Posts Tagged 'Democracy'

Forum on ethnicity and the media in Penang

Of late, ethnicity (and also religion) has taken centre stage in many sections of the mainstream media, with a few of the media organisations carrying the kind of reporting that only causes uneasiness, to say the least, among members of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society.

It is therefore most appropriate and timely that the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), along with Suaram Penang and PEWAJU (Pertubuhan Wartawan dan Jurugambar Akhbar Cina Pulau Pinang), is organising a public forum on the portrayal of ethnicity in the media, which will be held today at 8.30 pm at Han Chiang College.

The panellists are:

1. Mr. Ha’ta Wahari (NUJ President and former Utusan journalist)
2. Mr. Himanshu Bhatt (senior Penang-based journalist)
3. Dr Carmen Nge (academic and ethnicity trainer)


Activist Chin Huat denied entry into Sarawak

(Photo credit: MerdekaReview)

BERSIH activist Wong Chin Huat, a Malaysian citizen no less, is reportedly being denied tonight an entry into Sarawak, a state in the Federation of Malaysia.

Chin Huat is the second person, after Steven Ng, being denied entry since the dissolution of the Sarawak State Assembly.


Tearing down the wall, musically

Founder-member of English rock band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, talks to Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan about his stand on the physical and political wall that separates Israel from Palestine’s West Bank. The activist-musician is very much affected by what he sees as a horrendous injustice imposed on the Palestinians.

More than 30 years ago, Waters wrote the band’s famous album, The Wall. Give it a listen below.


Do social media trigger social revolution?

Are Youtube, Facebook and Twitter new weapons of mass mobilization? Marwan Bishara of Al Jazeera leads the discussion with: Carl Bernstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist; Amy Goodman, the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!; Professor Emily Bell, the director of digital journalism at Columbia University; Evgeny Morozov, the author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom; and Professor Clay Shirky, the author of Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

Egypt Uprising wrapped in rap

Some notable musicians from North America have come together to produce a rap that documents the people’s revolution that is unfolding in Egypt.

When the blog gets popular, the popular gets blocked?

What do you do when a blog becomes too popular for the liking of the powers-that-be?

Well, it appears that a ‘solution’ has been found: you just gazette it as a ‘political association’ — with all the accompanying rules that govern a political entity.

Below is the comment made by the blog’s (The Online Citizen) columnist, Leong Sze Hian, regarding the turn of event as posted in Malaysiakini:

I would like to devote my weekly column for this week to the Singapore blog The Online Citizen (TOC).

I have been a columnist for TOC since it started in December 2006, and have written over 300 articles. Recently the Singapore government has emailed TOC to inform them that it will be gazetted a as political association.

That means TOC is now required to declare its owners, editorial team, administrators, and designate a president, treasurer and secretary in accordance with the regulations.

The move also means the website will be barred from receiving funds from foreign donors and from allowing foreigners to participate in its events.

What does this mean for my regular ‘Uniquely Singapore’ column on TOC?

Well, for starters, under the rules for a political association, I will not be able to write, report, analyse or comment about the elections, when the next election expected to take place this year comes.

Since there is a prohibition on affiliating with any political party or supporting any political candidate, does it mean that I cannot write about a political party’s manifesto, or interview a political candidate, etc?

A world’s first

Since TOC is also required to be registered with the Media Development Authority (MDA), does it mean that I will be subject to censorship under the MDA’s rules, and just like say RTM, be wary of putting up ‘undesirable’ content?

TOC has sent an appeal to Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong to reconsider the gazetting.

Singaporeans, Singaporean bloggers, and perhaps their counterparts and proponents of freedom of expression all over the world may be holding their breath, as this saga continues. 

Will history be made, as a group of citizen bloggers who are all volunteers – with not a single full-time staff, and no funding – become the first blogging web site in the world to be gazetted by a government as a political association? The deadline given to TOC to comply is 24 January. 

Democrazy a la Malaysia

What happened in Malaysian Parliament today may well earn the so-called august house vital points from the Guinness Book of Records, or at the very least, the Malaysian Book of Records.

Why, four Parliamentarians from the Pakatan Rakyat were suspended for six months within a day!  

According to The Malaysian Insider, Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was suspended for claiming earlier this year that PM Najib Razak’s public relations consultants APCO Worldwide had been behind both the slogans 1Malaysia and One Israel.

Subsequently, three more PR lawmakers — Subang MP R. Sivarasa, Gombak MP Azmin Ali and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh — were booted out for contempt for revealing and discussing the proceedings of the Rights and Privileges Committee on Anwar’s APCO claims.

No PR lawmakers were present in Parliament during the debate to suspend the three MPs because all opposition MPs had left soon after the motion to suspend Anwar was passed without any debate.

See here and here for context.