Monday, October 4, 2010

'The March to Putrajaya' Banned by KDN now Online.

This is Kim Quek noble comment posted at Malaysia Today.

I thank readers who expressed the wish to contribute something for being able to read the book. I suggest contributions be made to a fund instead, which hopefully can be set up soon for defence of free media - if there is enough public support.

Please show your support by pledging whatever amount on the comment posting at his site and contribute once the fund is set up.

By Kim Quek

The book “The March to Putrajaya – Malaysia’s New Era is at Hand”, which was recently banned by the Malaysian Home Minister, is available at the Internet. By going to or click on the image, readers can view as well as download the contents of the book.

This is as it should be. Citizens of a country should not be deprived of free access to information by the government simply because such information is deemed unfavourable to the regime.

A country where its citizens are habitually fed with state-controlled information – and nothing else – is a backward country which is bound to fail in this information and globalised age.

The reason is simple. No government likes to churn out information that puts it in bad light, and no society that is starved of open and balanced information can thrive and prosper in this fiercely competitive IT age.

If we look around the world, all the countries that are consistently ranked the best and the most admired for its social and economic achievement are societies that have free media. It is only through free flow of ideas that potentials of the mind can be fully developed. And it is the quality of the mind that determines the rate of progression or even regression of a society.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) government says Malaysia under its rule will leapfrog to the developed-country status within a decade. But that is a boast that no one believes, given the wretched state of affairs that BN has led the country into. The vitality of our economy has long sapped due to drying up of new investment, our institutions have lost the confidence and trust of the people, social dissension due to endless racial and religious squabbling has reached unprecedented levels, and corruption continues to thrive.

Aware of these problems, BN has decided to do window dressing to check dwindling popular support. It has spent hundreds of millions of ringgit of taxpayers’ money to produce mottoes and massive publicity while ignoring and not treating the root causes. And part of that strategy is to stamp out unfavourable media material and suppress political opposition. This is manifested in the rapid rise of harassing of bookshops through confiscation, banning of books, withdrawal of publication licenses, summoning of politicians and dissidents to police stations on frivolous grounds and even arbitrary arrests.



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