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Malaysia Frees "Anti-Islamic" Blogger 53

Posted by timothy
from the how-merciful-of-them dept.
quarterbuck writes "The Malaysian blogger who was under arrest on sedition charges has been freed by the courts. Raja Petra Kamarudin's comments were interpreted by the government as being anti-Islam and anti-government; he was arrested under Malaysia's Internal Security Act. Now, a court has ruled that the government was overstepping its limits in what is being called a landmark ruling."
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Malaysia Frees "Anti-Islamic" Blogger

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  • Re:Speaking freely (Score:5, Informative)

    by dnwq (910646) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @04:16PM (#25689295)
    Trivia: the Malaysian government which is pulling this is not the radical Islamic wing. The Internal Security Act has even been used against the Islamic party. Make of that what you will.
  • Re:Blogger's blog (Score:4, Informative)

    by ickoonite (639305) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @05:16PM (#25689661) Homepage
    the opposition in M'sia is a coalition that includes the radical Islamic right

    True, but that's because the opposition in Malaysia is still a rather nascent phenomenon. Yes, there have been opposition parties for years, but they are all very small, and so this odd alliance of non-Muslim Chinese Malaysians and the radical Islamic parties is what you get. It's the only way to face off the UMNO (ruling party) juggernaut.

    Incidentally, the blame for the Internal Security Act (both in Malaysia and Singapore) can be laid squarely with the British. As someone else has pointed out, it was introduced when there was a very real fear that Malaya would fall to the commies; the British were successful in preventing that. But afterwards, these new "democracies" felt that the ISA might be useful, and so it has remained. The other British-imposed legislative gem is that criminalising sodomy (though Muslim Malaysia might have had something to say about that anyway): the one-time darling of the UMNO party and now leader of the opposition Anwar Ibrahim has twice been accused of sodomy, though pretty much everyone knows the charges were politically motivated. The first time round though, he spent quite a few years in jail for it.

    The good thing is that sites like this "blog" are demonstrating that the power of the Internet is starting to act as a force for change (and why it is relevant to Slashdot, I might add). That the government feels the need to lock people up on trumped-up charges of anti-Islamic conduct is, ultimately, a sign that they are making waves. And that can only be a good thing.

    :|
  • Re:Speaking freely (Score:4, Informative)

    by quarterbuck (1268694) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @05:30PM (#25689771)
    I posted the story originally with the title "Malaysian Court Frees Blogger" (I remember because I used the same title that New York times did).
    The "anti-islamic" comment is not mine
    I don't believe this has anything to do with religion, most developing nations use religion, public order, morality etc. as an excuse for authoritarianism.
    I do hope that it will change and that freer communications and exposure to the rest of the world is a factor in bringing about cultural change, not just change to internet.

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