It is becoming quite a fad to persecute bloggers these days.
In San Francissco, USA, blogger Joshua Wolf was jailed for being in contempt of court for not turning over possible video evidence to the FBI.
In Singapore, a blogger was questioned for posting pictures of Christ in an offensive manner, one blogger was convicted for racist remarks and some other bloggers were not as lucky as they were sentenced to jail for racist remarks.
In Malaysia, we are not being left out with Jeff Ooi and Rocky being sued by the NST for defamation.
However, many of the reactions to these cases have been rebellious in nature with many of the protagonists depicting doom gloom scenarios with bloggers claiming being charged under repressive laws, of being treated unfairly, basically telling everyone that the establishment is against them and are out to shut down their blogs for good.
But these bloggers forget that they are citizens too.
In Malaysia, bloggers are citizens too.
And as de facto citizens of Malaysia there are several positive actions that bloggers can take:
- Fight their cause in the courts,
- If the laws in Malaysia do not address their problems in court, then they must lobby the legislative (i.e. the members of parliament) to help redress the problems with regards to the law, and
- If the legislators are unable to sympathise and help with the amendment of laws, then bloggers should seek other legislators or potential legislators who can push for their cause in parliament.
There is after all freedom of speech in the internet.
Why should bloggers claim a special place among Malaysians? We all must be humble and act together as part and parcel of the dynamic but fragile social tapestry that is Malaysia: as her loyal citizens.
We must alway address issues positively, never rant and never rant about the doomsday scenario.
We are all special: bloggers and other citizens alike and its our collective responsibility to make Malaysia a better place; by blogging and/or voting responsibly and/or by any other means that is available for us.
We are no Judge Dredds.