KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry will be offering scholarships to journalists who intend to further theirs studies in local public universities, says its minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
"I have an important announcement to make for journalists.
"The Education Ministry, through local public universities, has prepared scholarships for journalists wishing to further their studies," he said in his speech at the Malaysian Journalist Night 2019 here on Friday (April 26).
He added that Doha based Al-Jazeera has agreed to collaborate with the ministry to provide training and internship to media students from UiTM and International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).
Dr Maszlee said that Malaysian journalists have the potential to excel beyond the shores of the nation and could one day be employed by international news agencies.
Earlier in his speech, Dr Maszlee said the media played a crucial role towards nation building and democracy.
He said that a free and independent media could act as the "fourth estate" and serve as a check and balance of the legislative, executive and judiciary.
"In this respect, it was recognised by Reporters Without Borders in Paris on April 18 that Malaysia's ranking on the Press Freedom Index 2019 had risen to 123 out of 148 nations.
"For the longest time, Malaysia was ranked 148 on the index," he said.
Dr Maszlee said that the government is committed towards ensuring media freedom and will be reviewing laws that stifle and restrict the media.