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Malaysian Blogger On Trial For Sedition 183

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the because-creating-martyrs-is-good-for-civil-obedience dept.
neonsignal writes "Raja Petra Kamarudin, a Malaysian blogger, is in court under the Internal Security Act, under which he can be detained indefinitely. He is well known for his commentary on the Malaysian government, and was arrested after a piece on the murder of a Mongolian woman, who was allegedly killed by two policeman and an associate of the deputy prime minister."
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Malaysian Blogger On Trial For Sedition

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  • Fuck "sedition" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday October 06, 2008 @06:44PM (#25278561) Homepage Journal

    Man, it's about time that countries which value free speech got rid of sedition laws.. so as to send a clear message to countries that don't. What constitutes "sedition" is so vague, anyway, that the laws should be struck on just that basis.

    • Re:Fuck "sedition" (Score:4, Informative)

      by slughead (592713) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:59PM (#25279659) Homepage Journal

      We've had one [wikipedia.org] since 1940. Thank you, FDR!

    • by mqduck (232646)

      Man, it's about time that countries which value free speech got rid of sedition laws

      Okay, but what about Malaysia?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KGIII (973947) *

      I think you posted in haste in an attempt to get your comment in quickly? This is MALAYSIA and this is NOT an area known for freedom of speech as near as I can tell.

  • When in Malaysia.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @06:49PM (#25278613)

    .. I read in the local English news paper about the "victory" of a muslim group that stopped the government changing a women's ID card which had her religion as Muslim.

    Since she converted to Christianity she wanted her ID card changed. Yeah, that was big news at the time and gives on an insight into how backwards the place can be.

    I say backwards not because it's about religion, but because I can't believe these strangers that don't know her have nothing better to do then demand the government not give her a new ID if she wants one because "if you're Muslim, you're always Muslim"

    Posting Anon - I might still need to go back some day.

    • by rhyder128k (1051042) on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:09PM (#25278759) Homepage

      Or this woman who been jailed for her terrorist poetry.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7084801.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ragethehotey (1304253)
        Nice job completely leaving out that her conviction was overturned.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samina_Malik
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:04PM (#25279225)

      First sign of a problem was that her faith was on a government card at all.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SupremoMan (912191)
      I say backwards because the ID designates your religion....
    • by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:48PM (#25280001)
      O.k. I'm a Malaysian (Malay) and I consider myself to be quite progressive in my views. Yet, what the rest of the world does not realise is that Malaysia is sitting on a highly unstable racial powder keg. It's like a bad Tolkien-knockoff fantasy kingdom. We have the Malays who are something like the Hobbits in temperament, the Chinese who are like Dwarfs and the Indians who are just unpredictable. The Malays rule the country, the Chinese controls the economy and the Indians corner the legal and medical professions. It has been like this since the British dramatically changed the demographic from almost all Malay to something like 65% Malay, 26% Chinese, Indian 8% in less than 100 years. It didn't help that the British used divide and conquer to keep everyone in check, by assigning roles to each race. The end result is that each race wants to keep their identity, religion and language intact. Keep this in mind when you read anything about Malaysia. Malays by history and by law, are Muslims and it is firmly tied to our identity. This is why there is such a big hue and cry over the case that the AC mentioned as it is perceived more as a slap to the racial identity, than just to the religion. To Malaysian's credit, we managed to live together for 50 years, barring several flare ups. We did this by very carefully tip-toeing around controversial issues and making deals and compromises between the major races. Undeniably, this means that many issues have been swept under the rug but progress has been made. Unfortunately, many people, like the blogger mentioned (who is a Malay) are impatient and want change NOW, without realising the inherent instability of the country. My view is that change, towards a more liberal political and social environment is inevitable as the country matures but we must do it slowly and with deliberation.
      • by rtb61 (674572) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:26PM (#25280257) Homepage

        The catch with that is change does not occur unless, instability forces it. A minority of people speaking out who a willing to accept the risks of doing so are the ones who force positive change. The only other change that occurs, is negative change, the ones who wish to maintain a facade of traditional values, of religious observance, while they corruptly loot the country to sate their own greed and lusts. That is the reality and the religious crap is just that 'crap' a diversion to keep the poor general populace focused on other issues, rather than their livings conditions versus the living conditions of the rich and greedy or that the legal system is distorted to provide one set of laws to protect the elite and another set of laws to persecute the rest.

