodernism" and "multicuturalism" in some sections of American society that is deeply disturbing. Both postmodernism and multiculturalism are Orwellian bullshit of the highest order, and are a third-world-leftist strategy to undermine the values and principles that define American society and the American Nation (which still gives refuge and succor to millions of immigrants like myself fleeing the third world paradises of the left).

The situation in Malaysia is truly dire, thanks to the institutional racism against overseas Chinese and Indian communities (based on their state ideology of "Ketuanan Melayu" ie Malay Supremacy and "Bumiputra" ie sons of the soil, similar to the "Blut und Boden" ie "Blood and soil" ideology of Nazi Germany), the de-facto Islamofascist theocracy, widespread corruption and a violent, genocidal collective attitude that makes all their neighbors uneasy.

Re:A moment to admire your country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25280107)

Wow, I started glancing at your post and thought you were only incompetent, but you're just a real hate spewing idiot aren't you?

Re:A moment to admire your country (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25280399)

I don't presume to speak for the GP but instead of glancing you might try reading and not looking away when you don't agree because it upsets your spoon-fed line of thinking. Instead of jumping to conclusions you can think for yourself. When are those people who espouse freedom going to actually allow other people to be free by their own definition?

Re:A moment to admire your country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25280611)

See, now this shows your bias. I did read it, and then I knew he was a hate spewing idiot. I posed a rhetorical question to see if he realized what he had written.

will lasers be involved? (1)

Eil (82413) | about 6 years ago | (#25278947)

In other news, several bloggers called for the U.S. to charge Malaysia, sending scores of /b/tards into uncontrollable lulz.

Looked up Sedition on Wikipedia (3, Insightful)

Layth (1090489) | about 6 years ago | (#25278953)

Some interesting notes.. particularly the USA's Smith Act, which made it a crime to advocate or teach the desirability of overthrowing the United States Government, or to be a member of any organization which does the same.

I'm not a lawyer.. but doesn't the preamble of our own declaration of independence state "it is [the people's] right, it is their duty, to throw off ... Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"

Man, I don't think I could ever be a lawyer.
I love my compiler too much - logic and consistency is actually enforced.

Re:Looked up Sedition on Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279033)

The Declaration of Independence says a lot of things. None of them are counted as U.S. law, though.

My point is that it's taught in schools (1)

Layth (1090489) | about 6 years ago | (#25279153)

So from where I'm sitting it seems like every school in the nation that teaches the declaration of independence would be guilty under the smith act.

But like I said, I'm not a lawyer

Re:Looked up Sedition on Wikipedia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25281087)

OMFG.

When in the course of human history it becomes necessary for free men to dissolve the political bonds that tie them and cast off their government, it's called a revolutionary war.

Now our government - being a limited social contract formulated amongst free men in a state of nature to secure life, liberty, and property - will of course attempt to survive/win a revolutionary war. That is part of it's mandate, to survive and provide "domestic tranquility" and the "common defense".

Naturally then, sedition would be and SHOULD be illegal.

It's like teachers vs. highschool kids. The kids job is to cheat, the teachers job is to stop them. Both sides know the rules...it's nothing personal. Just business.

The trick with a revolution is: you'd better win. The winner decides who the treasonous are.

Should've posted as AC (1)

jbsooter (1222994) | about 6 years ago | (#25279083)

If police officials there aren't above killing and destroying a body of some woman, what makes him think there aren't potentially serious repercussions for being outspoken in criticizing them. If the life of a news story over there is similar to what it is here, no one will even remember who he is in two weeks and for the next 2 years or so there is one less person making noise about a corrupt govt. An anonymous critic is generally better than a silenced one.

Malaysia..... (2, Interesting)

IMightB (533307) | about 6 years ago | (#25279113)

Malaysia isn't such a bad place as far as countries that I've visited go... My wife is Malay, and she wouldn't move back. Every time I visit there, I get the feeling that it is slowly being dragged into the 21st century. There are still many laws that give native Malay's/Muslims preferential treatment over other ethnic groups (Indians/Chinese). My understanding is that this is fairly limited to things like low-interest government loans.... I dunno... I enjoy visiting there, I don't think that I'd want to live there though.

