How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright - until you hear them speak.

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Kee Thuan Chye on Malaysiakini's right, not privilege, to publish a daily newspaper

Excerpt from his article, It is a right, not a privilege, so what now?:

"All Malaysiakini asked for was publish a daily newspaper in English of 40,000 copies to be sold only in the Klang Valley. But this was not acceptable to the Home Ministry, which rejected its application in August 2010. Why? What was the Government afraid of?"

"In any case, the Home Ministry did not give any grounds for rejecting Malaysiakini’s application. But when Malaysiakini brought the case to the High Court for a judicial review, the Minister had to state his reasons in an affidavit.

The case was heard in October 2012. The Government’s lawyer submitted that the granting of a publication permit was a privilege, not a right. But the judge disagreed.

Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim said freedom of expression was a right guaranteed in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. And this right included the right to publish a newspaper. He ruled that the ministry’s decision was “improper and irrational”.

He also considered the minister’s reasons for rejecting Malaysiakini’s application as stated in his affidavit. One of them stupidly stated that it was because there were already a lot of newspapers in the market and Malaysiakini’s entry would affect their profit margin.

The judge rightly pointed out that there was nothing in the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) that gave the minister power to regulate the market."

"But the ministry was not satisfied. It decided to appeal the decision. The appeal was heard last Wednesday.

The Government’s lawyer maintained that the granting of a publishing permit was a privilege, not a right, “as you have to apply first to get the permit”. He also said the High Court judge might not have considered the reasons given by the minister in the affidavit.

He mentioned the one about there being already a lot of newspapers in the market and therefore the need for control. But this was not a bright move. The High Court judge had already dismissed that reason as being invalid. Why bring it up again?

The lawyer also mentioned the reason the minister had given about Malaysiakini’s tendency to highlight sensitive and controversial news on its website. That didn’t seem like a bright move either. Because Court of Appeal judge Alizatul Khair Othman retorted that security grounds had not been cited as a reason in rejecting the application. So where’s the relevance?

In the end, the Government’s lawyer must have failed to convince the three judges. They unanimously upheld the High Court’s decision and dismissed the Government’s appeal. And of course, Malaysiakini can re-submit its application.

It is highly important to consider that the Court of Appeal agrees with the High Court judge. It is important because this reaffirms the dictum that publishing a newspaper is a right, not a privilege, contrary to the Government’s thinking.

In acknowledging that, where do we go from here?"
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