This newspiece caught my eye, and I simply had to blog on it because it is indicative how rotten things have gotten in Malaysia with the present ruling Government.
If you don't know what is Radio24, basically, it is a 24-hour news and talk radio station in Malaysia. Broadcasting in both English and Bahasa Malaysia, the station is owned and operated by the Malaysian national news agency, BERNAMA. The station's transmission covered the Klang Valley, which is home to 6.5 million people.
Because it is officially a Bernama Radio Station and covers Klang, I personally don't listen to it.
However, it made news (see link above). It seems Radio24 has committed a "crime", according to Minister of Information Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek. He was reported in Bernama (!) to have said "Expressing disappointment, Ahmad Shabery said the incident should not have happened, more so when it involved a radio station run by an agency under the purview of the ministry.". And "Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the ministry was conducting an investigation into the matter and he himself was awaiting a report before taking further action.".
Wow! Sounds like Radio24 has committed a crime that deserved Government investigation. Enough that the Minister of Information judged it guilty in public, even when the investigation is not yet completed.
So, what is this "crime" that Radio24 is alleged to have committed?
According to the same Bernama piece ...
"Ahmad Shabery was asked to comment on the broadcast of an interactive programme by Radio24 on the topic "Which is more important, the transition of power from Pak Lah (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or a reduction in the fuel price?"
Is that all?
Is it a crime for Malaysians to discuss such matters openly?
How is it a crime?
Ask yourself - what would your answer be to this question?
Which is more important - Transition of Power? Or Reduced fuel price?
My guess -- 99% will say Reduced fuel price.
Especially in Klang Valley where traffic jams are prevalent, and the monthly cost of fuel is higher than average.
So, what's wrong with asking such a question and effectively seeking a public referendum (albeit a very limited scope)?
Personally, I think they can ask better questions which are more doubtful (such as "Should Malaysia Constitution be amended so that the tenure of the Prime Minister is fixed for the next 5 years, rather than being capable of being terminated as soon as he ceases to command the confidence of the majority?"), than such one-sided question where the answer is obvious.
But I won't say it is a crime to ask such question. So much so, that the Minister of Information had to publicly condemn such acts.
"Expressing disappointment, Ahmad Shabery said the incident should not have happened, more so when it involved a radio station run by an agency under the purview of the ministry."
Is The Minister of Information dissappointed because Malaysians were asked by Radio24 to evaluate "which is more important"??
Since when is it a "crime" to ask "which is more important?"
Isn't the ability to weigh which factor is more important critical in the daily life of every Malaysian Citizen?
Isn't this what we are doing at every General Election - to weight which Party is better? Which factors are more important?
Or are Malaysians being brainwashed by Government Propoganda that it is wrong to think for one-self?
Is the Minister of Information suggesting that since it is a crime for Radio24 to ask this question publicly, then, it is also a crime for all Malaysians to ask this question privately?
Is the Minister of Information suggesting that Malaysians should be dumb and unquestioning?
"Which is more important, the transition of power from Pak Lah (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or a reduction in the fuel price?"
Even more disturbing is this statement uttered by the Minister of Information - "If you do not agree with government policies, don't be a government employee. Resign," he said.".
Is the Minister of Information giving a clear statement to all Government Employees that it is their job to make Pak Lah, Najib & UMNO looks good, even if it is at the expense of Rakyat's interest to have lower fuel prices?
Is this the kind of Government that Malaysians want?