        Change can happen very fast, it is naturally always disruptive, that is the nature of change and it is most destructive when it is blocked from happening and comes as a dam bursting. Do you know when this happens, it happens when the corrupt leaders at the top are focussed on keeping everything they have stolen and will do anything to keep the corrupt system going as it is, with nothing but platitudes of offer for the rest of the population.

        Any government with sedition laws sucks, there is no excuse, they are full of it and those leaders should be treated with contempt by every one who values freedom and democracy. Slavery was a cultural thing for centuries in a lot of countries, north, south, east and west and today very thought of sickens and infuriates most reasonable people, so culture is just a weak excuse not a valid reason, neither is racism ie. they are all citizens of Malaysia so it is Malays who rule the country, Malays who control the economy and Malays who prosper in the legal and medical profession, if you see it any other way, recognise yourself, you are racist and a bigot.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by kanweg (771128)

          Yup, and if you don't recognize it, then you invade a country to find a dictator with WMDs and lots of oil and subsequently find out you started a civil war from which you cannot withdraw as well.

          The former Yugoslavia was stable under dictator Tito for 50 years. The quick change after that killed thousands.

          Change must be there, but it must be slow.

          I think that the slow but constant changes in Cuba instigated by Raoul Castro are great.

          They guy is probably right that his country is a powder keg. It is smug to

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            All dictatorships are stable, as long as anybody who protests in imprisoned, tortured and executed, see stability. Now as for Yugoslavia your only choice if you didn't want to live under a dictatorship was escape, no emigration but specifically escape, an open air prison were you were not allowed to leave and if you got caught you would be put in prison.

            So I don't deny there are two sides to that coin, the exploiters and the exploited. As it turns out both my parents escaped from that country and sought

      • by XchristX (839963) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @03:53AM (#25282521)

        Given that Malaysia practices the most cruel and frightening kind of racial discrimination against Chinese and Indian minorities in all of South-East Asia, with their Nazi-like (and I'm not Godwinning here) racist ideologies of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) and Bumiputra (meaning "sons of the soil, which literally resembles Nazi Germany's "Blut und Boden" or "Blood and Soil") and engages in state sponsored discrimination against Indians and Chinese, I would imagine that some kind of aggressive change is long pending. That or remove the minorities from the country before the Malay racists conduct genocide on them all (which is their eventual intent). I;ve spoken to many overseas Chinese and Indians in he country, and most are literally afraid for their lives. Parts of Kuala Lumpur look like Russian Shtetls, or the Warsaw Ghettoes of WW-II, with violent, Malay mob-imposed racial segregation, discrimination and stigmatization.

        Notice how the racist GP stigmatizes, demonizes and dehumanizes Chinese and Indian minorities as "not tied to identity", just like the Nazis stigmatized Jews as "alien non-Aryans and unbound to the blood and soil of Germany", or whatever.

        Numerous international NGO's have detailed files on the massive levels of Jim Crow-style racial stigmatization of minorities that takes place across Malay society, their media, their government, all their major institutions, and the like.

        Malaysia is a massive genocide waiting to happen, unless some kind of change isn't implemented NOW, preferably through international condemnations and sanctions of some kind.

        • Malaysia is a massive genocide waiting to happen

          You may not have to wait that long, since Najib "bathe my dagger in Chinese blood" Tun Razak is sitting in the lobby being fitted for his PM's songkok.

          A man who stood at a podium, waved a weapon, and made a death threat aimed at 24% of the population is currently the most likely person to be the next Prime Minister (unless Anwar pulls something pretty amazing out of his hat in the next few days). Historically, this sort of development does not augur well for

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheLink (130905)

        There was a higher percentage of chinese during the time of British (before 1957), compared to now[0].

        In the 1980s the Malaysian Government started encouraging large numbers of Indonesians to come over and become "Malays". Tons promptly came over, got Malaysian citizenship, but continued behaving like Indonesians instead of Malays (the Malays themselves tell me those aren't Malays, I dunno what do you think?).

