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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Green Dam Dinosaur Blues

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Relics come in many shapes and sizes. Some of these relics may be inanimate. And some are modern-day dinosaurs. In any case, relics are things best left studied, but not necessarily emulated. For instance, the Great Pyramid of Giza is a relic to be marveled at for many reasons. But you probably wouldn’t want one sitting smack in the middle of the Kuala Lumpur City Center. Like, where would you park (pyramids aren’t exactly known for their subterranean parking)?

But some living relics continue to be adulated despite having outlived their useful shelf life. Like those of the Tuan-o-saurus Rex variety who continue to be under the employ of the government despite the clearly out-of-touch-with-reality stances they take from time to time.

Like wanting to censor the Internet, China-style.

Funny, but all and sundry balk when any mention of Chin Peng is brought up – specter of Communism and what not – when it comes to oppressive practices, though, China’s all of a sudden our BFF
(back to the era of Government knows best, and more, in the full post)

Granted, the government (Najib himself, in fact), has come clarifying that the intent is to only block porn. Oh, and elements undesirable to the Government. Likely, such as blogs critical of UMNO and BN, which are probably the real targets. Since Walski has been accused of only relying on pro-opposition news sources, the following comes from The Star (happy now?) – emphasis by myAsylum:

Information Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim had said that the filter system was to reduce “Malaysian children’s exposure to online pornography.”

“We will attempt to put in this filtering system because the safety of our children from pornography cannot be compromised,” he told a press conference Friday.

Dr Rais also confirmed that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM) and other bodies responsible for “policing Malaysian cyberspace” were told to look into implementing this system.

“I’ve asked authorities such as SKMM to find ways to implement this and study how developed countries have successfully overcome the problem of the culture of pornography,” he said.

However, he refused to answer questions on the tender process and admonished “liberals and supporters of liberalism” who have criticised the Government’s plans for such a filter.

“Look at the situation of countries which had fallen victim to widespread pornography, resulting in child sex.

“We must attempt to stop this. The Government is looking into ways to overcome this,” he said.

(source: The Star, a Government-friendly newspaper)

Walski wonders until what age we’re considered children still… 20? 35? Or over 40, and no longer eligible to be part of political “youth” bodies? Because if you’re talking about children under our care, there are a number of parental tools, that should be administered by parents, not the government.

Yeah, yeah, Walski knows… we have a nanny government, keen on controlling every aspect of our daily lives, including what we can read and watch, and depending on what demographic you’re fated to be born in, what we can eat and drink.

And what’s this about policing Malaysian cyberspace? Well, apart from the MCMC, Walski’s heard about a huge amount of resources (equipment and moist robots) that do exactly that – police cyberspace. Particularly the blogs.

Rais has asked us to look at the situation of countries that had fallen victim to porn – without actually naming which countries. And this it the typical dinosaur-ish behavior that Walski finds antiquated – spew out facts that are unsupported, and expect everyone to believe what’s spewed verbatim.

And is pedophilia really the result of online porn? Fellow blogger Aisehman begs to differ.

Paedophiles? Paedophiles would still lust after children even if there never was an Internet.

Paedophiles have been around ever since people have been around.

Maybe Rais should read more on paedophilia. He can order some books from, unless the good minister plans to filter out that site too, since you can get all sorts of stuff from

Another option for Rais is to go learn from the MACC chief’s son. That dude should know more about the subject than the rest of us since he was caught with and found guilty of possesing some pretty interesting video clips in his notebook computer.

(source: Aisehman, a blog critical of everyone)

But despite the protests and “advice” by industry players, and citizens at large, Rais is adamant on wanting to impose a Green Dam type of filter, similar to the kind China wanted to roll out but has since decided not to. Yet.

Implement such filtering and we’re gonna renege the commitment of the MSC Charter – that the Internet shall not be censored. Then just watch as more and more companies start abandoning the MSC, like rats off a sinking junk. As it is, the MSC has pretty much lost much of the glitter and glam of what it initially aimed to be.

Yes, it has managed to assist in the development of the Malaysian IT and Communications industry. True, too, however, is that it could have done a lot more in the past decade that the MSC has been around. Keep on putting the screws of control and censorship, the only relevance the acronym MSC may have one day would be Multi-Storey Carpark. Which we have plenty of already.

Rais Yatim, in fact, is known to be one of the more liberal senior politicians in the country. Walski reckons, though, liberal as he may be – or may have been once upon a time – a liberal dinosaur, is still basically a dinosaur. A relic from a bygone prehistory of Government Knows Best.

The Green Dam wanna-do issue we’re seeing today is an extrapolation of how relics want to exert the extent of their influence the only way they know how. Suppression. Nevermind that there are workarounds, and nevermind that Green Dam type of filtering will have serious and damaging ramifications.

As long as the relics have their way. And come hell or high water, have their way they must. It’s a relic thing, you have to understand.

And it’ll just leave us singing the blues…

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