Monday, January 22, 2007

Banned in Malaysia

A response to Sheih of Kickdefella

(aka comment #1118 on this thread)

Our dear friend Sheih,

You say, “Yes, I put you guys under the spam category. My action is not disregard of your freedom of speech but because I found you disregard of others freedom of speech.

You’re further reiterating what we’ve said all along, about most people not understanding what freedom of speech is. Do point out to us how any one of our comments has prevented others from either disagreeing or dissenting with us ? We’ve not prevented anyone from speaking nor have we asked anyone to stop speaking. We respond to comments with arguments of our own and engage in debate. How have we disregarded the freedom of speech of others ?

However, other commentors in your blog have taken to not responding to us but instead resorting to name-calling and insults. I suppose that is covered under your brand of free speech.

You also say, “You have used this blog to spread contagious unfriendly virus“. Pray do tell and point out where and how we spread this contagious unfriendly virus ? SiPM would have thought that someone as tech-savvy as you could tell what a virus really is.

Finally, you’re being incorrect when you define us as spam. Spam’s definitions can be found here and here. Unfortunately though, none of our comments falls under this definition, so categorizing us this way is both incorrect and of course, unethical when you consider that this entire campaign of yours is to promote freedom of speech.

(This above is posted here due to Kickdefella moderating us out and categorizing us as spam)

We at Siber Party of Malaysia (M) are not against free speech. We are for ensuring that the rights of all citizens are protected and are met. This includes both the rights to free speech as well as the rights of ordinary citizens to seek legal redress if they feel they have been defamed. The problem with free speech is that many people do not really understand what it is, but will proclaim that their rights have been trampled upon when it is challenged.

We, however, support his right to ban us. We would like to point out that this is exactly what the injunction against Jeff Ooi and Ahiruddin Attan is about. The plaintiffs have categorized their postings as defamatory which the courts will decide on, just as Kickdefella has categorized our comments as spam. At the very least, Jeff and Ahirudin will get their day in court. SiPM won't.

This episode on Kickdefella, who incidentally is co-manager of Bloggers United, illustrates that even defenders of free speech will not tolerate speech which is dissenting of the freedom fighters. Mydeen wonders what Jose Mourinho is going to be saying about this. Maybe he might like a friendly match with Bloggers United, or maybe Bloggers United wants a friendly match with MyTeam.

This is also about spin, the spin which is in full effect. The spin says that freedom of speech is being threatened. The spin says that bloggers are being persecuted. The spin is gaining momentum. We don't like spin. We, as Malaysians, have been subjected to spin for so long.

Maybe they do not know how to do it another way, when Malaysians resort to spin in defence of their rights. Maybe we are spinning ourselves into a web which may entrap us. A web which once entrapped eight legs so much that Uncle Ben had to say, "With great power comes great responsibility".

Our video of the day is, of course, a no brainer. Take it away, 2 Live Crew !


kampunghouse said...

Yes, it's ironic and hypocritical, that many bloggers, who are very vocal when it comes to government abuse and censorship by the media, are also the ones who freely practice comment editing/deleting when someone posts a comment critical of them. Obviously these people have a one-sided understanding of freedom of speech, just like the mass-media they abhor so much.

walski69 said...

The funny thing about irony is that it's, well, ironic.

Free speech cuts both ways, and can be hurtful, if one doesn't know how to deal with it. I see it as a growing up process, too, to realize that free speech means just that, and not only the freedom to say what other people wanna hear.

Azer Mantessa said...

"We, however, support his right to ban us. We would like to point out that this is exactly what the injunction against Jeff Ooi and Ahiruddin Attan is about."

cute :D

i'm with liverpool fc :-)

Mat Merah said...

Mydeen is still at the tea stall due to the huge crowd who appreciate his teh tarik and the wrestling dvds that he plays for them.

But you guys have summed it up well.

Everyone - sooner or later - becomes the monster they hate.

Just a matter of time. What a pity!

Azer, Liverpool kicked butt didn' they? ;-)

johnleemk said...

I found it quite repulsive that kickdefella banned SiPM, and found the way other commenters responded to be even more despicable. Still, it's kickdefella's blog, and he has the right to kick people out. I just don't think it's right for him to brand himself as a defender of free speech if he does that, though.