        That plus the dwindling birth rate of the Chinese (and Indians?) has led to the 65% Malay ratio.

        It'

      • It has been like this since the British dramatically changed the demographic from almost all Malay to something like 65% Malay, 26% Chinese, Indian 8% in less than 100 years.

        It's amazing how many Malays have no sense of the actual demographics of the country.

        Malays make up 51% of the population. And it only got that high through years of concerted efforts by UMNO, such as denying citizenship to any immigrants except for Javanese Muslims who were immediately redefined as Malay upon collecting their papers.

    • Simply having an ID card that gives your religion is scary enough. Well unless you're in the UK. Having a card saying you're a Jedi [wikipedia.org] wouldn't be all that bad.
  • Works for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by susano_otter (123650) on Monday October 06, 2008 @06:49PM (#25278619) Homepage

    While I can't speak to the specifics of this particular government, or this particular implementation of the policy, I don't see any reason why sedition on a blog should be treated any differently from sedition on a streetcorner or a radio program or a billboard or a secret revolutionary committee meeting (for some definition of "sedition"; and obviously your mileage will vary based on local customs, values, and priorities).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by argent (18001)

      I don't see any reason why sedition on a blog should be treated any differently from sedition on a streetcorner or a radio program or a billboard or a secret revolutionary committee meeting

      I agree. If a society can't survive dissent it shouldn't survive. None of these should be suppressed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by susano_otter (123650)

        Dissent and sedition are two separate things.

        Sedition aims to disrupt the public peace. Most societies, I imagine are quite capable of surviving disruption of the public peace, but that doesn't mean all--or even any--such disruptions should be permitted.

        But of course the specifics will vary from society to society. What may be good-naturedly tolerated as peaceful dissent in one society may be quite rightly suppressed as an unacceptable threat to the public peace in another society.

        And of course none of this

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sexconker (1179573)

          Free speech is meaningless unless speech is completely, universally free.

          There should be absolutely zero restrictions on what can be said.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by susano_otter (123650)

            I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm inciting your neighbors to riot, or urging them to lynch you, or advocating election fraud.

            • Re:Works for me (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:38PM (#25279925) Homepage Journal

              Bah, I've had this argument before. Telling people to riot should be perfectly legal. If they actually riot, the charges should be incitement to riot. If they don't riot, there should be no charges at all.

              Free Speech means you can say whatever you want. It doesn't mean that there is no accountability for what your speech causes. If the speech causes something illegal to happen, then the illegal activity is the problem, not the speech.

              • So what about hate speech, then? Do you really think anyone's going to arrest Sean Hannity for spewing his bile all over the airwaves?

                Saying "hurrah free speech for everyone" only invites the nutjobs to spread their poison, and no-one will do anything because it'd be restricting their speech. Sometimes the chilling effect is a good thing, and lord knows we could do with a lot more people thinking before they speak.

                The irony does not escape me.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by dangitman (862676)

                  Saying "hurrah free speech for everyone" only invites the nutjobs to spread their poison, and no-one will do anything because it'd be restricting their speech.

                  And that would work a lot better. Do nothing - they speak, and make idiots of themselves, people ignore them.

                  Suppress their speech, then they can play the victim card, become martyrs, validate conspiracy theories. Things go downhill quickly as the nutters join the squirrel parade.

                • But then it boils down to the fact that hate speech offends you.

                  So what makes it ok to censor something that offends you but not things which offend someone else keeping in mind that EVERYTHING is offensive to someone.

                  Make it illegal to say "all black men are evil" and you'll find the same legislation being used to lock up someone for saying "the government is full of evil rich white men"

                  Let the nut jobs shout, let the crazies spew their bile and if they manage to convince someone to commit a serious crime

                • Yes, hate speech should be free.

                  Whenever I say that free speech should be absolute and universal, why the fuck do people always chime in with a dozen "what about ..."?

                  Yes. The answer is yes.
                  Anyone can say anything.

                  Hate speech, death threats, nuclear launch codes, I don't give a shit.

            • by argent (18001)

              I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm inciting your neighbors to riot, or urging them to lynch you, or advocating election fraud.

