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Malaysian Government Wants Internet Filtering 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-fashionable-these-days dept.
adewolf tips news that the government of Malaysia is looking into the development of an internet filtering program. According to a Reuters report, "A vibrant Internet culture has contributed to political challenges facing the government, which tightly controls mainstream media and has used sedition laws and imprisonment without trial to prosecute a blogger." The Malaysian government insists that such a filter would only be used to block pornography, though critics of the plan expect it would be wielded as a political tool, censoring websites that are critical of the current administration. "An industry source says the government could impose the filters late this year or in 2010, coinciding with the rollout of a high-speed broadband network run by Telekom Malaysia. Malaysia aims to increase broadband penetration to half of all homes by 2010 as part of its drive to boost economic efficiency."
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Malaysian Government Wants Internet Filtering

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @12:32AM (#28993785)

    What? Malaysia is merely thinking about mandary filtering?
    In Singapore, we already have mandatory filtering since (roughly) 1996!

    (Goodbye, Karma...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @12:36AM (#28993799)

    Together with Iran and Turkey, Malaysia will soon be filtering its Internet content. The common thread among all 3 countries is that the majority of their citizens are Muslims.

    but what about china and australia.

    thats 5 countries and the internet is still kinda young. this is a trend that is just getting worse.

  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Saturday August 08, 2009 @02:33AM (#28994223) Homepage
    I was on a project with Telekom Malaysia back in '01, went to Kuala Lumpur for a month. Random observations, in no particular order: Telekom is pretty good, other than falling for my company's crappy spiel about our product that barely worked and which could bring an E10000 to its knees with a load of 100 messages per minute. KL was a pretty modern place, with big buildings, good restaurants, shops, etc. The ringgit was set at 4.25 to the dollar (the explanation was that it had protected the Malay economy against George Soros' currency manipulation that helped to cause the Asian Financial Crisis.) This had the odd effect that all the prices were generally what I would expect in America, only 4.25 times less. A plate of [whatever] plus fries and drink at the mall food court would be 5.75, only in local currency, not in dollars (this was back when the USD was actually worth something overseas.) KL was also my first experience with Asian fake markets...hell yeah I came back with a suitcase full of CDs and Kung Fu VCDs (I didn't have a DVD player or DVD drive at the time IIRC.) The bars there sucked, but I suppose that comes with the territory, being an Islamic country and all. I mean, I wouldn't expect the bar scene in Cow's Asshole, Alabama to be thriving, either. There were ads in the newspaper for apartments and jobs, specifically listing the religions, ages, and sexes of the people eligible to apply. Seriously, the ads would say something like "30 sq meters, private bath, window with good view of sunset, unmarried Muslim girls 18-30 only, call 03-77445678." This was quite shocking to me coming from America, with its history of rigidly enforcing civil rights, at gunpoint if necessary [usg.edu]. But Malaysia has rigid enforcement if its religious laws - every citizen's national ID card has a field where it says "religion". A friend of mine related this anecdote: he was in Malaysia to visit the factory, at some restaurant somewhere with the factory people. The factory manager got a tap on her shoulder from the waiter, and she had to go up to the front of the restaurant. She was gone for some time, which caused my buddy to become concerned. She returned in due course, explaining that the JAWI (religious police) came into the restaurant, and she had left her ID card in her car. She had to go all the way out and get it, to prove that she was a Hindu, and therefore not subject to jail for eating during daytime (it was Ramadan at the time of his visit). The JAWI apologized and said that she looked Muslim.

    I'm not surprised a country like this has decided to join China by firewalling the outside world. They have a lot to lose (by their standards) and little to gain (again, by their standards) by allowing unfettered access. And since post-modern thought says that there is no truth, only differing points of view, who can disagree with this decision? No matter how you come down on the censorship debate, there is always another equally valid point of view on the opposite side.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 08, 2009 @06:30AM (#28994947)

    There are other reasons why the Malaysian governement want to filter Internet traffic. To stop what they might consider to be embarrassing news getting out.

    Here is an excerpt of an e-mail recently sent to me by a Malaysian friend. The word "bumis" mentioned several times in the e-mail refers to Bumiputras - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumiputra - basically Malays, as opposed to other (non-Malay and usually non-Muslim) Malaysians.

    --- excerpt begins ---

    Discrimination of Non-Malays in Malaysia

    Plain racists as PAS said. .

    This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-Malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc..) who have been racially discriminated against.

    Figures in this list are merely estimates, so please take it as a guide only. The government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is the government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

    This list covers a period of about 48 years since independence (1957).

    List of racial discriminations ( Malaysia ):

    (1) Of the five major banks, only one is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by Malays.

    (2) 99% of Petronas directors are Malays.

    (3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese.

    (4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by Malays.

    (5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be of Bumis status.

    (6) 0% of non-Malay staff is legally required in Malay companies. But there must be 30% Malay staffs in Chinese companies.

    (7) 5% of all new intake for government police, nurses, army, are non-Malays.

    (8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), a drop from 40% in 1960.

    (9) 2% is the percentage of non-Malay government servants in Putrajaya, but Malays make up 98%.

    (10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the entire government (in 2004); a drop from 30% in 1960.

    (11) 95% of government contracts are given to Malays.

    (12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by Malay government, e.g. Taxi permits, Approved permits, etc.

    (13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to Malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is made difficult for Chinese rice millers.

    (14) 100 big companies set up, owned and managed by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by Malays since 1970s, e.g. UTC, UMBC, MISC, etc.

    (15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia in the past 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other Malay transport companies due to rejection by Malay authorities to Chinese applications for bus routes and rejection for their applications for new buses.

    (16) Two Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and three were Chinese in Oct. 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given.

    (17) 0 non-Malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (Nov. 2004).

    (18) 8000 Billion Ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to Malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatization of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over a 34 years period.

    (19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down from 1968 - 2000.

    (20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down from 1968 - 2000.

    (21) 2637 Malay primary schools built from 1968 - 2000.

    (22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, Malay schools got 96.5%.

    (23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school textbook loan, a Malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible.

    (24) All 10 public university vice chancellors are Malays.

    (25) 5% of the government universities' lecturers are of non-Malay origins. This percentage has been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004.

    (26) Only 5% has been given to non-Malays for government scholarships in over 40

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