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Mr Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, persists in exhorting the current government to censor the internet invoking public morality protection.

After having been in charge for more than twenty years, Dr Mahatir continues to leverage Malaysian ruling coalition and public opinion through the lines of his blog. Lately he went viral by posting an entry in which he explains why he changed his stance about internet freedom.

From supporting the open internet Dr Mahatir swifted to advocate the need of censorship of this medium because he himself has been experiencing censorship.

Behind this apparent poor reasoning relies an attentive observation of the internet development, especially in the most recent years. In fact Dr Mahatir claims that his posts and blog have been repeatedly blacken out due to his strong opinions relating to current affairs, and highlights the enormous power wielded over content by servers and platforms hosting providers. It is indeed this unlimited and pervasive control that urges to be bound by governmental policies and regulations.

To support his position, Malaysian ex Prime Minister argues that “freedom, any kind of freedom will always be open to abuse and the worst abuses are in the field of morality”; with these words he intends to persuade his audience that to effectively protect public morality it is necessary the government intervention. Only by doing so it will be possible to prevent internet misuses too often hidden under the guise of freedom of expression.

The reactions to this proposal have been immediate; many have interpreted Dr Mahatir words as a serious threat to online freedom and have invited Malaysian people to raise their voice against this act defined as anti-democratic, dictatorial and tyranny.


The gLAWcal Team

LIBEAC project

Thursday, 14 August 2014

(Source: Global Voices)

This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.