              If my neighbors are likely to riot, or lynch me, then keeping you from calling on them to won't help. if they already hate me enough to act, then they will likely act regardless. It wasn't sedition that ignited the South Central riots, it was the voice of authority.

              Advocating election fraud could only strengthen the voting process, by providing hard evidence that flaws in the v

          • So I can say that you're available on the 'ave by the nickname '3 buck chuck'? Think on what you say.
          • by KGIII (973947) *

            In *your* society perhaps. When are you going to accept that freedom is not what you think it means but rather allowing other cultures to have their disparate values/morals/ethics and to make their own choices as to how they will retain their civilization and culture? Your statement rings eerily like the idea that we're at war in Iraq for democracy - forcing our views on other people.

            • by dangitman (862676)

              So, what's a culture? What makes a society? Where do you draw the lines between the rights of a culture or society, and the rights of an individual?

              Also, I don't recall the person you are replying to saying that we should force anything on other people. Just that free speech is meaningless unless it's completely free. How does that result in the conclusion that it's about forcing people to do something?

            • by argent (18001)

              So, for example, a society that systematically kills thousands of its own citizens should be left to do that in peace, without raising a voice in protest? Should we turn a blind eye to members of that society who call out against it, and are jailed or tortured or even killed as a result? Or should we try to change it, even if only by raising our voices in common protest? Should even that small abandonment of cultural relativism (because nothing more than that is happening here) be considered unacceptable?

              Th

        • by argent (18001)

          Dissent and sedition are two separate things.

          The distinction between dissent and sedition is undetectable outside the mind of the person expressing dissent or engaging in sedition. It is, at most, a difference in degree, not kind, unless one takes a position that any call to action is seditious speech rather than an expression of dissent.

          Neither dissent nor sedition is action. If someone cries "kill whitey" but nobody takes action, then where is the crime? If they do, then the crime is in the action. If mer

      • by MarkvW (1037596)

        "If a society can't survive dissent it shouldn't survive?"

        Such a statement is either flamebait or idiocy. The person who wrote it must not be able to conceive of the great pain and suffering that social disorder can bring. A society should not be scrapped just because it does not realize the author's ideal of social justice.

        A stable, imperfect, society can always be replaced by something much worse. The social fabric, once torn, can be very hard to re-weave.

        • by dangitman (862676)
          OK, so why should it survive if it can't survive dissent? Must be a pretty weak-ass society. Societies should expect dissent. It's unrealistic not to.
        • by argent (18001)

          The person who wrote it must not be able to conceive of the great pain and suffering that social disorder can bring.

          Or has more faith in the stability of society. Perhaps I should have written "A society that can not survive dissent will not survive". The conditions that make dissent (however expressed) so prevalent and violent that it threatens the fabric of society are themselves fatal, and if not changed will bring about a collapse.

          In that environment, permitting the expression of dissent, including "sed

    • I don't see any reason why sedition on a blog should be treated any differently from sedition on a streetcorner or a radio program or a billboard or a secret revolutionary committee meeting

      The streisand effect comes to mind. Even if you're okay with censorship, doing it on the internet is stupid. You can arrest someone on the street corner and silence them. If you arrest someone for a post on a blog, you're only going to get more people to read that post.

      Granted, it would be more effective in the long run for the fascist to jail the blogger, but it's less effective if there's a particular post you want buried. Like if you are a dictator or prime minister wanting to, say, keep quiet the fa

      • Actually, the propaganda side-effects of martyrdom were well understood and commonly experienced long before the Internet came around. Blogs are a different form of communication, sure, but they're not magical. They may change the values of some of the variables of the propaganda equation, but they don't actually replace the propaganda equation itself.

        • Blogs are a different form of communication, sure, but they're not magical.

          What about blogs about magic then, smart guy!?!

          Anyway, you're right about martyrdom, good point. And even without the internet, this was a well publicized event that wasn't quiet, the news in Malasia was reporting this apperantly.

        • by argent (18001)

          My response remains the same. The fact that it happened to a blogger doesn't change the fact that it's unacceptable.

      • The streisand effect comes to mind. Even if you're okay with censorship, doing it on the internet is stupid. You can arrest someone on the street corner and silence them. If you arrest someone for a post on a blog, you're only going to get more people to read that post.

