Why SMS and Internet is a big issue?

9 11 2006

Sending sms to friends and receiving sms from people for sales & marketing purposes is part of our daily life and so you may wonder why is it a big issue now in Malaysia?

This relates directly to the recent Muslim-Christian conversion rumour spread by SMS that a church in Perak was conducting a baptism ceremony for Muslims over last weekend. This prompted a group of Muslim people to protest in front of the chruch. Seeing it as a threat to public order and national security, the Malaysian Government is considering whether to apply provisions under the Intenal Security Act (ISA) against those responsible for disseminating libellous and false news through SMS or e-mail.

But why was it a big deal? Was it because a lack of open discussion on religious issues in the country? Or was the religious issue is closely intertwined with the viability of the ruling power that the issue of Islam can not be touched as that may mean the loss of majority of votes? Yet, when people can not voice out their opinions, they like to read news from SMS and internet as it is one of the ways they can obtain information. They then incline to believe in what they read and perhaps listen. This can be dangerous sometimes as not all sender carry goodwill, postive and meaningful messages.

Another example is in the case of Thailand where some political websites have been banned since the September coup d’etat. Fearing the widespread of strong criticism against the Council for Democratic Reform, or later known as Council for National Security (CNS), might be posted on certian websites, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology ordered a ban on websites. This has violated the basic rights of freedom of expression and should be lifted. Even during time of crisis, it is very important that people have access to information as widespread as possible. Hiding information make people curious what is behind the story being told by the CNS and this may again prompt them to trust whatever information they obtain which can be dangerous.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: