Self-censorship of media a result of draconian laws

Special Article: Self-censorship of media a result of draconian laws
Published by Malaysia Today
Tuesday, 26 May 2009 16:40

During the 2009 Bloggers United Malaysia (BUM) gathering on 16 May, the fourth Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, claimed no responsibility for controlling the media during his time. CIJ thinks that it was quite a farce.

The Malaysian mainstream newsrooms practice self-censorship and if that wasn’t good enough, there would be host of legislative and political interferences to make sure the public got a certain kind of information. Well packaged to keep out the most critical bits and sweet enough for the powers that be to feel comfortable in their seats. And to oblige the print media and the broadcasters their annual licences. Continue reading


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Editors should confirm or deny Dr M’s allegation of self-censorship

by Dr Lim Teck Ghee

Who Should the Finger of Blame Be Pointed Towards

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims that actually it is the Press who self-censor. This allegation – repeated several times – was perhaps the most startling revelation made by the ex-premier in his speech at the Bloggers Universe Malaysia (BUM) dialogue in Subang Jaya on May 16, 2009.

“In Malaysia, usually censorship is something that the media itself carries out. You don’t have to tell them, ‘Look, don’t do this, don’t do that’. They somehow or other have got this ability to gauge what is it that the leadership wants. So during my time, you may have noticed that there was a good lot of praise for me. It was almost as if nothing I did was wrong,” Dr Mahathir said. Continue reading

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BUM 2009 media coverage – The Star

Tuesday May 19, 2009

Former PM among speakers at BUM 2009


BLOGGERS should provide more in-depth writing to encourage critical thinking among readers, seasoned blogger and online editor Fathi Aris Omar said.“Most blogs are opinionated and personal.“Not many provide insights or reveal new things to encourage critical and analytical thinking among the masses,” he said.Fathi said although such sites might appeal to some, they did not provide opportunity for an intellectual discourse on the issues.

He added that it was time bloggers went beyond the surface as the blogsphere played a role in shaping one’s opinion.

“Most feature nothing new and sometimes they are not even updated.

“The only new thing about it is the technology itself – not the content,” he said.

He added that being bombarded with such information would cause readers to stop reading and shift to something new.

Fathi was speaking at the Bloggers Universe Malaysia (BUM) 2009, a special discourse organised by a group of bloggers in association with the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI).

Held in Subang Jaya on Saturday, BUM 2009 was the third organised since 2007.

Themed “4th and 5th Estates – On Collision Course?”, BUM 2009 brought bloggers, mainstream media representatives, politicians and academicians together to discuss relevant topics, especially on the issues of the new media (5th estate) vs mainstream media (4th estate) and their influence in the local political arena.

The highlight of the event was the presence of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is a blogger himself.

He gave a half-hour talk and spent another half hour fielding questions from the floor.

Also present was BUM 2009 organising committee chairman Y.L. Chong.

Mahathir acknowledged the importance of the new media as an alternative source of information and news for the masses, and a platform for the masses to voice their opinion.

However, he called on bloggers to be responsible in what they wrote online and to come up with a standardised code of ethics.

Meanwhile, lawyer Fahri Azzat said some people only visited blogs that reinforced their opinion, rather than find out the whole story.

“Sometimes, the contents are only relevant at that particular moment,” he pointed out.

Art Harun, a lawyer who is also a blogger, said accountability and transparency also applied to bloggers, and reminded bloggers to be mindful of the rights of others as bloggers were not above the law,

BUM 2009 started with the topic “The Media: Civil Society’s Perspectives” featuring CPI director Dr Lim Teck Ghee, civil society activist Dr K.J. John, lawyer Philip Koh and lawyer-blogger Art Harun.

A Bahasa Malaysia session was included for the first time.

The afternoon session, chaired by Helen Ang, focused on the topic Bagaimanakah Media Baru boleh menggalakkan pemikiran kritis masyarakat? (How can the new media encourage critical thinking among the community?), and featured Faisal Mustaffa, special aide to a DAP MP, Fathi Aris Omar and Fahri Azzat.

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More Pictures & Thoughts from Blogs….

  1. More photos of the event available at Minaq Jinggo’s.
  2. Thoughts from The Malay Male.
  3. Have the 4th Estate failed themselves ?
  4. The clash of 4th and 5th Estate
  5. Bloggers are VIPs
  6. A Case of Second Guessing by MSM
  7. Some BUMmy/Balmy Reflections…

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BUM 09 in pictures – Pahit Manis blog

I CAUGHT the tail end of BUM ’09 on Saturday. I saw quite a number of bloggers and journalists at the annual All-Blogs event. I wish I had attended the whole day’s session. The theme put forward this year was – mainstream media and new media: Have they failed us? You can judge for yourself whether the new media have failed you. As for the mainstream media, I’d go a step back and ask this question – MSM: Have they failed themselves? Here are some pictures I took during my brief attendance there.

More BUM pictures available at

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BUM 2009 – on Malaysiakini TV

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied that during his long tenure as prime minister, he had imposed censorship on the mainstream media.

In his 30-minute speech at the Bloggers United Malaysia (BUM) dialogue in Subang Jaya this evening, Mahathir said the media self-censored itself because it tried to ‘second guess’ what government leaders want.


Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that it was censorship from the government that drove him to blogging in May 2008 — four years after resigning as PM.

Gagging a politician from talking is not a good idea, added Mahathir, because we politicians like to talk.

You can kill a politician by preventing him from talking… I have a big mouth so I use it quite often, said Mahathir to the laughter from the 200-strong crowd.

Mahathir revealed that his has received 19 million visitors within a year.

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BUM 2009 media coverage – Malaysiakini (Chinese)




“但是主流媒体如《新海峡时报》和《马来西亚前锋报》却在揣摩他们应为领袖刊登什么报道,一些时候他们甚至猜错了。” Continue reading

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BUM 2009 – from Maverick SM’s blog

B.U.M. 2009: The Stars & Celebs

Yesterday was a fantastic day at B.U.M. 2009.

B.U.M. organizing committee headed by Desiderata and guided and assisted by Dr Lim Teck Ghee and Ahiruddin Attan (Rocky’s Bru) made the occasion a memorable event and something we bloggers would cherish.

We have plenty of great speakers and VVIPs. Tun Mahathir was the star of the night. We had Datuk Syed Adli who spent a few hours with us. We had YB Jeff Ooi, YB Nik Nazmi, A Kadir Jasin and such Mavericks including: Nadeswaran, Art Harun, Fathi Azzat, Phillip Koh, Steven Gan, Faisal Mustaffa and Dr KJ John.

And of course, Maverick SM, Nuraina, Shanghai Fish, Sallehuddin and EWoon were there too.

We also have those beauties including Primrose, the Helens, and many whose names are to remain anonymous.

Missing YB stars are: Elizabeth Wong, Tony Pua, William Lim and Tian Chua.

Also missing from actions were celebrity bloggers that include: Zorro, Haris Ibrahim, Malik Imtiaz, Howsy, Lucia, etc.

Anyway, there were quite a good followings and all of us have great fun.

Note: More pics available on Maverick’s blog.

More BUM 2009 coverage from Maverick – Sensational BUM 2009 Night

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BUM 2009 media coverage – NST


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BUM 2009 media coverage – Nanyang

马哈迪:阿都拉是国家背叛者 美景桥是失和导火线 2009/05/17 11:50:11







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