Browsing this morning through yesterday's paper (Asian Wall Street Journal), as you do in certain countries...
E@L found this presumably interesting piece on, coincidentally, Vietnam... Well the local censors found it a BIT TOO interesting for me to even read. Something about ABN-AMRO having a difference of opinion with a VN Goverment owned bank...
Key quote (what I can read): "The ABN-AMRO saga (under ink)will be familiar (out from the ink) to foreigners who do business in China."
That can only mean one thing: corruption to the Nth degree and the laughably predicatable loss of all investment money into the deep and Government protected pockets of the military and political big-wigs while the foreign company's representative gets arrested and held responsible. At a guess.
Anyway, as for all this black-inking, the first I have ever witnessed first hand... who knows, it might have caused me to blog in detail about something terrible going on in this country, other than such unsubtle censorship of course.
Vietnam should take a leaf out of Singapore's book and realize the way to castrate the foreign press is to threaten to sue the living shit out of them, then to in fact sue the living shit out of them, then force it to put up a huge bond in case they want to sue the living shit out them again.
The stench of the ink in the blockout pen would not be so evident, but more the result is equally effective and offensive. Plus it loads the foreign exchange coffers.
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
Hilarious! How scalable is something like this really? Or is using professional block-out pen wielders simply cheaper than employing a few lawyers and judges?
I guess there aren't that many copies of the AWSJ etc in circulation in HCMC. There are an awful lot of people riding around on bikes and motorcycles doing nothing much else or sittting in the park, so scribbling in newspapers whereever they tell you to is at least a job. But somebody has to read it first and find all these unpalatable truths to be excised.
The irony of it is that this IS BEING DONE in Singapore on a much larger scale and in more pervasive manner, albeit without such a blatantly obvious way of letting the people know that their capacity to obtain information for informed thought is being severely curtailed.
The articles and sections that would be blacked out like that are simply not published in Singapore editions, or worse, not even written any more... Eventually those ideas are not even thought any more. We All Love Big Mentor.
Freedom cannot meh? Neh mine, leh...