Censoring Rais

Rais Yatim wanted to impose censorship of the internet. He used the argument of protecting the public's morality as his main reasoning. In doing so, he comes out from a position of believing his is of higher scruples. He says he is targeting child pornography and porno in general.

PM Najib immediately came out with a statement that the government does not intend to do anything of that sort. Rais's plan was short-circuited.

What has Rais done? By saying what he did, he has shown to us, despite his cultivated cosmopolitanism, he is conservative in thoughts and falls back on the easy route- when in doubt, use force. Using coercion in the age of reason seems a discordant position to take. He therefore places himself at odds with the libertarianism of the PM. That makes him, an oddball in the emerging leadership thinking of the PM. I wouldn't be surprised come the next cabinet reshuffle, Rais will ride into the sunshine.

I shall not dwell into the arguments on whether the internet ought to be censored or not. I do hope it is sufficient for me to state at this juncture that the internet is the last frontier, where the ordinary man can exercise almost complete democracy. Rais yatim plans to take that away, first by imposing state morality on us.

The way Rais Yatim conducts himself would have qualified him as a cabinet member during President Roosevelt's New Deal days in the 1930's. His answer to all ills is to the blame it on the free market competitive capitalism. That justifies further and enlarged role of the government. Can the government become our father and mother? Can it replace the family unit as the incubator of desirable values?

The language may have changed but the main idea hasn't. The main idea is the government has to intervene in the cause of public interest. This contradicts the declaration of the PM that the age where government knows best is over. The government decides what is good and what isn't for society. The welfare of society depends on benevolent do-gooders like himself of course.

Rai's yatim's intended action over the internet mirrors policy maker's response to economic depression. During the depression of 1930's for example, the recession was blamed on the greed of rapacious and evil businessmen. To overcome that, the answer is for more direct government involvement, more command and control over economic direction. The whole thing is blamed on the failure of the capitalist system. This can be overcome, it was insisted by central planning and command centre control economics.

Although we see the crude way of controlling the economy through central planning commissars and nationalising industries have been largely discredited, the tentacles of command centre control economics are still evident. They take the form of regulations, quota, licenses and a list of sanctions here and there.

The same tactics are employed in areas other than economics. In the media industry for example. Yellow culture and whatever the term incorporates is the result of the free market system. Freedom of ideas and speech must be curtailed. Nowadays the language has changed but the desire to control others remained lurking behind even within the minds of supposed liberals and intellectuals. Rais blames the evils of the internet on the climate of permissiveness. That too is a product of the free market system. To overcome this, Rais says, the government must censor the internet.

Rais yatim will do anything to upstage anyone to impress the boss. As lord over what news reaches the masses, he says, the government is considering filtering the net. That means censorship of the internet. This of course means we intend to use more taxpayer's money to do something which the people themselves can do.