        It is probably important to know that a couple weeks before RPK was kidnapped by UMNO, his blog was blocked within Malaysia by order of the government and in violation of Malaysian law. When this happened, mirrors sprang up instantly, and eve

  • Hmm.. Sedition (Score:3, Informative)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Monday October 06, 2008 @06:52PM (#25278641)

    Have the plebes learned? One doesnt mess with those authority types, especially when they revel in power?

    Happens here in the USA, happens in UK, happens in Germany, happens in Australia, and damn near everywhere else where there is power at a few people and the will to keep it.

    Malaysia is NO different in that regard. We just cover it up a bit better.

    • Re:Hmm.. Sedition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TorKlingberg (599697) on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:05PM (#25278727)
      As much as I hate the erosion of civil rights in the west, I don't see bloggers getting arrested for sedetion. Or are you saying they are secretly arrested and replaced by CIA men, so nobody notice they are gone?
      • Re:Hmm.. Sedition (Score:5, Insightful)

        by steelfood (895457) on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:27PM (#25278923)

        First they came for the communists...

        Talk to the many muslim leaders in the US whom have been arrested for preaching hatred towards western civilization.

        BTW, the bloggers are mentioned in the 5th stanza.

      • by owlnation (858981)

        As much as I hate the erosion of civil rights in the west, I don't see bloggers getting arrested for sedetion. Or are you saying they are secretly arrested and replaced by CIA men, so nobody notice they are gone?

        No need to replace anyone. People give up on blogs in their hundreds ever single day. How would you know? It would only be a blogger that could tell you. Or do you think CNN or Fox News or any mainstream news outlet will? How would you know?

        • by Bryansix (761547)
          Lame. You would know because of the anonymity of the Internet. If I had that happen to me I would simply go to a kiosk at a local university and create a onetime use email address and from there create a new blog with one post that described what had just happened to me.
      • Re:Hmm.. Sedition (Score:5, Insightful)

        by n dot l (1099033) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:05PM (#25279227)

        Don't you watch the news? There is no sedition in Western nations. There are only consumers, harmless foil-clad lunatics, criminals, and a few terrorists.

        But yeah, cynical statements aside, there's less control here because the government simply doesn't fear us. Honestly, I could wear my fingers to the bone blogging about $700B bailouts, Iraq, Guantanamo, torture, the politicization of the DoJ, the Valerie Plame thing, etc, and nothing would happen to me because honestly my voice is worthless when it comes to these topics. People have seen it on the news so many times that the reaction is just, "Meh, shit happens." and nothing changes. Random words on the internet won't start riots, strikes, or boycotts, nor do they change anyone's vote in a meaningful way (how could they? elections are a popularity contest) - so why bother censoring?

        • Re:Hmm.. Sedition (Score:5, Insightful)

          by owlnation (858981) on Monday October 06, 2008 @08:18PM (#25279333)

          there's less control here because the government simply doesn't fear us.

          Mod parent insightful.

          Yes. That's the thing. Hiding in plain sight. The truth is in fact out there, plain as day. But no-one cares. The fact that the media is for the most part complicit or even controlling much of what happens in the West notwithstanding.

          This is the mistake of Malaysia and China and the old soviet states. Don't throw people in prison for speaking out, just make sure that reality tv and celebrities behaving badly is much bigger news. That way you can do anything you like. Anything at all.

          Bread and circuses. It's astonishing that it's taken modern Governments so long to figure this out, the Romans nailed it 2000 years ago.

          • by jandersen (462034)

            there's less control here because the government simply doesn't fear us.

            Not quite - there is just another kind of control in the West. Western governments have learned that they don't need to worry about opposition as long as you give them some harmless way of venting their anger; why do you think there are so many extremely loud idiots on American television? It's a very efficient way of controlling the population.

            As for China and Malaysia - I don't know Malaysia, of course, but I think if there is one thing the Beijing Olympics have demonstrated, it is that the Chinese people

            • if there is one thing the Beijing Olympics have demonstrated, it is that the Chinese people are right behind their government in most cases. I suspect this is the case in Malaysia too

              Actually, Malaysians are quite cynical about their government and it's hard to find anyone who has anything nice to say about it.

