I'm taking a Tangent here of course on the matter of the bloggers (Jeff and Rocky) vs NSTP case which is running rabid on the Malaysian blogosphere and apparently infecting much of the world's on-line and traditional media.
The Tangent I'm taking is actually on this:
Am I reading this right? Is Pak Lah really taking sides here, against Jeff and Rocky, in what is really a civil suit? I mean I know-lah that NST is an UMNO paper and that Kalimullah is Pak Lah's chum (due to Pak Lah mistakenly thinking that Kalimullah helped him secure the DPM-ship - uncle Kali you sly old manipulator you...) as well as his son-in-law Khairy's boss and once(?) business partner, but isn't this going a little too far?
It would be far fairer of Pak Lah if he also added a comment in the lines of,"Traditional media also should take responsibility of their reporting, and responsible blogs then do have a role to play to check the excesses of such media, especially those with links to the establishment like the NST. Indeed traditional media like NSTP's publications that are linked to the ruling party must set the standard in responsible reporting ahead of blogs as any poor reporting risks embarassing the government."
The above line is not just more creditable for a leader gagging for world recognition (since local recognition is tough in the days of floods, boats, inflation and toll hikes), it is also good politics as:
- Bloggers are voters too
- Uncle Kali and gang are not really the most popular people in Malaysia at the moment
- In Acheh recently, the winner of the race for Govenor was a surprise dark-horse ex-rebel/freedom fighter ex-con. The reason he and his block of the Acheh Liberation Movement (GAM) won? They printed out and distrubuted the 'best off' news about their block that was published in the net and blogs!
By the way, there may also be legal reasons why Pak Lah should refrain from commenting on this matter as the recent thorn in Dato' Rafidah's side, Michael Backman (http://www.michaelbackman.com/) once commented in his book...
...that (in his view) Malaysian courts are actually quite independent (contrary to popular opinion), but have this annoying habit of typically passing judgement in favour of or in line with what they percieve are the government's desires; the flip-flop on Anwar Ibrahim's conviction and subsequent release on appeal being the case in point.
Could Pak Lah be setting up grounds for an appeal for this case should the NST-fellows win? Pak Lah... I thought uncle Kali was your friend?