This would be in keeping with the menacing speech of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in Parliament when introducing the Third Outline Perspective Plan in early April, where he declared that the government was ready to break from "so-called international norms" on human rights and democracy.
After his speech, the breaches from the “international norms” on human rights and democracy came quick and fast - starting with the notorious ISA detentions, the annnouncement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim that the Attorney-General’s Chambers is in the final stage of drafting legislation to impose internet censorship affecting websites and the MCA acquisition of two Chinese newspapers, Nanyang Siang Pao and China Press.
In the latest Asiaweek, Malaysiakini founders were listed in the magazine’s sixth annual ranking of the region’s 50 most powerful people, taking the 18th spot while the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was ranked 39th.
Asiaweek’s ranking of the region's 50 most powerful people this year is based on those who had changed the face of Asia through the revolution in communications.
“Forget about power coming from the barrel of a gun or even a barrel of money. The communications revolution is changing who calls the shots. In all the rapid, often violent changes that have swept across Asia in the past 20 years, none has shaken the region more than the revolution in communications.Mahathir will now be more determined to impose Internet censorship after the Malaysiakini founders have been listed among Asia’s 50 most powerful people ranking higher than him.
“Asia's elders - its political, social and business leaders - had long clung to the strictly vertical, top-down communication pattern handed down over the centuries but the advent in the past five years of the Internet, e-mail, and mobile phones and the continued blossoming of satellite broadcasting have flattened that structure.”