|• Zainuddin Maidin
is no such thing as universal press freedom, at least for Zainuddin
Maidin, Malaysian information minister who said fellow Asean and Asian
countries should ignore the freedom ratings made by the Parisbased
Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
believes in local values when it comes to judging press freedom, saying
RSF based the ratings on the Western values, mainly driven by the
market and money.
commenting as RSF’s Malaysia's ratings plunged to 124th spot this year
from 92nd in 2006 while Singapore edged up to 141st spot from 146th
information chief had nothing but praises for Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's
former prime minister, for fighting the Western values of press freedom
and winning against the influential Financial Times recently.
“The only language understood by the Western media is when their pockets are hit,” remarked Zainuddin. RSF noted that in Malaysia (124th), Thailand (135th), Vietnam (162nd) and Egypt (146th), bloggers were arrested and news websites were closed or made inacces ible.