It's no big deal

Electric New Paper, Singapore
17 February 2008

MALAYSIA’s Information Minister Zainuddin Mydin has said that the government will not be affected by blogs and other Internet forums that may be created during campaigning for the upcoming elections.
Mr Zainuddin insisted that while the younger generation are tech-savvy, they tend to believe newspaper reports over comments made on the Internet, China Press reported.
He added that the Internet is used mainly to book budget airline tickets or to get entertainment news.
He claimed that he is not worried that blogs and forums critical of the incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition would affect its chances of winning the election.
Since independence in 1957, the multi-ethnic coalition has won every election.
He stressed that young Malaysians would not turn to the Internet for political news.
He said: ‘My children are young professionals and enjoy surfing the Internet. But they don’t read blogs.’
Mr Zainuddin pointed out that Malaysians are a mature lot and would rather give more credibility to newspaper reports than the ‘gossipy news’ on the Internet.
He said that while Malaysia respects press freedom and the right of expression, these liberties are not absolute and must be exercised responsibly.
Mr Zainuddin alluded to how sensitive press reports fanned the Sino-Malay racial riots in May 1969.