Malaysian Media Council Bill’s draft almost complete

PUTRAJAYA: The Communications Ministry is now in the final phase of preparing the draft of the Malaysian Media Council (MMC) Bill, says Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

He said the process to establish the media council took some time as it involved consultation with the Attorney General’s Chambers and needed to be considered and decided upon by the Cabinet.

“It will be concluded in the not too distant future,” he said at the launch of the Malaysian Code of Ethics for Journalists here yesterday.

Fahmi was reported to have stated previously that the government was considering several media-related Bills, including one for the establishment of the MMC, to ensure freedom of the press in the country.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to safeguarding the welfare of media practitioners in the country, urging the Information Department (JaPen) to intensify initiatives that would benefit the group.

He said a meeting had also been held with Human Resources Minister Steven Sim to ensure the welfare of stringers was protected, mainly through EPF and Socso, Bernama reported.

“It is understood that out of 9,750 media accreditation cardholders, more than 6,000 are stringers which is a significant number.

“The welfare aspects of EPF and Socso are under consideration. I need some time to discuss the matter with the secretary-general of my ministry. There is some positive news for stringers. Just give us a little time,” he said.

The minister called on JaPen to check on extending the validity period of media accreditation cards for international media practitioners which now requires annual renewal, against the two-year validity period for local media personnel.

“I see the need for this, considering that many practitioners involved in international media are Malaysians, who are based locally,” he said.

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