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Censorship The Internet

Malaysia Blocking Websites Based On Political Content 121

An anonymous reader writes: A few days ago Slashdot carried a piece of news from Malaysia whereby [news] websites based in Malaysia must be registered. Now comes the news that Malaysia is actively blocking websites which carry political opinion contrary to those of the ruling elite. Granted, Malaysia is no US of A nor Europe, but the world must understand that Malaysia is the only country in the world where racial apartheid laws are still being actively practiced — and have received endorsement from the ruling elite which has controlled Malaysia for the past 58 years. (Wikipedia lists some other candidates for modern-day apartheid in its entry on Contemporary segregation.)
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Malaysia Blocking Websites Based On Political Content

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  • Gotta make Malaysia look all nice and 'stuff'.. Or was that Burma?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To a news article where you have to "answer a question" to see it. There must be dozens of reputable news sites with the story and you link to an unknown "bignewsnetwork"? Does slashdot even have anyone checking submissions?

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:33AM (#50419479) Homepage

    If Malaysia practices apartheid, why is the civilized world not boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning this country? This is what happens to countries that practice apartheid. It worked on South Africa and it can work again on Malaysia.

    I wasn't even aware of this until I read the summary, and I read a lot of international news.

    • by jblues ( 1703158 )

      The difference is that in South Africa, European colonists practiced apartheid against the older indigenous racial group. In the case of Malaysia, the laws favor the Malay people and their culture, who have been there for thousands of years, against ethnic Indian and Chinese who have only been there for a mere few hundred. Arguably Malaysia is not the only country with such apartheid cultural views that go all the way to being ratified in one law or another.

      Rather than a cultural stir-fry a melting-pot is e

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "while its difficult to convert away from Islam to another religion..."

        It's more than difficult, it's illegal. Converting away from Islam in Malaysia is punishable by life in prison.

        • by jblues ( 1703158 )

          That is not true. A person wishing to leave Islam in Malaysia may apply for a certificate to do so from the Shariah courts - this is a legal right. In practice attempting to obtain such a certificate can lead to bureaucracy, red-tape and persecution. But a person can't be legally imprisoned for desiring to renounce Islam.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Ex-Muslims_(Malaysia)

            http://michellemalkin.com/2006/08/25/the-persecution-of-lina-joy/

            Whatever anyone says that Malaysia is an open-minded country, please consult the links above

          • by phayes ( 202222 )

            That is a lie as anyone with any experience with Malaysia knows.

            Half a century ago it was a "Legal right" for black men to vote & yet we all know that the entrenched power in southern states refused to respect it. Stop pretending that Malaysia respects the rights of it's minorities and apply real reform to sanction the abuses.

            • by jblues ( 1703158 )

              That is a lie as anyone with any experience with Malaysia knows.

              I lived in Malaysia for a few years, and openly opposed racial and cultural discrimination, even though expressing such views could be dangerous. I still live nearby in another part of SE Asia.

              Half a century ago it was a "Legal right" for black men to vote & yet we all know that the entrenched power in southern states refused to respect it.

              And the solution to that injustice was to start with the facts: The legal right was there. But there were thousands of other problems to solve before it could mean something. Many of those problems have been solved, and some yet remain. Its a continuum in any part of the world. Newly industrialized nations have somewh

              • by phayes ( 202222 )

                Your claimed knowledge & experience of Malaysia should have led you to denouncing their apartheid & discrimination of minorities yet you attempted to minimize the indefensible with half truths. The fact is that fiction of having rights when the government refuses to respect them is worse than having no rights at all as it crushes the hopes of those who were deluded by the lie.

                • by jblues ( 1703158 )

                  I was simply pointing out the law, not saying I agreed in any way with a flawed execution, or with the law itself. I thought this would've been obvious. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but even in countries with a high human development index, the law is not always fair and upheld flawlessly, let alone in newly industrialized nation like Malaysia, which is on the good side of the middle. [wikipedia.org]. The country where I live now is lower down, but that's another story.

                  • by phayes ( 202222 )

                    Perfect application of laws isn't the subject. Wide-spread regime-condoned discrimination of minorities is. No other nation with anything approaching their level of economic development practices Apartheid in the 21st Century as Malaysia does.

                    • by jblues ( 1703158 )

                      It's more than difficult, it's illegal. Converting away from Islam in Malaysia is punishable by life in prison.

                      What are you talking about? The issue is someone stated that its illegal to convert away from Islam in Malaysia. It is not. I corrected that.

                      You seem like someone who cares about social issues, and that's great. But if you want to help, start with the facts.

                • Dude,

                  Apartheid means "separateness."

