Bloggers and Freedom of Speech

Amazingly enough that I had this conversation with my father while having coffee. Truthfully I was reluctant to write about this matter simply because of the nature of the post as well as those who might feel that they would be involved with it. Nevertheless, for the nature of bringing out ideas into public, I truly believe that this is a post that most of the Malaysian blogger community need to respond.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A Malaysian court has charged a blogger with posting comments that insulted a late state sultan.In recent years prosecutors have charged several bloggers with writing derogatory comments, rescinding an earlier promise that Malaysia would not censor online content.Khairul Nizam Abdul Ghani, a freelance computer technician, pleaded not guilty Friday at a court in central Negeri Sembilan state. He was accused of insulting Sultan Iskandar Ismail of southern Johor state, who died Jan. 22, The Star and New Straits Times newspapers reported.
 Associated Press
30 January 2010

I remember there was that one point of time in my life where people argued that Malaysia has not given the citizen the right of freedom of speech as they should receive as part of human rights. This is when I begun to ask myself, how is this possible? As far as my knowledge is concerned that we still get to have a say in this country WITHOUT being thrown in jail billed as terrorists. 

Of course by reading the last sentence above, there would be a public outcry saying that there are those out there who are in trouble because of what they wrote on their blogs and in the end question, isn't that a violation of human right itself? Indeed, but my question is, to what extent that freedom of speech is given to a person before it becomes either slander or defamation?

The news have been around about this guy who defamed the Sultan of Johor in his blog after his death, however I feel that many don't realize that this is not the first time that we've heard about incidents such as this and for me, its a waste. Its a waste that because of certain bloggers like this that they tarnish the credibility of others who want to use the right responsibility, rather than purposely defaming other thinking that is their fastest ticket to "blogger stardom".

Is this what is left of the credibility of tech writers in Malaysia? Are we one to be reduced by defaming others simply to make our blog popular? Half way to my cup of teh tarik, I listen intently that freedom of speech is a right that everyone must have but must be used with the respect of others as well. Logic would tell that by impeading with this principles would then hinder another from using the SAME right. Is this what we call fair use of right?

What worries me that when there are some who demands the right of freedom of speech, half of them wouldn't even realise that the freedom that they are demanding is TOTAL FREEDOM OF SPEECH which means that anyone would be able to publish or say anything to anyone without getting into trouble. They are simply asking for a LAWLESS use of the right itself.

It should be anyone's guess at this point that a lawless use of anything can never be good. We as Malaysians are allowed to say or have an opinion on anything, so long that it falls under the boundries of the law as how any other things. Are we now trying to say that bloggers are now above the law just because we want to say what we want to say?

I undestand that once upon of time, there we those who speak their mind in public. The idea of "Speakers Corner" do exist and they are allowed to have their say in anything. The difference? A person talking in a speaker's corner identifies him/herself with an issue that is backed with solidary facts and in the same time respecting every basic rule of public speaking. A post on the net would go something like this:

[Blogger rights up about something]

Stupid S**t go write something like this for what? You think u so god D*mn good to talk like this? DumbA**!!!!!!!!!

Please, there are places that you need to control your language of your comments

Shut up. You're an Idiot. F**K u!

Majority of us bloggers out ther at least know that with the right to use such freedom comes with the responsibility of at least knowing some respect for others who want to use the freedom as well. And then we have some who honestly believe that the net is a place where they can say anything they want and hide behind the curtain of annonymousity of the internet and these are the people that are giving us a bad name. I believe that if there is a need to say something, at least learn to have some manners and show yourself as who you are. For those people out there, I end with one thing to remind you,

Remember your mother used to teach you when you were young, that we do and say what we want as long as we respect each other. Otherwise, we are no more than animals themselves.

Or maybe, some of us have forgotten that...


  1. Hi there! I was shock that you received such crude comment! Bravo to this artical! I love it!
    Freedom of speech in today context comes with a price...nothing is free...however keep on writing! Love it! Cheers!

  2. thanks! indeed that there are people out there that have no clue what it is all about and gives the rest of us a bad name