Salah satu sifat seorang pemimpin besar adalah berhati besar, di mana ia berpandangan jauh, rasional, berprinsip dan pemaaf orangnya. Sifat ini dizahirkan oleh Khairy apabila beliau, yang telah disakiti dan dilabelkan secara negatif oleh blog Malaysia Today, mempertikaikan tindakan Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia [MCMC] yang telah menyekat akses blog tersebut, dalam bulan Ogos 2008.
Mungkin ramai yang menyangka Khairy akan menyokong tindakan MCMC atas kedudukan beliau sebagai mangsa blog tersebut, namun Khairy telah bertindak sebaliknya.
In Defence of Those Who Despise Me [Blog post dated 30 August 2008, Rembau Dot Net]
No other website has caused me as much bad rep and deliberately destroyed my character as Raja Petra Kamaruddin's Malaysia Today. Yet I cannot help disagreeing with the recent move by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block access to the site. Such blatant and crude employment of State power is inconsistent with the widening of the democratic space – an approach the current Administration adopted long before the 12th General Election.
Citizens' right to information aside, MCMC's high-handed approach also sends out the wrong message as it is at odds with the Multimedia Super Corridor Bill of Guarantees – a ten-point Bill that prescribes zero Internet censorship. The government will do well to appear consistent in its application of Internet regulation and steadfast in its commitment to ensure, wherever possible, free access to information as controversial or inaccurate as they may often be in Malaysia Today's case.
I am sure many are aware that Raja Petra is for the time being hosting the site elsewhere. It is quite bemusing that MCMC should have thought the blocking of access to Malaysia Today would actually succeed. Internet censorship may not only be unnecessary, it is quite often impossible, especially when the targeted site is, for better or worse, one of the most popular across the country.
Few would disagree with the view that Malaysia Today deliberately invites controversy upon itself and does its best to elicit reaction from the government and certain individuals that become targets of Raja Petra. In his incessant desire to concoct sensationalism, he often peddles half-truths and occasionally, outright lies. The inability to judiciously moderate comments also results in racially and religiously offensive remarks being posted without any restriction by the web master.
Nevertheless, none of these should justify an attempt at outright censorship. There are ample alternative channels to pursue action if desired - public rebuttals or civil suits for defamation are a few. And from personal experience, I find it apt sometimes to simply ignore the site and its wild stories even at great cost to my own reputation.
Apart from violating the principle of openness and transparency that this Administration champions and that I have publicly defended, this move also threatens to further alienate young, urban voters from Barisan Nasional. This act of censorship betrays a lack of faith in Malaysia's youth to intelligently decide the truth for themselves. Tabloids sell far more than broadsheets in many countries, but it would take a bold person to suggest that readers of The Sun or The Mirror in the UK, for example, take all of its content at face value. I see every indication that bright young Malaysians, too, can apply the same self-filtering process. What they will not stand for is the State imposing its own filter on the Web. The Barisan Nasional government needs to be savvier in responding to issues on the Internet.
Incidentally, YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed has also blogged on this issue and similarly proposed that the government avoid Internet censorship. And so I find myself on the side of both Raja Petra and Tun Dr Mahathir. It could either mean that I find myself as Alice in an impossible Wonderland or just simply the magic of the Ramadhan spirit is at work.