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April 17, 2007



"There are blockages to free thinking in China, due to various things: "

One key missing point is self inflicted fear. 99.9 percent of China's population actually enjoy the greatest freedom of speech comparable to the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, only 1 percent actually believe that they have freedom of speech.

The reason is similar to the fear of ghost. A lot of people fear ghost. Yet, they have never seen a ghost or detected their presence. They are afraid of ghost because they have been taught to be afraid. But ghost does not exist. So it is an irrational fear.

The same is true with regards to freedom of speech in many Asian countries. Logically speaking, the people who have been arrested without trials in many countries are only the big shots: the journalists, the politicians, the revolutionaries.

So logically speaking, if you are a "nobody", you have nothing to fear from speaking out. The government is not going to waste their time arresting you.

I remember 20 years ago, when the Mahathir administration launched operasi lalang where he imprisoned many politicians. In the aftermath, nobody dared to criticize the government. Even the hairdresser was afraid to talk about it. Come on, the government will arrest a hairdresser? No, the fear to speak out is a illogical response to hearing the news about politicians being imprisoned for being against the government.

It is like the fear of ghost or the fear of flying. Some people read in the papers about plane crashes and are afraid to fly as a result. How do we help such people to conquer their fear of flying? We educate them. We tell them that flying is statistically still the safest mode of transportation and that you have a much higher chance of being in a fatal car crash than to die in a plane crash.

What is needed to promote more freedom of speech is not the introduction of more laws.

The laws irregardless of how restrictive they are at present, still provides a great degree of freedom to many people.

But people are afraid to exercise the freedom allotted to them because they have read in the news that a journalist lost his job for voicing his opinion. So they are afraid the same fate would struck them if they open their mouths.

What we need to do is to help them conquer this fear. We need to educate them that unless they happen to be a journalist, or some big shot, or if they are being put on video then they have little to fear from exercising their freedom of speech. The government is not going to waste time arresting an office clerk, or a restaurant waiter for voicing criticisms of the government.

For example, many people believe that Malaysia has a bad record in terms of freedom of speech. Yet, as far as I know, I have exercise a lot of freedom of speech in Malaysia. All I do is to tell myself this: I am a nobody, so if they government does arrest me, they are wasting their time. So I know I will never be arrested because they won't waste their time with me. I am not Anwar Ibrahim or Lim Kit Siang. So I can open my mouth and say whatever the hell I want. And I guarantee you, the Malaysia government will not arrest me.

p/s I am a Chinese and my favourite number is 4. Because I want to prove that 4 being an unlucky number is again a myth. People believe 4 is unlucky, but it is actually a myth.

pp/s Just like Freedom of speech. Many believe their countries have little freedom of speech. But that is a myth. To most people (who are really nobody important), the government is not going to waste time punishing them. So it is a myth that they think they don't have freedom of speech.
ppp/s If Anwar Ibrahim claims there is no freedom of speech in Malaysia, I can believe him. If Lim Kit Siang claims there is no freedom of speech in Malaysia, I can believe him. But if Mr. Tan Kok Leong who fries Hokkien Mee at the corner Chinese restaurant claims there is no freedom of speech, its BS. He is inflicting the restriction on himself. The governemnt will never arrest a cook for voicing his criticisms.


I wanna give my personal opinion on mahathir_fan's comment.

I'm not sure Mr. mahathir_fan is a M'sian Chinese or Mainland Chinese, I guess he probably is a Mianland Chinese once lived in M'sia.

I can't deny in today's China folks have more space to discuss all kinds of topics they like, or it just like Mr. mahathir_fan mentions the Chinese government won't waste time on arresting those folks.

However, when we view happening things at a nationwide scope, at a higher and deeper angle; it's not hard to find out Isaac Mao's viewpoint is much closer to the reality rather than Mr. mahathir_fan's.


I'm afraid people in mainland china are not able to watch Google Video due to Google's policy.Can I ask if there are YouTube versions of these videos?

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