Wednesday, November 07, 2007

MORE PICS & Video – Heated Clash -Zam - “Monkey” in Parliament was Offended & Confused; Accused DAP Lim Kit Siang of “abusive words” in his Blog

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Zam Takes Kit Siang To Task

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 (Bernama) -- Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin today slammed opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, claiming that he always raises baseless issues in Parliament. Lim (DAP-Ipoh Timur) had interrupted Zainuddin's winding-up speech on the Supply Bill 2008 for his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat and accused the minister of having directed editors of mainstream newspapers as to how they should report issues concerning the government and its leaders.

ABOVE & BELOW: at the start of the clash, DAP Lim posted the question: "Did the Prime Minister give you the mandate to order editors to do as such?"

"Did the Prime Minister give you the mandate to order editors to do as such?" asked Lim. This got Zainuddin riled up and he responded by saying that Lim was fond of making baseless allegations in Parliament. Things got more heated up when he (Zainuddin) brought up the subject of Lim's Internet blog.

"As a (former) chief editor of a newspaper, or you as a moderator in a blog, you will filter what you want to put out. But if people were to use abusive words, if it were me, I will not put them out. I hold on to my ethics," he said. Not satisfied, Lim denied that the postings on his blog were written by him, and said they were posted by visitors to the blogsite. Backbenchers then came to the support of Zainuddin with Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin saying: "Throwing stones and then concealing the hand."

ABOVE & BELOW: DAP MP (Seputeh) Supported DAP Lim in the clash

Padang Terap MP Datuk Ghazali Ibrahim also stood up and tried to calm Zainuddin down, saying: "Sudahlah Yang Berhormat. Jangan dilayan mereka." (Enough Yang Berhormat (Minister). No need to entertain them.) The situation only returned to normal after Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob intervened to calm things and asked the minister to continue with his speech.

ABOVE & BELOW: the Clown that caused much interruption

= == == =from Kit’s Blog
Zam sees red in being called “monkey” in this blog
On Monday, in the winding-up on the Information Ministry during the 2008 Budget policy debate, Information Minister, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin saw red at being called “monkey” in this blog. At first he accused me for calling him a “monkey” – but when confronted, he backed down and admitted that it was a comment left on my blog.

But he said I must bear responsibility as moderator of the blog. I said I regretted that such a term was used but it was definitely not used by me. I did a search of the reference which he had objected to and found it was a post by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on 28th October 2007 in the thread “Zam - Info Minister under coconut shell or bidding to be Mat Rempit “Godfather”?”, viz: ZAM is behaving like a BN monkey that’s gone bananas over NUTs.”

ZAM has legitimate grievance at being called “monkey” but it is no justification for him to become the Cabinet’s premier anti-blogger, and this was why I told him in Parliament why he should not behave like a “frog under the coconut shell” in expressing satisfaction at Malaysia’s 32-spot plunge in the Freedom Without Borders (RSF) 2007 press freedom index, from No. 92 last year to 124, which is the nation-worst ranking in the RSF annual worldwide press freedom ranking since it was started in 2002. From Monday’s parliamentary exchange, it is clear that although ZAM is the government’s chief anti-blogger, he reads this blog and I would urge all posters to use proper language to express their views hoping that they will have some influence on government thinking and direction. I am surprised that RTM last night telecast the parliamentary exchange between ZAM and me. Those who have seen it may wish to offer their feedback.

= = = =Watch the Video Clip (18.53 Mins = 2 Parts ) - Heated Clash in Parliament
PART I - 8 min 55s

= == == = ==
PART II -9 mins 51s


= = == = == = == = == =

= == == = from RSF

Government continues to harass bloggers

Reporters Without Borders today condemned continuing government harassment of bloggers and their families after Marine Lee, the wife of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, was questioned by police in a Kuala Lumpur police station yesterday about her husband’s Malaysia Today website.Lee told the police that, as a Muslim woman under Sharia law, she could only speak if her husband allowed her to do so. The ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) filed a complaint against Raja Petra on 23 July about an 11 July article considered insulting to

