No more is the concern of affected communities only their concern - but is today a Malaysian people's concern. No more is it just an issue to be resolved by the affected communities with the political leadership.... but today is an issue that is to be resolved by all Malaysians. No more can the leaders of government quietly 'put aside grievances, concerns,...' for a later time or the 'trash can' - today they have to speedily and publicly respond....and this is certainly a good thing.
Thanks to public highlighting of issues, concerns, rights violations ...be it through public protests, handing of memos, etc, blogging, internet social networking, media, etc - these issues are getting responses and being resolved much speedily today. Procrastination....and lack of response by government is also getting highlighted...
BEWARE governments of the day - the people are watching and they will decide who to vote for come next elections based on their evaluation of government responses, actions and/or ommissions.
The floodgates of information, that have always been controlled by governments and other 'media' companies is slowly disappearing as people have found and developed other alternative forms of information dissemination - or 'more accurate' information dissemination. It was so difficult to get information to the public - because media agencies determined what gets reported and what does not. We had to 'protest' in large numbers sometimes just to get the media to carry the news - but alas, many a time the main issues and concerns that we wanted all to know never gets reported - or maybe even mis-reported - but today, there is the BLOG, websites, twitter, facebook, email lists, emails and so many other means to get our message across...The days of control by government and 'media companies/owners' is going....going....gone.
But the government wants this control back - and there is talk about internet censorship/control laws, etc. 'Official' 1Malaysia email addresses is also another means of control - whereby the government can know what people are mailing out (something they can already know - but psychologically this email will re-inforce the idea in people's minds that 'big brother is watching'). Many persons still chose to use pseudonyms and 'not their real name' in their postings, letters/opinions to media/alternative media, comments in blogs, etc - because there still is that 'fear' of reprisal by government or others... Much more empowerment is needed - but certainly it is a fundamental right to communicate in one's own name or a nicknama or a pseudonymn.
But the government wants this control back - and even all this 'Christian PM...dominance'...'maybe even the 'Anwar' sex scandal and other issues raised in some blogs, etc that have been highlighted by some media...and politicians ...may most likely be the strategy of a desparate government to wrest back control over free speech and justify laws that will control free speech and expression over the internet vide blogs, websites, alternative internet media sites, facebook, twitter, and other means of social networking and communications..
We need to be cautious that we do not fall into the trap of calling for laws and legal actions that will have the end result of curtailing freedom of speech and expression - hence justifying the government to bring in more laws that will curtail and control freedom of speech and expression.
Everyone has the right to freedom of speech and expression - and we must be mature to be able to evaluate what is being said by ourselves without the need for laws or the courts intervening and telling us what we can say and what we cannot.
I must say that the BN is using a rather good strategy - but let us not fall into the trap of saying that we need laws to control what people say... We can accept or reject what is being said on our own - we need no new laws or the government to decide for us as to what can be expressed and what cannot.