              Malaysia is not like China in this regard - you can complain and grumble quite a lot without running into trouble. It's only when you start getting too close to the specific issue of the corruption o

        • by khallow (566160)

          Honestly, I could wear my fingers to the bone blogging about $700B bailouts, Iraq, Guantanamo, torture, the politicization of the DoJ, the Valerie Plame thing, etc, and nothing would happen to me because honestly my voice is worthless when it comes to these topics.

          Yes, whining like a kicked puppy is surprisingly uninteresting or useful.

    • I call bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nobodyman (90587) on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:20PM (#25278863) Homepage

      Really? Happens all the time? Interesting. Then I suppose you can cite one instance in the USA, UK, Germany, or Australia where a citizen has been incarcerated for a minimum of two years without trial for a blog post that is critical of the government. Go ahead and include some links under my post. Take your time. I'll wait.

      Your post is offensive on multiple levels: It minimizes Kamarudin's plight ("well what else should you expect when you criticize the government?"), but it also makes the claim that *every* other nation has just as bad a civil rights record. I can tell that you've never spent much time in Malaysia.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by owlnation (858981)

        Then I suppose you can cite one instance in the USA, UK, Germany, or Australia where a citizen has been incarcerated for a minimum of two years without trial for a blog post that is critical of the government.

        Granted, not specifically two years (maybe, I haven't checked) and not for a blog post, however people in the early 70's in the UK were indeed incarcerated on a ship on a lake in Northern Ireland for long periods without trial. Read up on Internment, and then come back and call us all paranoid. The U

        • by nobodyman (90587) on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:52PM (#25279145) Homepage

          Are you referring to the Prevention of Terrorism Acts [wikipedia.org]? From what I can tell you could be held for up to seven days without being formally charged with a crime. It would be a *big* stretch to equate this with Malaysia's Internal Security Act, under which they can hold you *indefinitely* (though the Malaysian government claims that Kamarudin will be held for at least two years).

          I'm not making the claim that these other countries are perfect. I'm refuting the GP's claim that all countries are just as bad. To say such a thing is just lazy relativism that trivializes the situation that this blogger is in.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by KGIII (973947) *

            Never been arrested I take it? I got arrested on a faulty warrant and then lost in a bus around the country for someone who's name, prints, etc didn't even match my own. This is in the United States of America, CCA jails, and TransCorps. This happened while I was at work. I was an eight hour drive from home, if I'd known that there was some sort of problem I could have driven home to deal with it.

            It turns out that they used my name in part and had a SSN "near" mine. That was enough for a bench warrant.

            It to

            • by nobodyman (90587)

              I don't have much experience beyond that but I can say that 2 days == 30 days == 12 hours == 1 minute

              I dunno man. I'll admit I've never been arrested, and I ain't gonna argue that your situation wasn't outrageous... because it sounds like it was. But if I had to spend time in jail for a bureaucratic screwup, I'd rather spend 1 minute than 23 days (let alone two years).

              Again, my point wasn't to say that countries like the Germany & USA don't have problems. They do. But... it's not like you've been thr

              • by KGIII (973947) *

                I'm not really sure I was clear enough. After an hour or two it is tough. After a week it is horrific. After two weeks it's not so bad. Somewhere in there is the tipping point. I was livid and did the true American thing and sued only to settle out of court. A part of me wished I'd kept the suit up but it was expensive at the time. (No, the ACLU wouldn't touch it, it wasn't "popular" enough was a direct quote.)

                I don't really know? Somewhere in the two to five day range it just got... Well... "The Same®

        • by rugatero (1292060)

          The UK categorically does NOT have the right to freedom of speech.

          The UN Declaration of Human Rights, anyone?

          And in the UK you do NOT have the right to remain silent, since remaining silent can be construed as an admission of guilt in UK law.

          Which is why all criminals are told "you do not have to say anything"? I'll concede, silence can be deemed as incriminating, but is not enough to be considered "admission of guilt". Although, I seem to recall that there are different rules for fraud investigations.

