Press Comments by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, after the opening of the Perak DAP State Convention on in Ipoh on Sunday, September 24, 1995 at 11a.m
The issues of promoting Internet among Malaysians as well as the question of pornography on the Internet are serious matters and should not be trivialized
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s communications department head Prof. Dr. Mohd Safar Hasim said I should learn to spell “sex” and “erotica” and that “After that. Lim will be able to find pornographic materials on the Net”.
The issues of promoting Internet among Malaysians as well as the question of pornography on the Internet are serious matters and should not be trivialized.
When I said that I had been on-line on the Internet for 100 hours and I have not come across any pornographic materials, I was rebutting the wrong and irresponsible impression which Dr. Safar had created when he made Malaysians think that Internet is awash with pornography.
I had never said that there is no pornography on the Internet but it is a very different thing to spread the baseless impression that 83.5 percent of the materials on the Internet are obscene or pornographic.
Dr. Safar is the first Malaysian communications expert to endorse the dubious study by American Marty Rimm whose undergraduate study claim that 83.5 percent of materials on Usenet was obscene had been discredited – and I will like to know the position of other communications expert, particularly those from the other local universities.
The majority of Malaysians still do not understand Internet and a bit afraid of the new information technology. Giving them the impression that 83.5 percent of Internet are obscene pornographic will definitely create hysteria against the new information technology, which is a grave disservice to Malaysia and the Vision 2020.
I do not believe that Dr. Safar is suggesting that Internet is awash with pornography as then he would logically have to demand Malaysia banning the Internet, burn her back to the information technology revolution and push Malaysia back to the stone age.
I have spoken to Dr. Safar yesterday and I told him that I have nothing against him personally, but that I am most concerned that there should not be an atmosphere of misinformation and hysteria about the Internet.
I will visit the UKM Communications Department on Wednesday to discuss with Dr.Safar the issue of Internet as well as pornography on the Internet.