Kit Siang labels Najib, Hisham ‘instant jokes’ over Economist black-out

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 20, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 – Putrajaya’s decision to black-out portions of international magazine The Economist’s latest issue has backfired on the prime minister and home minister who both are now the target of jokes worldwide, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said today.

The veteran opposition lawmaker recommended that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also overhaul the home ministry led by the latter’s cousin Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and appoint as officers in charge those who were more tech-savvy and up-to-date on current affairs.

Lim poked fun at the Najib administration for blotting out large segments of the weekly magazine’s July 16 edition that covered the Bersih 2.0 rally earlier this month, despite the article being also available online .

“It takes quite a special genius to … turn both the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak into instant home and international jokes with one stroke of the pen!” Lim said, before blaming overzealous and outdated home ministry officials in the publications control and quranic text division for compromising the dignity of the country’s top leadership.

The Ipoh-Timur MP claimed that page views of The Economist article titled “Taken to the cleaners — an overzealous government response to an opposition rally” had spiked online as a result of the government censorship.

“There are now many times more readers of The Economist online as a result of this article “black-out” – no wonder The Economist management took the ham-fisted home ministry action with considerable aplomb,” he said.

“If Najib is serious about the Government Transformation Programme, he should totally revamp the home ministry to ensure that it could be ‘smart’ by firstly, ensuring that only those with an IT and information-age mindset, fully primed that there is no way to curb information flow, are placed in charge,” Lim advised.

The federal lawmaker also suggested splitting up the publications control and quranic text division into two units “as they should not come under one roof.”

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has been hit hard at home and abroad with Najib being forced to explain on an official visit to Britain his administration’s clampdown on dissent in the weeks leading up to — as well as during — the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally.

Police arrested close to 1,700 individuals on the rally day alone while six more people who are members of the registered Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), including Sungai Siput MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, have been locked up since July 2 after they were found with T-shirts bearing the likenesses of former communist leaders.

The police said the six are detained under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) for allegedly waging war against the King.

  1. #1 by Cinapek on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 10:22 am

    No! No! No! YB Kit. You should encourage Najib and Hisham not only to keep those Little Napoleons but also to promote them!

    Why? Because they are doing you a huge favour to discredit the two clowns. In their haste to ampu bodek, they have proven time and again that they will forgo their thought process and shoot their own feet. Not that they have much thought process to begin with anyway.

    You should also encourage Laurel and Hardy to promote the PDRM officer who came up with the brilliant idea to charge the PSM 6 with promoting communism and “waging war on the Agong”. This officer will be invaluable to your cause if he has more authority to come up with even more such brilliant and creative ideas. Of course these ideas will paint the whole administration into the corner where you want them to be and provide the ammunation for the turkey shoot in the next GE.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 10:29 am

    You see, it’s like our toes – years of non-use have rendered them useless and incapable of any useful function. Tht’s the problem with giving these clowns fish by virtue of Article 153 – they simply lose the knowledge of fishing and now all they do is wait by the shore to demand that we throw them the fish that we caught.

    As someone said in another blog, there is no cure for stupidity.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 10:36 am

    Tweedledumdumb and Tweedledeedik,
    Agreed to give Bersih 2.0 a battle;
    Said Tweedledumdumb to Tweedledeedik:
    ‘They’ve all come to test our mettle’.

    Just then came down a monstrous crowd,
    As yellow and gold as can be;
    Which frightened our ‘heroes’ so,
    Dazed, confused they mumbled: “How can this be”?

    Apologies to Uncle L. Carroll

  4. #4 by ktteokt on Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 6:54 pm

    Why don’t these two idiots do what they do to the local press – threaten to retract their printing licences? That will be the biggest joke! But what is the point of blacking out only copies distributed in Malaysia when the Economist is distributed worldwide? Everyone else outside Malaysia reading the magazine will be having a clear copy of what has been blackened!!!!!!

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