'Clampdown on social media won't stop dissenting voices': Former minister

PETALING JAYA - The clampdown on social media, including shutting down blogs, will not stop the people from talking, said former Cabinet minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

Such a move would be counterproductive, as people would conti­nue to voice out when provided the opportunity to do so, she said.

"When people care for the country, and see things happening that is not doing good for Malaysia, they will be moved to speak," she said.

She urged the authorities not to dismiss what people were saying on social media.

"It is so very naive to think that shutting down blogs and intervention on social media will actually stop people from talking," Rafidah said in a Facebook posting.

She voiced concerns over the curtailing of dissenting voices on social media, reportedly in reference to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's blocking of several anti-establishment blogs and websites.

The former International Trade and Industry Minister urged the Government to take the people's concerns seriously, even if they were not voiced in a proper channel.

"Listen with the intention to understand, and to put things right. Not to shut off people into the falsely perceived notion of being 'silenced'," she said.

However, Rafidah also reminded social media commentators to criticise constructively.