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Free Nat Tan July 15, 2007

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News.

Free Nat Now

If you haven’t heard, then you’re probably not a blogger or only read the mainstream – the Star has only a few paragraphs on it and I can’t find it on NST. Malaysiakini has the in-depth coverage (wanna take this chance to plug Malaysiakini, subscribing to it costs you about 40sen a day and is worth every cent. Was the first thing I bought for myself out of my first salary).

Anyway, blogger and PKR information chief Nathaniel Tan was remanded by the authorities under the Official Secrets Act on Friday. For details see Elizabeth Wong and Polytikus, and Cheryl.

My opinion:

This move is going to backfire on the authorities. For one, the reason for his detention – an anonymous comment left on his blog – is ridiculous:

Tan’s lawyer Latheefa Koya told malaysiakini that the police were investigating a comment posted by an individual on the former’s blog.

The individual who posted the comment, re-published three paragraphs found in the anonymous website which implicated Johari and was the subject of the ACA investigation against him.

For another, the ridiculous way he was treated only underlines why we need to abolish the OSA and ISA. People are likening it to a kidnapping.

It solidifies what most people already know – the authorities are either hopelessly out of touch, or misusing their power to screw around with us (or both).

In one of Richard Dawkins’s books, he talks about the zeitgeist – a global shifting of morals that happens slowly over time. It attempts to describe the common change in human perceptions; why slavery was acceptable and a fact of life in the past, and why it is revolting to us now: because of the evolution of our morals – the change in the zeitgeist.

I’m seeing it happen slowly but surely here. Remember the government’s attempt to discredit bloggers and paint us all as unreliable/unprofessional/unemployed females/liars/traitors? It didn’t work. They didn’t realize how so many Malaysians have taken to blogging as an outlet not just for socializing, or self-expression, but as a way to voice out against the government. It’s not going to work now either. Thing have changed – and they really picked the wrong person to screw with this time; and they’re screwing all of us by doing so.

But at least Nathaniel Tan will be joining the illustrious ranks of Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Kua Kia Soong, Lim Guan Eng etc.

I’ll echo John Lee‘s “call to vote” here, as well as quote a well known poem that I immediately thought of when first reading about this (that Jeff Ooi has also posted):

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.



1. Muhammad Yunus - July 15, 2007

Hey Tim,

Check out the rap verse i made regarding this whole episode – http://muhammadyunus.wordpress.com

Amateurish, but it’s my first time.


2. Free Nat.M. - July 15, 2007

Don’t get intimidated.
Nobody owns the Web.It is just a futile gesture on the part of the dark hands of those temporarily in power.
The web is mightier than ISA ,OSA combined.
Justice always prevail in the end.
You get all bloggers support in London.

3. Theva - July 15, 2007

The ISA and OSA is the last trump card for the govt to silence any form of dissent or criticisms. Its very effective silencing mechanism but it is losing its appeal and worthiness due to globalisation and internet revolution. So this act will only make a matyr of Nathaniel Tan who has taken the risk to expose the truth. This act is intended to warn all other bloggers and the public to keep mum and let things go by pretending everthing is OK. Its not that easy to suppress information and the truth bcos of IT.

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