Want to talk ethics, let’s talk ethics

We are supposed to behead all those Cabinet members (today’s version of Caliphs) when they deviate. We are not supposed to just write about their wrongdoings in the Blogs or on the Internet.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Unethical’ bloggers come under Hisham’s attack

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said some bloggers, unlike local journalists, do not adhere to the rules and ethics of journalism in their bid to garner popularity.

“The local journalists adhered to ethics but these bloggers did not, and this was what differentiated the journalists from these bloggers,” he said at the presentation of the 2009 ExxonMobil Journalism Awards in Kuala Terengganu last night.

Hishammuddin said journalists in the country would have nothing to fear so long as their reports adhered to the ethics of journalism, adding that they would be accepted by the people.

He said journalists who reported the truth would not be penalised and those who spread slander would not be successful.

At the function, two Bernama journalists were among those honoured. Wan Affandi Wan Mahadi of Bernama TV was awarded the second prize (RM1,000 cash) in the audio visual category while Ibrahim Abu Bakar won the third prize (RM750) in the sports writing category.

Hishammuddin’s remarks come just days after Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak called on bloggers to adhere to a new set of bloggers’ code of ethics espoused by an American journalists’ association.

Najib, referring to the code based on the US-based Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics for bloggers, said bloggers should be honest and fair in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

He also said that they should never plagiarise and publish information they know is inaccurate.

Najib further added that bloggers should show good taste and avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.

“I find such standards critical to developing a respectful and productive dialogue, and will endeavour to adhere to them as best as I can,” he wrote in his blog.

It must be noted that Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor had come under intense attack among some bloggers, especially over their alleged involvement in the death of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and other related matters, accusations which have been denied many times by Najib. – Malaysiakini (and also Bernama)


Yes, let’s talk ethics.

Malaysia is a Muslim country and the official religion of Malaysia is Islam. So you can’t question Islam. To question Islam would expose you to the risk of arrest and possibly even another ‘May 13’ if you get the Umno Malays really upset. And these Umno Malays make sure you are reminded again and again about this possibility of another ‘May 13’.

Bibles can’t be printed in Bahasa Malaysia and Christians may not use the word ‘Allah’ to define God. Never mind whether this is a fair ruling or otherwise. It is a ruling and that is that. And since Malaysia is a Muslim country and Islam is the country’s official religion then no one can question or dispute that.

Well and fine. If that is the ‘theme’ then let us go with the flow. Let’s not swim against the current. And the theme is: in Malaysia, Islam overrides everything else, even human rights and justice. After all, even renowned muftis can get arrested and charged in court so what more lesser mortals like you and me? We are merely low-lifes who have no right to question the logic of our political masters who are ‘rightly-guided’ just like the four Caliphs of Islam.

When it was agreed that Abu Bakar would be appointed the First Caliph of Islam soon after Prophet Muhammad died, there were those who were not too happy about the idea and they asked what guarantees do they have that Abu Bakar would be a fair and just Caliph.

Abu Bakar took out his sword and placed it before him and said that if he deviates from his duty and commits any transgressions then they are to take his sword and cut off his head.

Yes, that was what Abu Bakar did. He did not threaten them with race riots. He did not threaten them with ISA, OSA or the Sedition Act. He asked them to take his own sword and cut off his head.

Malaysia is supposed to be a Muslim country. Islam is supposed to be the official religion of Malaysia. No one is allowed to question this unless he or she wants to suffer reprisals. But what type of Islam are we talking about? The Prophet’s Islam or a new invention that deviates from the true Islam? Islam Hadhari maybe?

There is nothing unethical about exposing transgressions, corruption, abuses of power, injustice, racism and whatnot. Islam is bitterly opposed to all that and any government (in those days this would mean Caliph but today would mean the Cabinet) that perpetuates this must be beheaded.

Hisham is complaining that Bloggers are unethical. You want to really know what ethics is all about? Abu Bakar, who is known as ‘The Sword of the Prophet’ for obvious reasons, has taught us what ethics is all about. And would Abu Bakar, who the Muslims say is ‘Rightly Guided’ — rightly-guided by God; that is — be wrong? We are supposed to behead all those Cabinet members (today’s version of Caliphs) when they deviate. We are not supposed to just write about their wrongdoings in the Blogs or on the Internet.

Hisham should be grateful that all we do is write in the Blogs. What is he complaining about? If I really want to be a true Muslim I would take my sword (and yes, I do have many in my house) and cut off the heads of those leaders one-by-one until not a single one is left standing.

That is what Islam taught us we should do.