*25.07-07 - Government goes to war against bloggers using arrests and

Reporters Without Borders today condemned a recent wave of online censorship and harassment of outspoken bloggers as Malaysia approaches its national holiday on 31 August and gears up for early elections at the start of next year. “Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s government is the target of mounting criticism and its response seems to be repression,? the press freedom organisation said. “Citing the need to combat attempts to incite racial hatred or insult the king, the internal security ministry is trying to intimidate dissidents, especially dissident bloggers.” Reporters Without Borders added: “It is outrageous to see a minister threatening to jail bloggers who have managed to create an unprecedented space for free expression in Malaysia. We call for charges to be dropped against bloggers *Raja Petra Kamarudin*, *Nathaniel Tan*, *Ahiruddin Attan* and *Jeff Ooi*. At the same time, the national press must be allowed real editorial independence.? Malaysia was placed 92nd out of 168 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders ranking of nations according to respect for press freedom. Nazri Abdul Aziz, who holds the position of minister in the Prime Minister?s Department with responsibility for justice, said yesterday that the government would not hesitate to use the Internal Security Act against bloggers who tackle sensitive issues. Under the ISA, someone who is deemed to have threatened state security can be held without trial for two years. Aziz added that the government had until now been ?very patient.? Science and technology minister Kong Cho Ha warned last December that the government planned to introduce regulations designed to prevent ?ill-intentioned? use of the Internet and the posting of information by bloggers that harmed Malaysia?s ?social harmony.?

Political commentator and blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin (also known as RPK) was interrogated for eight hours today by police about articles he recently posted online, including one entitled ?See you in hell Muhamad son of Muhamad.? He was also asked about the identity of people who had posted comments about his articles. The summons for questioning was the result of a complaint brought against him on 23 July by the ruling United Malays National Organisation. Kamarudin, who edits the independent website Malaysia Today posted an article on 11 July that is deemed to be an insult to the king and incitement to racial hatred. He claims to be read by more than 300,000 people a day and is known for criticising Prime Minister Badawi and other politicians. He faces a possible three-year prison sentence. Blogger Nathaniel Tan, a member of the opposition Justice Party (PKR), was released on 17 July after being held for four days. Local sources said he was detained because his blog contained a link to a website with information about a corruption case involving internal security minister Johari Bharum. The information was deemed to be a violation of the Official Secrets Act. Last January, the management and former editors of the New Straits Times daily sued two outspoken bloggers, Jeff Ooi and Ahiruddin Attan, over articles they had posted which argued, with the help of detailed examples, that some of its reports and editorials lacked objectivity.

= == === DAP earlier attempt – a motion on the Drop in the Press Freedom Index

"That the House gives leave to Ketua Pembangkang YB Lim Kit Siang to adjourn the House under S.O. 18 (1) to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance -- Malaysia's worst-ever ranking in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) worldwide press freedom index 2007. "Malaysia scored two 'worsts' in the index -- the sharpest plunge of 32 spots from last year's 92 to 124 placing, which is also Malaysia's worst ranking in the RSF annual worldwide press freedom ranking since it was started in 2002. "Last year, when Malaysia jumped 21 spots to 92nd ranking from the previous year's 113rd position, there was a lot of self- congratulations in government and mainstream media circles. "This year, Malaysia cannot make the same claim of scoring higher than all the other Asean countries, as we are

behind Cambodia (85) and Indonesia (100) while in the Asia-Pacific region, we are behind Taiwan (32), Japan (37), South Korea (39), Hong Kong (61), Timor-Leste (94), Bhutan (116) and India (120).

"Malaysia's drop and placing for this year's RSF 2007 worldwide press freedom index would have been worse if the shocking development that the Prime Minister does not want to hear the truth from the media and the public had been taken fully into account. "Malaysia's worst placing in the RSF 2007 worldwide press freedom index joins a lost list of indicators that all is not right with Malaysia on the occasion of our 50th Merdeka anniversary -- a sober reminder that while we should be proud of our national achievements, we have greater reason to be concerned about our many national failings, in particular the failure to honour the Barisan Nasional's pledge in 2004 general election for openness and reform as well as the urgent need for a Freedom of Information Act and to dismantle undemocratic and oppressive law


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