06 April, 2007

National Alliance of Bloggers

Pro-tem committee:

President - Ahirudin Attan, Vice President - Jeff Ooi, Secretary - Nuraina A. Samad, Treasurer - Tony Yew, Council Members: Patrick Teoh, Bernard Khoo, Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz, Syed Jamal al-Idrus, Rajahram Ramalingam, Annuratha K, Ami Husni, and Soon Li Tsin

Congrats to all !!

Politically-motivated Blogs Must Be Monitored And Registered

Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin today (Friday) lent his weight to a proposal to register blog sites, especially those which are politically-motivated.

He said the mainstream media were subjected to registration, monitoring and specific laws, and as such, there was no reason why the same should not apply to blog operators.

"We must know who they are. So there must be laws that will facilitate their identification," he told reporters here.

However, he said, the need to register blogs with entertainment and social commentary contents might not be as great as politically-motivated ones.

"When people involved in politics want to use blogs for their political interest or when blog operators are politically-motivated, we have to know who they are.

"Politics is meant to gain influence among the people, politics is meant to obtain power. When it comes to power, it's the people who are in control.

"When the people use the power, they'll have to identify themselves. They are dishonest if they hide themselves when talking about politics," he said.

Zainuddin said in the quest for political power, people were willing to resort to slander, disseminate lies, use unauthorised sources or choose not to verify the source of the information.

"This is very dangerous as they are writing and taking steps to gain power. Their objective is to topple the government, widen the reach of their political doctrine and assist any parties for political purposes," he said.

Zainuddin said he concurred with the monitoring and registration proposal forwarded by the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry.

Zainuddin discussed the blog issue and how the island republic was approaching the matter in a meeting this morning with his counterpart, Information, Communications and the Arts Minister Dr Lee Boon Yang.

The Malaysian minister said Singapore had formulated a mechanism for the registration of blogs which consistently churned out articles on politics.

He pointed out that Singapore had a class licensing framework to supervise new media forms such as blogs, subjecting them to certain code of ethics under the supervision of the Media Development Authority.

A class licence involves the gazetting of the terms and conditions of a particular industry, and anyone who provides the services within the scope of the class licence will be deemed to have read and agreed to the terms and conditions, and would be considered licensed.

Zainuddin felt that the method implemented by Singapore was practical and it could possibly be modified for use in Malaysia.

"We'll see whether or not this version can be done in Malaysia. I don't know yet but I feel that the method is a practical one," he said.




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