Re:Malaysia..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25280175)

Yes, there are preferential treatments for native majority ethnics over other ethnics groups such as allocated quota for public university entrance, cheaper homes and gov jobs. I believe it exist in many other countries like US and Europe where minority groups are given less social status. The only difference is that it is written in the laws in Malaysia while other "free" countries tries to be fair in the law but in practice they still exist discrimination because of skin colour. I believe human are instinctively stereotyping and may have prejudice against groups of other ethnic groups. But the problem gets worse when these ideas are enforced since young by many religion teachers that unbeliever of their religion are all evil. BTW, I am a Malaysian citizen.... :-)

Re:Malaysia..... (1)

IMightB (533307) | about 6 years ago | (#25280741)

I read your comment a few times, and I believe that the point your trying to make is that many countries have laws/quotas in place that give preferential treatment to various peoples. In Malaysia, the laws/quotas enforce the *majority*. Whereas in other countries they are geared towards the minorities. I agree with you that teaching these concepts as part of the religous upbringing only compounds the issues.

I also agree that stereotyping is a part of the human psyche, no one is immune. One of the things that I find interesting is that one of the stereotype native Malay's have of themselves is that native Malay's are somewhat "lazy".

That being said, I like Malaysia, my experiences there are overwhelmingly positive. The country is beautiful and there is lots of stuff to do and see there. Really the only thing I absolutely don't like about Malaysia is the weather. Then again I don't like the Southern United States for the same reason. Way too Hot and Humid for my tastes.

Relax, Don't Do It. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25279141)

Kill the malaysian prime minister!

(no, that's not a suggestion, it's a movie)

I'm shocked! (2, Funny)

afabbro (33948) | about 6 years ago | (#25279703)

Free speech being restricted in a Muslim dictatorship? I'm shocked. Just completely shocked.

Re:I'm shocked! (1)

jttm80 (967506) | about 6 years ago | (#25280633)

Dictatorship? Malaysia's 2008 election was as evenly split between 2 parties as the upcoming US elections.

Re:I'm shocked! (1)

IMightB (533307) | about 6 years ago | (#25280761)

umm it's not a dictatorship.... It is actually one of the more liberal Muslim countries. The government at least tries to appear somewhat secular... sometimes....

It gets even better (3, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 years ago | (#25279761)

Read his comment at his website: http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/12913/84/ [m2day.org]

Basically:

"You've insulted Islam, a jailable offense, even though we cannot prove that in the articles that we've printed out. But your style of writing is too sophisticated, and dumb people who are not at the same intellectual level as you could misinterpret what you say, and mistakenly think what you wrote as an insult to Islam. Hence, we are going to send you to jail for insulting Islam."

MALAYSIA (1)

InTheBucket (1379833) | about 6 years ago | (#25281589)

I came to Malaysia in May 2002 and been here now nearly 7 peaceful years and have not touched American soil ever since.
I really try to stay away from all the political Mumbo-Jumbo in all countries not just mine and Malaysia's.
The problem with plitics is they get too high on power or power-sharing and it truthfully can destroy a peaceful country, especially if they let the power run deep into their heads.
Yes! Malaysia the past two years has been falling apart at the seams, and it really saddens me to see a once peaceful quiet country crunble into political turmoil.
Bah' its all garbage to me, I have no problems living here or had any problems while being here.
I can only hope to see Malaysia back to its former glory and try to set a good example to other countries who are struggling to get where Malaysia is today and run its country like it has been without war or terrorism getting in between.
When I moved to Malaysia I knew it was an Islamic country and that did not stop me from coming here, today some Muslims are trying to repair their tarnised name or religion due to terrorism. I have to say Malaysia does a good job keeping the terroists at bay. In a way I feel like I am in America still, I've seen no troubles here yet and hope never will.
We should never think negative about ones religion, because in religion we believe we should be in peace and harmony and being god loving people, so what, who cares, I am a Christian living in an Islamic country peacefully with no troubles in mind or heart. The Muslims don't bother me because I am a Christian or an American, They are friendly far as I can see it, no one has ruffled my feathers yet, and for sure I think it never will.
as for the guy getting arrested for posting in a blog about someone else, he was messing witha bees nest for sure, he knew better to confront such issues and post them, if you look for trouble you will get trouble, if you follow peace you will be in peace, so good for him being strong to write this article, but also good that he gets punnished for writing it in a negative way. I can write articles about ones race or religion and post it peacefully not sparking trouble in the public places. I feel we need to think wisely before posting such issues, and mostlikely this gentleman had no connections to the case so it would not be his problem to post negatively about, Yes! a woman died by someone, but how can you just write and say its someone when you are not sure... thats looking for trouble and trouble is not what I want in my life. ok I would love to ramble on more, but like I said before politics is not my cup of tea so peace to you all. Thank You

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