          • Not to mention the ECHR [wikipedia.org] which is legally binding in the UK. This doesn't guarantee free speech explicitly, but does guarantee freedom of expression (and also the right to privacy). Unfortunately, the language of the ECHR is very vague and full of exceptions which amount to 'unless the government disagrees'.
    • uhh... no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:36PM (#25278999) Homepage Journal

      there is actually a difference between your rights in the say, germany, and malaysia. germans are more free than americans in some freedoms of expression, but don't dare mention nazis, for example, in germany. but in germany and australia and the usa, overall, your rights and freedoms to express views which run contrary to those in power is respected. no really, it is. to conflate that with what goes on in malaysia, and egypt, and iran, and china, and other places, where you can, and will be put in brutal conditions, simply for expressing a political opinion. of course its not pure freedom of expression in the west, but there are orders of magnitude in difference

      to talk about your rights to expression malaysia in the same breath as roughly comparable to your rights to expression in germany, is to be woefully ignorant of the reality of the situation. this doesn't mean you aren't free to say lots of critical things in malaysia and get away with it. this doesn't mean you can't get abused by the authorities for simply expressing yourself in germany. but, overall, there are orders of magnitude of difference in the kinds of things you can safely say, and the punishment you face for saying unpopular things

      and to not realize that, and to not think the difference is important and large, is pure ignorance on your part

    • it doesn't happen here in Australia...
      if it did do you think the Chasers would still be walking free? (the blokes that gate-crashed APEC under the Canadian flag)
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      We just cover it up a bit better.

      Better than who exactly? Stalin?

  • In other news, several bloggers called for the U.S. to charge Malaysia, sending scores of /b/tards into uncontrollable lulz.

  • by Layth (1090489) on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:30PM (#25278953)

    Some interesting notes.. particularly the USA's Smith Act, which made it a crime to advocate or teach the desirability of overthrowing the United States Government, or to be a member of any organization which does the same.

    I'm not a lawyer.. but doesn't the preamble of our own declaration of independence state "it is [the people's] right, it is their duty, to throw off ... Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"

    Man, I don't think I could ever be a lawyer.
    I love my compiler too much - logic and consistency is actually enforced.

    • by rohan972 (880586)

      Some interesting notes.. particularly the USA's Smith Act, which made it a crime to advocate or teach the desirability of overthrowing the United States Government, or to be a member of any organization which does the same.

      I'm not a lawyer.. but doesn't the preamble of our own declaration of independence state "it is [the people's] right, it is their duty, to throw off ... Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"

      And yet there are plenty of people who advocate or teach the desirability of the citizens being capable of overthrowing the US government. If you start to actually take steps towards armed revolution though, why would you not expect to be met with government force? If you are not already in jeopardy of your life from the government and you take up arms, you deserve to be shot. If you are already being hunted by the government, sedition charges hardly change your situation.

      As a result, the only thing that

  • Malaysia..... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IMightB (533307) on Monday October 06, 2008 @07:48PM (#25279113) Journal

    Malaysia isn't such a bad place as far as countries that I've visited go... My wife is Malay, and she wouldn't move back. Every time I visit there, I get the feeling that it is slowly being dragged into the 21st century. There are still many laws that give native Malay's/Muslims preferential treatment over other ethnic groups (Indians/Chinese). My understanding is that this is fairly limited to things like low-interest government loans.... I dunno... I enjoy visiting there, I don't think that I'd want to live there though.

  • by afabbro (33948) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:07PM (#25279703) Homepage

    Free speech being restricted in a Muslim dictatorship? I'm shocked. Just completely shocked.

    • by IMightB (533307)

      umm it's not a dictatorship.... It is actually one of the more liberal Muslim countries. The government at least tries to appear somewhat secular... sometimes....

  • It gets even better (Score:4, Informative)

    by the_B0fh (208483) on Monday October 06, 2008 @09:15PM (#25279761) Homepage

    Read his comment at his website: http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/12913/84/ [m2day.org]

    Basically:

    "You've insulted Islam, a jailable offense, even though we cannot prove that in the articles that we've printed out. But your style of writing is too sophisticated, and dumb people who are not at the same intellectual level as you could misinterpret what you say, and mistakenly think what you wrote as an insult to Islam. Hence, we are going to send you to jail for insulting Islam."

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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