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Friday, October 08, 2004

free speech

People seem to think that "free speech" means that you can say as you please, and when you wish. They reckon that freedom of speech gives them the right to criticise anything according to their whimps and fancies.

To be honest, I don't have a damn clue what the fuck "free speech" is.

I am guessing, it is something that the white men, the "Champions of Democracy" came up with. Which supposedly suits everybody fine, but I don't think that they can go around shouting, "I hate Niggers" and get away with it. Isn't it after all, free speech? If free speech means you can speak your mind, then why did a football pundit get sacked when he called a footballer "a fucking lazy thick nigger?"

So again, I ask, what is free speech?

We all ask for freedom of speech, but in our everyday lives, it is not something that we practice as well. Especially among Asians, when people dislike something, they are sometimes afraid to say it for the fear of invoking anger or hurting someone. A friend pisses you off, but you keep quiet. You want to critisise people, but you can't. Where is the free speech there?

I say, especially in our Malaysian society, freedom of speech is not something that is feasible. Sure, it'll be great to diss other people as you please. But what happens when someone does find it funny to go around insulting other races?

In an attempt to mimick the luxuries and privilledges of other nations, we have forgotten something that we have always preached -- that we are a unique nation made up of many races. 1969 has indeed taught us what happens when the fragile understanding and tolerance between races is broken. So, can we blame the government for not granting us enough free space to air our thoughts?

After all, we have never really proven ourselves to be matured enough. How much have our mindsets changed since 1969? None at all. 45 years since that day and nothing has changed. Students who can't scholarships don't usually blame themselves, they blame the other race and quotas first. Racially motivated gangfights still occur in schools. Remember the Kampung Baru incident just a few years ago? Give it another 10 years or 50 years down the line and the same racial issues will still remain.

Therefore, in our country, free speech is not a right, and can never be one until we shed our skin and change our thinking. There are social taboos in every country, and more so in ours. Don't bitch that you can't go around saying things that you want to without being thrown in jail. Understand that if those laws are not there, people will go around chopping up other people.

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