Press Much Freer in Indonesia Which Has A Much Younger Democracy Than Malaysia.

Posted: January 5, 2009 in about me, catholics, indonesia, Malaysia, malaysia press, Malaysia Today, malaysiakini, Malaysian Human Rights, Malaysian Politics, Sabah, Sarawak

     

Indonesia is the fourth largest nation in the world with a population of more than 225 million and a much younger democracy than Malaysia, but unlike Malaysia, Indonesia’s print media does not require to apply for a printing permit. In Malaysia,  you need to apply every year for a printing permit to stay on in business.

If at the end of the year, Malaysian Home Ministry does to give you the yearly publishing licence on time, then you are screwed, technically you are operating your paper or magazine without a licence for that period of time. Sometimes this is the case for 2 to 3 months in a year before the Home Ministry actually decides to issue the new licence for that year.

Many newspapers in Malaysia, normally for a couple of months in the beginning of the year operate with their yearly expired licence. Home Ministry will deliberately give them the run around delaying the licence although there are hundreds of people depending on the paper for survival. I know this. This is normal with most newspapers in Malaysia as they frequently go through this uncertainty period on year ends to first quarters of the year. Its nerve wracking for editors during this period of time and I know of many who go through this anxiety and cold sweat, year in and year out.

The Herald Catholic weekly newspaper is one classic case where the Home Ministry had told it to stop publishing its Malay language edition which has been in publication since 1980.

In a dispute over its use of the word “Allah”, The Herald was told in July last year that its licence was being reviewed as its use of the word “Allah” could inflame the Muslim population. The Home Ministry was saying “Allah” should be used only by Muslims and therefore The Herald cannot use the word “Allah” to refer God.

 The Herald claims it is impossible to avoid as in the Malay language the only word for “God” is “Allah.”

This issue now is in the courts to be resolved.

The Herald is only circulated among the country’s 850,000 Catholics and has a circulation of  only 14,000 per week and readership estimated to about 50,000.

The Herald’s Malay version is only meant for the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak many of whom mainly speak only Malay. Nearly  more than half Malaysia’s Catholics are from indigenous groups, most of whom live on the Borneo island states and they conduct all their prayers in Malay and their Bible is also in Malay.

Now, the Malay section of  The Herald cannot be printed until the court case is resolved in the High Court. So, how about the East Malaysian readers?

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Comments
  1. masminkadad. says:

    Benar, sya setuju dgn pernyataan bahawa kebebasan media Indonesia jauh mengatasi Malaysia. Demikian juga kebebasan beragama adalah ternganga luas buat warga untuk bebas menganut agama buat dirinya. Di Malaysia kebebasan media dibabat total.Hanya pemerintah yg memiliki lidah Media-surat khabar,TV juga media kementerian. Oposisi politik dibenarkan hanya 1 seminggu shja. TV nga punya. Perisian TV berupa berita hanya liputan pemberitaan bagi dn utuk pemerintah.Semua yg muluk2 dan yg enak2 didengar rakyat.

    Parti2 politik tidak memunyai kebebasan berkumpul melainkan mesti mndpt kebenaran POLIS.Kekangan seumpama ini terus digunakan utk mengekang parti2 politik pembangkang. ISA- Internal Security Act sering digunakan utk menahan golput yng dpt melemahkan gerakan parti oposisi.

    Universiti diwujudkan AKTA-undang2,peraturan yg mengatur mahasiswa agar x onar ke pemerintah. Melanggarnya bisa ke-tahanan, atau buang pengajian.

    Terjemahan BIBLE kristian adalah dilarang dlm bahasa Malaysia. Akhbar the Gerald dilarang beredar dlm bahasa malaysia. Demikian juga penggunaan nama “ALLAH” yg merujuk nama Tuhan adalah terlarang utk umat Kristian. Allah itu hanya dan nama Tuhan dlm Islam sahaja.

    Secara personel, ada longgokan persoalan yg mo dipecahkan pemerintah sebagai negara hukum. Dari sistem bernegara hingga persoalan beragama- ia dibasis atas demokrasi.

    “Allah” itu adalah salah satu nama Tuhan yang 99 asmaullah, kalau nanti pihak Kristian menggunkan nama “Kholik” sebagai nama Tuhan apakah masih dilarang oleh jabatan agama. Nama Tuhan saja menjadi rebutan di Malaysia oleh agama2, tidak di Indonesia, yg bebas beragama. Sama nama Tuhan antara Umat Islam dgn Umat Kristian iaitu “Allah”-

    Di Indonesia bible kristian diperbolehkan terjemahannya dlm bahas Indon, diMalaysia x boleh walau masih menamakan diri sebagai negara bebas beragama.

    Di Malaysia perlu wujud semacam dialoq antara agama dgn pemerintah. Sebab kekangan yg berlanjut yg melanggar undang2 dasar negara itu akan memburukkan keadaan. Sya hanya berharap pemerintah Malaysia , sentiasa membuat keputusan sesuatu dengan cermat- bersangkutan agama.

    Juga Malaysia mesti mengembalikan dirinya sebuah negara Demokrasi, bukan demokrasi celup kosmetik utk kabur negara luar sahaja. Sebab lambat laun manusia itu sukar menerima situasi yg serba dikongkong. Manusia akan menjadi manusia sejati- pemerintah wajib tunduk hakikat ini.

    Kembalikan kebebasan rakyat,mansuhkan sebarang undang yg bertentangan dgn Perlembagaan Negara.
    Malaysia akan lebih maju jika pemerintah itu lebih menghormati masyarakat.

    Like

  2. Maris says:

    I’m from a different culture where freedom of expression is valued and given to each individual, so I find this press restriction, a bit…well, weird and backward in a sense. But it did make me learn a thing or two about the diversity of cultures.

    In terms of Allah and God, I’m not any religious figure but I think however we address our respective God, whatever religion we belong to, we are still praying to just one Divine Being who loves all of us.

    Like

  3. anonymous says:

    there is a word for ‘god’ which mean ‘tuhan’ in malay. why the Herald want to use the word ‘Allah’ to reffer the god? ‘Allah’ is not even originally a malay language. there’s no such thing that the only word for “God” is “Allah” while u can reffer ‘god’ as ‘tuhan’ in malay.

    Like

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