09 April, 2007

Bolehland is on TECHDIRT

How A Bungled Attempt At Promoting Tourism Leads To Malaysian Bloggers Needing To Register With The Gov't.

Mark & Tiara write in with a bunch of links outlining the bizarre story of how Malaysia may end up requiring bloggers to register with the government.

It apparently started earlier this year when Malaysia tried to increase tourism with a campaign called "Visit Malaysia Year 07," which included inviting a bunch of foreign journalists to come check out Malaysia.

An Indonesian TV crew that was invited as part of this found that the trip was not at all what they expected, and one of the women on the trip blogged about her poor experience, basically highlighting how difficult the tourism board made it for the journalists to actually do anything (including film parts of the trip).

Malaysia's Tourism Minister wasn't particular pleased and made disparaging remarks about bloggers in general and women bloggers specifically (saying they were liars).

That made some bloggers angry (surprise, that) and he was forced to clarify his remarks, and he didn't think all women bloggers were liars -- he was just referring to the particular Indonesian journalist woman blogger -- which again set off a bunch of bloggers.

Next step? Go to the press and tell them not to quote blogs or use them as sources of information

He claimed that anyone who quoted a blogger would be disgracing themselves. This certainly seems like someone not knowing when to stop digging his own grave.

Honestly, the only person disgracing himself has been this particular minister... but the end result loops all the way back around and the Malaysian government wants bloggers to register themselves.

It's not clear how this stops foreign journalists (and bloggers) from mocking bad tourism attempts and dumb statements.

Luckily, it sounds like other politicians in Malaysia recognize how idiotic this whole series of events is, and don't seem willing to support the attempts to force bloggers to register.

In the meantime, a bunch of bloggers have now formed their own group to help protect bloggers in Malaysia.

from the following-the-bouncing-ridiculousness dept :



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