Journalists in Asean should share views on regional issues, says Fahmi

JAKARTA: Malaysian and Indonesian journalists need to discuss regional issues that can impact both countries, including the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, says Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil (pic).

He said on Monday (Feb 6) he believed that such discussions through, for example, a forum at the Asean level involving journalists in the region would help raise questions and improve understanding of the issues.

"I would like to see journalists participate in discussions about what is going on and the challenges in their countries, as well as what can be learned and how to support each other,” he said in an online interview with Indonesian media in conjunction with Indonesia’s National Journalist Day this Thursday (Feb 9).

Even though Asean holds to the principle of non-intervention in member countries' internal matters, he said the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar had become too sensitive an issue to even talk about, he added.

According to Fahmi, Rohingya refugees in Malaysia have become an issue as their numbers have swelled to the hundreds of thousands.

"If possible we should form closer ties... among (all) journalists (in the region), who play an important role in sharing stories that we all read,” he said.

Another matter he touched upon was the challenge in an era where social media had become a major way to spread both information and fake news.

On Malaysia-Indonesia ties, Fahmi said Ikatan Setiakawan Wartawan Malaysia-Indonesia (Iswami) could play a bigger role in strengthening bilateral relations.

He said there were several programmes being planned, including a journalist exchange, to boost interaction and allow media practitioners to experience the situation in both countries. – Bernama

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