Further to yesterday's post about Euro MPs looking to ban troublesome Eurobloggers, vocal Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was locked up this morning for two years in a high security prison as, according to the Malaysian Home Minister "police had found concrete evidence that his postings in the Malaysia Today blogsite were prejudicial to the security of the country." Malaysian blogger Rocky Bru has background [hat tip Lady Lavender, who points out even Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act (which allows detention without trial) does not deter blogcitizens from lambasting the ruling Malay party - "once a sacred subject no one is allowed to criticise."]
Don't be complacent. Politicians really dislike criticism, and if they can close it down, they will. Or try to.
NB: Sign the petition to free Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Teresa Kok and Others Held Under Malaysia's Internal Security Act.
UPDATE 1: Since so many worldwide appear wholly unfamiliar with the concept of free speech, except in the breach, might I humbly suggest they begin their understanding of this basic pillar of freedom with this post on Some Propositions on Free Speech, which lays out the legitimate moral parameters of free speech.
UPDATE 2: Welcome Rocky's Bru readers. Feel free to stick around and, in particular, to check out all the posts here ast NOT PC on Free Speech and Sedition. Perhaps I could invite you to begin with this 'Cue Card Libertarianism' post on Persuasion versus Force.
UPDATE 3: Contemplate these thoughts:
Forcing people to bite their tongues produces only a "veneer of tolerance concealing a snakepit of unaired and unchallenged views."
- Rowan Atkinson
It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?
- Stephen Fry
What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
- Salman Rushdie
UPDATE 4: How often when the rubber hits the road do we discover who really has the courage of their convictions. 'The People's Parliament' wonders whether RPK was emboldened by reading too much into all thee declarations of support from his readers -- support that seems to be withering on the vine now he's in detention.
And reading too much, he asked of the millions of MT readers for 150,000 signatures for the petition to the Agong in relation to the judiciary, and got 25,700++*?
What could we all possibly have meant by these declarations of solidarity and support if the petition demanding his release from ISA detention, now four days old, has garnered 20,463 signatures?
Just what do we mean [by "support"]?
What sort of "support" is it that people demonstrate when even something as simple as signing an online petition is too much! Let them hear the words of liberated American slave, Frederick Douglass:
The whole history of progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
--Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)
* As of 10pm Friday morning 26/6/08 NZ time, the petition stands at 29,112 signatures.