Rumours but not Fleetwood Mac (one for the Teenagers)

by JW on October 16, 2009


Well, as I suggested yesterday (honestly), what goes down without much reason will go back up again and, blow me down, the SET Index has rebounded to recoup all of yesterday’s losses. Just as yesterday’s losses were fuelled by unfounded rumours (which is now being admitted by the English language newspapers), so the reverse has happened today.

While certain people seek out ‘rumour-mongers’ to punish and malign, most of the rest of society wonders why it is not recognised that openness and transparency is probably the best policy on a day to day basis (the vapid one was earlier reported to be set to blame a particular company, for example, although I cannot find the link just now).

Rumour is a powerful thing and, like conspiracy theory, it flourishes in the absence of openness. In Malaysia, there has long been a tradition of poison pen letters aimed at blackening the reputation of certain people. Even today, in the newspapers there, it is clearly printed in every edition that obituaries will not be printed without some heavy duty proof of death and of the bona fides of the person wishing to insert the obituary. Although on the one hand this seems deplorable, it does seem to indicate how people have to behave in order to get their views across in a repressive society – Malaysia used the pretext of the Communist rebellion and the possibility of inter-racial riots to maintain a version of the ISA that undemocratic governments like the present one are using here. Only more so, I suppose.

In a globalised world, all markets (and all societies) are connected deeply with each other and even if the authorities here suppress news, it will still come out in other countries. Even during the suppression of the Saffron Revolution in Burma, mobile phones and twitter and so forth were used to smuggle news out to international attention.

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