The Storm and The Rainbow

A Reformasi Diary by Sabri Zain


Protecting your teenager from politically-explicit on-line material
August 6th, 1999
 
 

The Internet is a valuable educational tool, but for parents of young teenagers, it can also be a nightmare - especially in these times of political crisis. The touching picture of our Prime Minister breaking down and weeping at the thought of our youngsters demonstrating on the streets for a couple of days and failing to get their first-class honours in Astro-Physics as a result only highlights the need for our children to be controlled in exactly the same way we are.

Teenagers are particularly at risk of being manipulated on the Net and used by foreigners out to recolonise us because they often use the computer unsupervised and have not been exposed to the many years of valuable brainwashing by TV3, Utusan Malaysia and the New Straits Times that have given us adults that blind, sheep-like loyalty we have for our national leaders. Did you know that there are web sites and newsgroups on the Internet that actually say that it quite alright to criticise the government and that it is all part of the democratic process? Yes, shocking isn't it? And it is quite possible for our children to accidentally stumble across this type of offensive material when doing a search to find information on the Internet on useful things such as the lyrics to the ‘Setia’ song.

Our innocent youngsters certainly face many dangers and risks on their travels in Cyberspace. These include:

    Exposure to Inappropriate Material: One risk is that a child may be exposed to politically inappropriate material that may actually make them think for themselves, question the intelligence of politicians, have an acute sense of justice, understand the concept of democracy and value freedom and human rights.

    Physical Violence: Another risk is that, while on-line, a child might provide information or express opinions that could risk his or her safety or the safety of other family members. An innocent posting on a Reformasi discussion list may, for example, result in an unexpected visit from the Special Branch for “questioning”, “turning over” and, worst of all, “voluntary confessions”.

    Harassment: A third risk is that a child might be subject to e-mail bombs, spams, viruses and other unpleasant things most subscribers on Reformasi discussion lists receive from their secret admirers.

    Legal and Financial: There is also the risk that a child could do something that has negative legal or financial consequences such as expressing opinions that would result in multi-million dollar law suits, contempt of court proceedings, jail or even ISA detention

You as a parent can do something about this growing Cyber menace. Here are some brief but helpful tips for protecting your children and keeping your kids away from politically-explicit web sites and other questionable on-line content:

  • Place pictures of the Prime Minister and other political leaders beside your computer to make it repulsive to youngsters. Their scanned images on Windows wallpapers and screensavers are even more effective and may even put them off computers for life
  • Go to the favorites/bookmarks file in your web browser. Re-title your 'Reformasi' folder to 'UMNO'
  • Young teenagers are understandably curious about computer technology - patiently explain to them how the computer monitor emits x-rays that will severely impair the growth of their ‘pee-pee’s
  • Keep track of any files your children download to the computer. Make sure there are no pictures of Anwar Ibrahim or Wan Azizah among the usual naked ladies, busts, bums and other images you normally expect in your browser cache and find acceptable
  • Under an anonymous name, sign onto a Reformasi discussion list that your child is on and scare the living daylights out of him by telling him you know he has on those pink undies with the blue elephants
  • Do not allow your kids to become desensitized to Internet pictures of police violence at demonstrations - beat them harder each day. Make violence an acceptable form of authority.
  • Write a courteous e-mail to that web site asking for various long, sharp objects to be inserted into the orifices of certain national leaders to use more polite language
  • Replace your children with responsible UMNO Youth members
  • Tell your children reformasi websites cost RM60,000 to read and RM30,000 to print out
  • Provide your child with a detailed list of pornography websites to visit instead
  • Without his knowledge, replace the monitor on your computer with a TV set that is permanently tuned to TV3
  • Install filtering software to your Internet browser that will block websites with the words ‘Anwar’, ‘reformasi’, ‘justice’, ‘truth’, ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, etc.
  • Look out for tell-tale signs that your child is involved in reformasi activities - subtle things such as police batons sticking out of his skull or the overpowering odour of tear-gas on his clothes may reveal vital clues
  • Lock your child up in his room and force him to read “Asian Renaissance” continuously for many hours straight until your child begs, “No more! No more!”
  • Ask yourself why, if you can't exercise even a moderate degree of control over your own children, how on earth does the government do it with you?

If you have cause for concern about your children’s on-line activities, talk to them. Gently explain to them that everything the government does is for their own good - no matter how idiotic or ridiculous it may seem - and to even question that automatically makes them looting, riotous sodomites under the pay of evil foreign powers out to recolonise us. If your child remains unconvinced, seek out the advice and counsel of teachers, librarians, your UMNO MP or local undercover Special Branch officer.

If all else fails, report them immediately to the police - you do not want disloyal children, do you?

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