Sunday, 28 January 2007

Marina Mahathir Says: Bloggers, Fight Back !

From RantingsbyMM -Marina Mahathir: Read here

"Bloggers, and anyone else who believes in freedom of speech, unite."
-Marina Mahathir

UPDATE: 28th January:

Yesterday, we alerted you on why The NST and Berita Harian, both subsidiaries of The NSTP, should be cited for contempt of court.

Today, The NST is not only in active denial mode, it’s courting the Prime Minister, who is president of Umno which effectively owns The NSTP, to commit prejudice against the bloggers on trial, yet again!

The new spin, we believed was aimed at the Judges, was published in January 28 edition of New Sunday Times, entitled Exclusive Sunday interview with the Prime Minister: ‘I’ve to do what I need to do‘, bylined Hishamuddin Aun, the plaintiff in the defamation suits against the bloggers, Berita Harian Group Editor Manja Ismail and Kadir Dikoh.

In the article, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resorted to the same tactic used by NSTP’s counsel, Shearne Delamore & Co., which made “global claims” of a generic manner where all bloggers were called names and accused of penal crimes but void of specifics. It has been a tactic described by the defence as “fatally deficient“.

Abdullah had called bloggers liars without saying specifically what lies bloggers told. Read here for more

From Marina Mahathir:

Ok, let's put this conversation up front and centre, shall we?

Our blogbros Jeff and Rocky are being sued, as you all know.

We may not all agree with everything they say but that is not the point.

The point is, this sort of heavyhanded intimidation is an impediment to democracy because it impedes freedom of speech and limits our people's access to alternative views about current events.

It insults all of us because it assumes that we cannot come up with the 'right' opinion if we are allowed to see all the different perspectives on a particular subject. It is a blatant form of censorship.

So, this is what we need to do:

  1. Stay united on this issue, which is the right of bloggers to express their opinions in cyberspace. Responsible bloggers do not write mere gossip or lies, so must be free to write what they want.

  2. Support all efforts to support Rocky and Jeff.

    The first is the proposal to set up a fund to defend them, as well as other bloggers which may face the same problems in the future.

    This is in the works, and I have been asked to be a Trustee. Am just waiting for proper terms of reference to be drafted because if we are handling people's money, we need to have safeguards to ensure transparency and accountability.

  3. I think we should start a guerrilla campaign on this.

    I think we should turn Kickdefella's great logo into a whole series of merchandise - t-shirts, stickers, posters, whatever - to be sold to raise funds for the defence fund.

    If we have the logo EVERYWHERE, what are they going to do? They can't rip off the stickers from cars, or t-shirts off people's backs. The guys who do those great stencil graffitis should be asked to also help.

  4. Boycott the NST and related publications. Yes, stop subs. Nothing will create greater fear among those guys than if their income drops.

    Any other creative suggestions to show support will be greatly welcomed.

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