I mean, you guys were the only voices of common sense in that thread! I can't say I'm surprised about what happened, though. The mainstream alternative media is like a mirror image of the mainstream media. The latter thinks the government can do no wrong and the opposition can do no right; with the former, it's the exact opposite. This is why I've always been very skeptical of our "independent" media - it has its own vested interests, too, and it is no more reasonable or sensible than the mainstream media.

I can proudly say that I have never censored a single comment on my site's forum - even those vehemently critical of me or my views. I only wish other bloggers were more consistent.

We really should get around to forming our own consortium of bloggers with sense...but then again, it'd probably be corrupted and infiltrated by those irate and unthinking bloggers. :p

edalinka said...

"Everyone - sooner or later - becomes the monster they hate."

I like that!

As for me, I always exercise extra caution when I see people start to do this massive jumping on the bandwagon because all of sudden it's not so cool and niche anymore. Heheh.

Mydeen Aboo Backer said...

Thanks for all your kind words, kampunghouse, walski69, azer, john and edalinka.

Mydeen is glad that there is common sense pervailling, even if its uncommon.

The wordpress spam ban which kickdefella put on us affected all blogs hosted on wordpress, so had unilaterally taken it upon himself to ban us from other blogs as well. Now, if that isn't a curb on freedom of speech, then Mydeen doesn't know what is.

Fortunately though, other wordpress blog owners who did not think that we should be banned have unbanned us from that central database of spam, so we're now back in business and able to use our URLs.

We dont know how long this will last though, as when the fervour hits a religious pitch, all logic is thrown out of the window.

Helen said...

Can't say I'm not bothered by the hypocrisy of Sheih in banning you guys.

Many before me here had already voiced my sentiments. I just like to add, for those who advocate freedom of speech, do set an example and practice what you preach.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I'm actually finding this whole "exchange" a bit funny...

From previous experiences, these arguments can go on for a very long time (of not eternity) - because I've learnt that it's very hard for you to convince another blogger of your views and vice versa, you would find it difficult to accept his views (well, if you did, then you wouldn't have made a countering comment on his blog in the first place). Each would defend his comments/arguments, one way or another...till kingdom comes.

So my suggestion is, let this matter drop, and like so many who feel they have "common sense" - let's wait for the court hearing.

One more thing, I felt that the posts here on your blog on this issue are well-written and you argue your points convincingly. However, the comments you (or you guys) left at kickdefella sounded a bit 'rough' (for lack of a better word) - and is therefore less than convincing.

I disagree with the wholesale ban thing. But you don't need to comment on his blog, you have your own one right here. That's the beauty of blogging ;)

- Rez

Dek Mat said...

dear rez, thank you very much for your feedback. we always appreciate polite constructive criticisms! :)

Yes, I for one am guilty of such roughness on kickdefella's website but it was just a little bit of fun.

It's not about convincing the others of our viewes but rather, not hv the views we carry being drowned in what i term as a misguided frenzy. If we do not remind our friends of the alternate view, they will believe the one sided (or misguided) as you know what they say:"a lie told over and over again becomes a truth".

as for the ban, we won't complain if they don't believe in free speech, but as defenders of free speech, it's hypocritical don't u think?

YB Maya Minah Black said...

Rez my Baldwin,

That was, like, so bitchin' true !

Mydeen is like, a classic dude, when he's on to something. He's like just pointing out the inconsistencies in that Barney's freedom of speech campaign. Gnarly !

They were, like,

1. the banning of the URL, when like, they are all for free speech or something. Gag me with a spoon !

2. The like, accusation that my Baldwin boys were spreading a contagious virus. He's waaaay outta there on that one.

3. Like spam is something else, dude. For real, and like, what my boys been posting is like not spam, you spaz.

But them boys out on that kickdefella went totally postal on my bitchin' brothers. They like called them names and stuff, and like I'm an airhead or something.

Maybe they should have, like, debated my boys or something. Wouldn't that be a totally rad idea ?

juslo said...

hear hear...

"even defenders of free speech will not tolerate speech which is dissenting of the freedom fighters."

free speech is ironic when applied by malaysians. i've got into that kind of problem with jeff n rocky myself.

i guess here, free speech only means freedom of MY speech, nothing to do with yours.