Saturday, August 08, 2009

Printing Presses and Publications Act

From the Internal Security Act review promised by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, we now move on to the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

For those who are not familiar with the PPPA, you can read the official full Act here. Two days ago, the Malaysian Mirror carried the headlines - Printing Presses Act to be reviewed.

The first thing that crossed my mind at that time was "This is indeed a bold move".

I miss the good old days during Dr M's era where Barisan Nasional leaders were very intelligent in making first moves.

We used to implement policies or amend policies way before the Opposition can exploit the case, thus making the Govt backed by the people with 2/3 majority all the time.

Now, we are merely seen as puppets because we seem to act only after the Opposition planned rallies or demonstrations - at least that is what appears in the mind of many.

Although we understand that the Govt is working to review certain laws (such as the ISA way before the 1 Aug demonstration), the Opposition managed to hijack it earlier and make it look like their efforts from thereforth.

Any Govt implementations will only be seen as "puppeted" by the Opposition. First movers strategy is very important in politics and this is one thing that Barisan Nasional must keep in mind.

Initially I thought that after the 1 August rally on ISA, a demonstration against PPPA might be next on the cards.

Now, with Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop's words that the Government will review the PPPA to to keep in steps with the times and promote the growth of the industry, I believe the "first mover strategy" is back on the table of Barisan Nasional.

Read THIS also - a collection of Editors' take on PPPA where Datuk Wong Chun Wai (The Star) urging the PPPA review and Datuk Azman Ujang (Bernama) and Steven Gan (Malaysiakini) don't seem confident that anything will be done.

Datuk Wong said "I feel the PPPA is already obsolete. It is not relevant anymore! More people are going online for news now. The web portals do not require a licence to publish news, so why not abolish the Act ?".

Again, as I said before, be patient and let Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak do his job. The message is clear.

If one thinks he is not performing, every citizen in Malaysia has his or her democratic rights and fundamental liberties to vote for a candidate and party whom he or she thinks will deliver what is best to the people.

And let us exercise our democratic rights through the ballot boxes, not the streets. (by the way, Dr M wrote a good piece about the Anwar's Culture.)

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