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6/01/2006

it's alright to poke funs at opposition politicians

There were some talks and indications as to what MICA and Boonyang would do to the issue of citizen reporting and the internet. So far the signals and signs are that there will be some control but will be a 'light touch.' The ministry will handle the challenge posed by citizen reporting sensitively, to allow the reporting to continue but with some measures of control wothout having to kill the baby. There seems to be an acknowledgement that it is futile and damaging to use the iron hand approach to slam the door shut. Engagement seems to be the favoured choice, at least for the time being. Miyagi and Mr Brown when interviewed, have both expressed the danger of taking too tough a measure which would lead to a confrontation in cyberspace. Now we shall wait and see how much will come down. Though all the noises is about a light touch, no one really knows what this means. It could also have the same meaning as the word 'affordable.' This can mean different thing to different people. So is a light touch. Another probability, it seems, is that the concern is more during the election period and any restriction could be in the next election. But inciting racial and religious hatred will always be monitored. That is understandable. Also, it is alright to laugh at opposition candidates and make joke of them in the net. This should be the way, relax, a little Bohemian spirit. Laugh at ourselves. But not on national leaders as the latter will undermine their respect and authority.

1 comment:

redbean said...

I have just read Boonyang's speech in the ST editorial page. It is a very comprehensive piece of article revealing the level of understanding the Govt have on the development of internet and citizen reporting. Boonyang's comments are very broad and fair, weighing the pros and cons and the potential of the unknown future.

There were fears, and these are justified, on how the internet could be abused and hijacked to serve the interests of extremist groups to undermine the social fabrics of our fragile society where the pulls of religion and race cannot be underestimated.

The content of internet postings can vary from the truth to absolute lies and distortions. And the innocents could easily be misled. One consolation is that only the educated are able to access the internet. Some of those who are posting outrageous comments are not really nuts but highly educated people putting on a front. It is the young, whose ideas are not fully formed and their ability to shift through falsehoods and slants are still inadequate, that are of real concern.

The only way is through education, exposure and experience. These young will mature quickly when the internet is lively and there are the more decent bloggers and forumers to provide a balanced and counter view to the deceitful.

It is a treacherous and adventurous path that the world is heading. Putting the head inside the sand will not help. And the govt will have to face this challenge squarely with more engagement and information to enlighten and remove the veil of darkness in cyberspace.