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Umnoputras need not fear Sedition Act

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Would the government tolerate those remarks if they are made during DAP, MCA or MIC general assembly? Even if they did, Umno Youth would take it upon themselves to act.

On Ku Li backs live telecast of Umno meetings

Peter: I do agree with Ku Li's opinion that we should encourage openness and allow the public to express their feelings.

But Ku Li failed to realise that truly freedom of expressions are confined to the Umnoputras only. Look at their threatening remarks hurled at the non-Malays. Remarks like 'bathing in blood', 'when is the keris going to be used?' and 'Malays running amok', just to name a few, would send shivers down the spine of the targeted groups. Yet those who made the remarks are not charged under the Sedition Act.

Would the government tolerate those remarks if they are made during DAP, MCA or MIC general assembly? Even though the government were to tolerate it, Umno Youth will definitely counter with even more serious threats.

So Ku Li's idea is good. But the Umnoputras have to learn to express their feelings in a more civil manner first before any future live telecast of the assembly can be done. By the look of it, no way it could be done in the near future.

YSM: Tengku Razaleigh is wise. If you believe in something, be a man and don't hide. Let the world know who you really are and what you stand for.

On MCA roadshows to explain Umno's racist remarks

BOLH: What is there to explain to the members? The remarks made by certain Umno leaders during their recent general assembly was unambiguous, nothing abstract and grey. It was a direct assault below the belt and the entire hall applauded.

MCA leaders cannot go on playing the charade anymore. They have to call a spade a spade. By creating a spin out of this issue during the roadshows to its members, it will do more harm to the party than anything else. The MCA leaders must now face the fact that the damage is already done and nothing they say will ever convince anyone.

If Umno truly believes the BN spirit, the chairman of the assembly would have immediately told the speakers to toe the line if they kept on with their seditious remarks. But he did not. I strongly believe that the speeches were staged with members "selected" to say their assigned pieces. Then the PM and his deputy would then come in to calm the nerves on the last day. It is a very typical good guy/bad guy ploy!

Ah Chong: That is why the post-Merdeka Malaysians wish to say goodbye to BN racial politics. It had its place and served the nation well, but it is time we mature and face this globalising world as Malaysians because the threat is not each other but other more competitive nations. We ought to stand together to eliminate poverty and restore the separation of powers in government, which has been destroyed over the last 20 years.

MCA asking for more and standing tall is not the answer. It is a zero-sum game and racial tensions will arise. We must stop thinking in terms of race and begin thinking as Malaysians for the sake of all Malaysians. The role of government is to protect the weak, the poor, the marginalised and ensure justice for all, irregardless of race and religion. We must look at a multi-racial political party like Keadilan, for example.

On Can rival group break the Chinese press monopoly?

Rakesh Samsothra: KTS's foray into Nanyang Press Holdings will do a lot good to the dwindling readership of the Chinese print media in the country. The Sibu-based timber conglomerate will undoubtedly bring back readers' confidence in the Chinese press, which of late has waned with Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King's recent takeover of Nanyang Press.

Though still new to the newspaper industry, KTS has proved to established print media players that it is no pushover. Its acquisition of the See Hua Group of newspapers, namely The Borneo Post , Utusan Borneo and See Hua Daily News , in 2001 shocked the industry as no one had expected them to enter the tough cut-throat print media sector.

Highly successful KTS, a veteran in the logging and timber-based industries, showed it was equally at home in the newspaper business when it lifted ailing See Hua Daily News to a new level in terms of circulation and readership. But its most successful story yet is The Borneo Post , which is now the leading English language paper in Borneo.

Even before the demise of The Sarawak Tribune early this year, which was forced to close down following the publication of a caricature depicting Prophet Muhammad, The Borneo Post had already exceeded The Sarawak Tribune's circulation and readership figures.

KTS may just have five years' experience in the newspaper industry, but with a strong team of dedicated managers and staffers, its takeover of Nanyang Press would provide a breather to the Chinese media.

Yes, let another Foochow group take over.

On Stop comparing mainstream media with Internet

TC: I am moved to express my disagreement with Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak when he seeks to justify control over the mainstream media.

The concept of low-levels of censorship or self-censorship, are best debunked by RA Heinlein who wrote that "Limiting the freedom of news 'just a little bit' is in the same category with the classic example 'a little bit pregnant'." Freedom of the press is an all-or-nothing affair, it is either free or it isn't."

Proponents of censorship suggest that it is damaging for allegations and reports to be freely published against persons in a position of authority or who are otherwise in the public eye. Is the public unable to use their discretion and form their own opinions when they read the media, or are only politicians qualified to judge right from wrong?

There is a despicable tendency for politicians to think more about self-preservation than about what is best for the country. We have a population in excess of 24 million people. If a politician has undertaken dubious activities of any sort, there are more than enough Malaysians willing and able to become a replacement. Politicians, as they need no experience or academic qualification, are absolutely expendable and must be replaced if even slightly faulty to give a place for someone to do a better job.

The media have a very important role in ensuring that corrupt and inept politicians are removed, and this requires them to be able to print front-page headlines declaring as much. To quote George Orwell, "Freedom of the press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticise and oppose."

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