KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2:
The call by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to censor the Internet was a move by Umno and Barisan Nasional to ensure they retain their rule.
In an interview with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) mouthpieceKeadilan Daily, the party’s Communications director, Fahmi Fadzil, said the suggestion was an act of anti-democracy, dictatorship and was tyrannical, and it should be protested against by all.
Moreover, Fahmi said, Dr Mahathir had gone against his word in his guarantee to not censor the Internet when he introduced the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).
He added that if what Dr Mahathir said was to be implemented, he would have broken his own promise of no censorship to the Internet, according toKeadilan Daily.
Fahmi said the move would not only block the dissemination of information to citizens, but also cause the nation to become backward.
“We are now in a position whereby the country is flourishing and all information is available on the Internet, so is it right to act by censoring the Internet?” he was quoted.
He reportedly said there should be no censorship of public affairs issues that benefited people.
“The rakyat have a right to get facts and information that is accurate.”
In his blog yesterday, Dr Mahathir called for the government to censor the Internet and press freedom, out of fear that freedom of expression would be open to abuse.
He said when he promised no censorship of the Internet when he was the Prime Minister, he did not know the power of the World Wide Web.
“But today, I have changed my mind.
“I have done so because the players, including those controlling the servers have been applying their own censorship of what can appear in this alternative media. I myself have suffered from such censorship,” he wrote.
He also suggested the press be censored because any kind of freedom was open to abuse and the Internet, according to him, had played a major role in undermining public morality when it came to online abuse.