Saturday, May 26, 2007

Suspicion On AllMalaysian Blogger Project by The Star

There is a new blog portal called AllMalaysian Blogger Project.



This portal is, managed by The Star, in association with Genting....



I feel very skeptical when it comes to projects organised by "The Star" concerning blogs and portals. A search through the net landed me in a wikipedia page about this tabloid:

" ..... The Star is majority-owned by the Malaysian Chinese Association, the second-largest party in the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance.... "

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_(Malaysia)

This is the most important point taken from the project page that I wish to highlight with regards to my skepticism:

" ..... The AllMalaysian Bloggers Project (AMBP) is an undertaking of the folks behind the AllMalaysia.info website, all of whom believe strongly in the freedom of speech..... ".

Let's say, I have articles that are "NOT" pro-government, for instance, criticising certain ministers and policies from the ruling party of Barisan Nasional or open discussions about May 13. Will AMBP help me promote? Will the owner of The Star give privilleges to only pro-government blogs?

Again I stress, I do not trust what was being written on the "freedom of speech" area. Not to mention, there were numerous attempts and ideas to "control bloggers", "register bloggers", "classify bloggers" from Barisan Nasional Ministers. Some even called bloggers as liars and unemployed.

To exert control is the opposite of freedom of speech.

If the ownership of The Star as mentioned by wikipedia is true, that would mean AMBP is directly (or indirectly) controlled by a component in Barisan Nasional. With those "tough statements" mentioned by ministers, I am curious as to what extent this so-called umbrella site will be allowed to function. Is this an attempt from the ruling party to register, classify and control bloggers? I am asking with confusion, some words used were in ambiguity?

Of AllMalaysian Blogger Project might not be a friend of free speech, writes Hafiz No Shams in his highly recommended analysis of the portal.

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Currently, I only believe in the Bloggers United project. A gathering was held on 19th May 2007.



As for my daily dose of socio-political articles, I would recommend these three blog portals:

SOPO Sentral
Malaysiakita
Malaysia Today

I am sorry for AMBP. There is too much suspicion.

4 comments:

Rauff said...

That is the sky to hope for....there will never be freedom of speech in this country. Even when you cheekyly say the BOSS is a pirate. Once you even mumble something against them they will try to make your life a living hell...Hey look at me...they expelled me from Uni just because they cant take public criticism. Boooo~!!!!

mmm said...

But actually The Star seems trying to be quite open. Definitely more so than the NST!

Have you tried reading the letters pages? And especially the SMS section? They publish a lot of "open secret" comments that you would think would be censored.

Sagaladoola said...

Hi mmm,

I have read the sms section. It is true that they "try" to publish something.

However, there is still a lot of blackout , such as the toll protests etc. etc.

Suspicion is still on, as it is reportedly controlled by a ruling party as mentioned by the wikipedia entry

mmm said...

At least we can look on the bright side that the Editor is trying, eh?

I mean, for sure they can't go full out to publish the toll protests if the PM's secretary personally forbade them from doing so. (Read Jeff Ooi)

I don' think any censorship is done by the owner's or editors per se. It's being forced on them directly by the government through threatening to revoke their license, like what happened to the Chinese paper a few years ago.

Let's look on the bright side. You can also put money where the mouth is by buying a subscription to Malaysiankini.