Malayse

Baruch, my work has taken me to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia, I am surprised to learn, does not allow assemblies of more than two people without a permit. Human rights activists assembling to protest this violation of a basic human right are (ironically?) arrested. In another case, a Hindu activist is arrested for sedition for using the words “ethnic cleansing” to describe the policy the Malaysian government is pursuing towards Hindus. I have no idea whether that’s accurate or not (it’s probably not that bad), but whatever happened to the freedom to hold opinions not to the liking of the government in power?

But my wrath this morning is not really against the government; it is aimed squarely at that sorry excuse for a propaganda organ masquerading as a serious mainstream newspaper, the New Straits Times. Check out their front page this morning. It left me gasping:

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Yes, it is the usual suspects, and they are protesting too much, and they’re doing it in the name of democracy no less! (The alleged bit policeman was of an undercover cop, we find. He bares his arm on page two, and I looked in vain for bite marks).

On page three, a full page ad for Lexus. Not that there was any danger of me ever buying a Lexus, but I can assure you that if we asked what Spinoza would do, he would be boycotting Lexus (and Honda, the other major multinational advertising in the New Straits Times).

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3 thoughts on “Malayse”

  1. Stick around Spinoza, you’ll find more of the same in coming days. The Malaysian press is free to the extent that it doesn’t cross any of the red lines viz.

    1) Criticism of Islam
    2) Open sympathy with Israel or “Zionists”
    3) Open discussion of blatant discrimination in favour of the majority Malay Muslims when it comes to jobs, places of worship or other goodies.
    4) Don’t let the view from Petronas Towers fool ya.

    But you’ll find the Malaysians are an easy going people without too many chips on their shoulders.

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