                  You can accuse Malaysia of doing numerous bad things to minorities, but keeping them restricted to their own little Chinese-only ghettoes and persecuting anyone found out late at night is not one of them.

                  It is impossible for an activist to effectively fight a problem if he can't even articulate what the problem is in a sensible fashion.

          • by udippel ( 562132 )

            You are objectively incorrect. I don't have to pull out the resources, everyone can do on her own. There are camps where people who desire to leave the Islamic religion are interned for weeks, and months. They are called 're-education camps' where some Imam tries to convince them of the beauty of the religion.
            True, it is not life imprisonment, but against basic western understanding.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2015 @04:47AM (#50419655)

        One thing about Malaysia is that the ruling regime invested very heavily in professional spin-doctors, with their history-twisting lies, in order to hide all the ugly truths

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/special-investigation-tv-company-takes-millions-from-malaysian-government-to-make-documentaries-for-bbc-about-malaysia-2338813.html

        The message I am replying to is one of those beautifully crafted piece filled with fact-twisting half-truths

        ... In the case of Malaysia, the laws favor the Malay people and their culture, who have been there for thousands of year ...

        To jblues,

        Please spread your bullshit somewhere else!

        The Malays did not have 'thousands of years' of history nor culture on Malaysia.

        The Malay arrived in Malaysia from Sumatra of Indonesia. Even their own history books have noted that Parameswara, a defeated prince from Sumatra, running from his enemies, landed on the shore of the Pininsular, some six hundred years ago

        However, there is one people in Malaysia who can trace their ancestry back to thousands of years - the Orang Asli, the TRUE aborigines

        All of you are invited to find out the truth for yourself, instead of listening to professional soothsayers paid by the racist regime which is now controlling Malaysia. I will only include a single link, to illustrate how the Orang Asli are being treated by the Malay authority ---

        http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/orang-asli-odds-with-nation-state

        • by jblues ( 1703158 )

          Professional spin doctor? Dude, you can look me up - I earn my bread writing code.

          I was simply stating that addressing the problem of apartheid views/laws might be even more challenging in Malaysia than in South Africa because people tend to be more apologetic to the group that claims a longer cultural tradition. In fact I can think of some other countries where these kinds of views are seen as virtuous, whether or not they're legal. My own birth country is an example, and it makes me reluctant to bring my

        • Take a look at actual info on these people.

          The Proto-Malays actually started out as Orang Asli of the southern half of the country. The current Malays [wikipedia.org] may be descended from the Duetero-Malays who appeared in the Iron Age. Even the northernmost (and thus furthest from Sumatra) Sultanates have histories dating back to the 630s.

          OTOH, the Chinese and Indian minorities on the peninsula are largely, but not entirely, a product of British Imperialism in the 19th century.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        The Saudis are also infamous for treating their workers from other places very badly.
      • by udippel ( 562132 )

        Alas, wrong. But you couldn't necessarily know.
        The Malays have not been lving there for thousands of years, 90 % are migrants from other places as well, from the overcrowded Malayan Archipelago, driving out the native population ('Orang Asli'), who are in these days more often that not forcibly converted to Islam.

        Yes, you fell for the usual official propaganda, which is shown by your second last sentence. That's the official formulation. Don't forget that in 1969 close to 2000 people were slaughtered in a l

        • by jblues ( 1703158 )

          Ah right, I stand corrected on that one.

          It appears that the Orung Asli people that you refer to are in fact 18 different ethnic/tribal groups. I live in the Philippines now - a nation consisting of 7200 islands, so there are many tribes here too. One such group are the Negritos who are related to the Semang Orung Asli (according to wikipedia). Sadly they are also persecuted here. Life expectancy at birth is just 27 years vs the national average of 70.

        • You sure about the "not thousands of years" thing?

          Because their northernmost Sultanate, which would be the last one conquered by immigrants from the Archipelago, claims a history back to 630 [wikipedia.org]. Granted this starts with conquests by a Sumatran, but as an American I have to say 13 or 14 centuries is a pretty damn long time to occupy a piece of land. In many countries in Europe the dominant ethnic group of 650 AD or so is not the dominant ethnic group today, and nobody claims the Romanians have no right to their

          • by udippel ( 562132 )

            I'm sorry for you, but you did a thorough research without finding the relevant semantics. Otherwise you could not have titled me as 'UMNO propagandist', because what i wrote is exactly the opposite of what UMNO is trying to instill into the population. Namely, that the Malays are the indigenous population. If I had much more time on my hands, I'd find out some academic articles, including by prominent Malaysians, that this is exactly not the case (Malays being there for thousands of years).
            Alas, you are al

            • Two points:
              1) This is an American site. Most readers don't actually believe the world existed before July 4th, 1776. Which means we really do not give two shits whether the Malays got there in 1500 or 630. Either way it's before time began, so they get to call it their country.

              2) By making this argument you are helping UNMO. That is why I called you an UNMO Propagandist. As an American the only place I hear people make complex arguments about whether such-and-such a place was inhabited by such-and-such an e

          • but as an American I have to say 13 or 14 centuries is a pretty damn long time to occupy a piece of land.

            I am sure that there are many American "Indians" who would agree with you, and look back at their hundred-odd centuries of inhabiting the Americans before being kicked out by white-skinned Europeans.

            This is an American site.

            I thought that the American site is slashdot.us, and that this is the international site. There were no passport checks on entry.

            • but as an American I have to say 13 or 14 centuries is a pretty damn long time to occupy a piece of land.

              I am sure that there are many American "Indians" who would agree with you, and look back at their hundred-odd centuries of inhabiting the Americans before being kicked out by white-skinned Europeans.

              Read some Native American history.

              Yes, they were here on the continent before us, but they were always moving around on the continent. Take the Crow. They were driven West several time, ending up on the Great Plains. By the early 1800s they owned a significant tract of land centered on Montana. In 1851 they lost that land to the Sioux. They have technically never ceded an acre to the white man because by the time the white advance caught up to them they were homeless.

              The Pueblo are pretty unique in being ab

    • For the same reason we don't boycott China for their suicide Foxconn labor exports. We need cheap shit.
      • Was just going to say this. Similar to the reason Singapore gets a free pass on being a faux-democratic authoritarian dictatorship - its just too nice of a place for businesses.

        • And Israel. We give them weapons and money instead, because they are our partners.

          • America ignores human rights when choosing allies. Maybe you should fix that?
            • America ignores human rights when choosing allies. Maybe you should fix that?

              Fix what? It is very convenient for politicians and allows businesses to make higher profits. What's the problem?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's not apartheid, just institutionalized racial discrimination. For example:

      • Non-bumiputra (eg. Indians, Chinese, whites) are excluded from leadership positions in the military, police and government
      • Some businesses are required to have bumiputra sit on their board of directors; at least 30% bumiputra ownership is required to list on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange
      • University places and elite schools are reserved for bumiputra
      • Government projects accept tenders only from bumiputra-owned companies
      • Dissent again
    • How's that strategy working in North Korea, Iran, etc.?

      The collateral of such a strategy puts a heavy toll on the citizens. I would rather prefer that countries freeze assets of officials and restrict their movements internationally.

      By the way, I am in agreement that international communities can help persuade such countries to enact fairer policies.

    • Partly because it's not Apartheid. The only state that is anything nearly as bananas legally as Apartheid* is Israel, and the Israelis actually allow quite a bit of inter-communal contact if you were lucky enough to be on their side of the border after the war of '48. The tricky bits come in the Occupied territories, where the Israelis make an argument that works fine for a few years. If you're militarily occupying another country you do get to run things, and they don't get to vote, but OTOH if it's lastin

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Officially sanctioned apartheid in Malaysia has been in place since the 70s. My family and I were placed under house arrest by machine-gun toting police in '79 because my father refused to play along with the government's desire to rob him of his company. We had a friend in the government who attempted to protect us but was murdered in a faked helicopter crash, at which point we decided to leave and were smuggled out with false papers by the British embassy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Al Jazeera and the government sponsored news from NK are blocked from being aired in the USA. Stuff is blocked because of USA DMCA law. Images are blocked because of US definitions of underage. Even when the sites aren't in the USA or hosted in the USA or owned by anyone with anything IN the USA.

    So, really, until the USA gets its act together, I really REALLY don't give a shit what other countries do to block stuff on the internet IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY ONLY.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      Seriously, Al Jazeera is blocked in the US?

      I know Dubya and co were targeting them and Reuters for being the only independent press operating in Iraq instead of being embedded under contol of the US military, but I'd have thought that within the US borders at least, your Constitutional Right to Free Speech was still being upheld.

      • He's probably referring to the trouble they had getting cable operators to agree to carry them. That was a problem when they launched,. but at the moment they seem to be available in half the country.

  • The mainstream press in "liberal" countries also block based on political content. You can even be prosecuted for a tweet these days.

    Should people in glass houses throw stones?
  • "Malaysia is the only country in the world where racial apartheid laws are still being actively practiced" Never heard of Israel, I suppose: http://www.itisapartheid.org/l... [itisapartheid.org]

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