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PRESS: Control of social media during GE13- BN is copying authoritarian regimes in their last days

Press Statement

040313 | Bukit Mertajam

I refer to the statement by Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz who said in an event in Penang last week that the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is looking to monitor and control the use of social media during the 13th General Election (GE13) (http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/2/nation/20130302190121&sec=nation)

We deemed such statement to be outdated, dangerous and anti-democratic and reflected the approach of an authoritarian regime desperate to prolong its rule. The move to control the people’s voices has been the nature of dictatorial governments especially in their last days in power, from Hitler in wartime Germany to Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi in modern times. There are sufficient laws in the country to deal with cheatings and other abuses of public trust, thus the Deputy Minister’s statement is malicious and prejudicious towards the people’s voices.

This is yet another proof that the recent signing of the Transparency International’s election integrity pledge by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is just a meaningless “sandiwara” (theateric).

Therefore, we strongly condemn the Deputy Minister’s statement and demand the UMNO-Barisan Nasional to commit itself to a free and fair election to ensure that Malaysians get to elect the government of their choice.

We demand Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to censure such undemocratic statements from his Cabinet and officials and to guarantee the freedom of expression especially during the period of GE13.

We strongly demand the Prime Minister and the federal government to uphold the 8 DEMANDS by BERSIH, 1) clean up the electoral roll, 2) reform postal balloting, 3) use indelible ink, 4) have a minimum 21 days campaign period, 5) free and fair access to all media, 6) strengthen public institution to act independently and impartially, 7) stop corruption, 8) stop dirty politics.

Steven Sim Chee Keong
National Director of Political Education, DAPSY Malaysia
State Publicity Secretary, DAPSY Penang
Councillor, Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP)

 

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