Abolish Printing Presses and Publications Act to improve media freedom, govt urged

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 May 2024

PETALING JAYA: The CSO Platform for Reform has urged the government to abolish or amend the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) as steps to improve the country's position on the World Media Freedom Index.

It also said that the Malaysia Media Council (MMM) must be independent in law and in practice from state, commercial and other influences.

"An independent media council ensures journalists and media outlets can operate without fear of censorship or reprisals from government or corporate entities," said CSO Platform for Reform (CSO Platform) in a statement on Thursday (May 9).

CSO Platform was born after May 2018, when Pusat Komas, a civil society organisation, initiated the formation of the platform to enable Malaysian NGOs to contribute strategic proposals for reform to the Institutional Reform Committee.

CSO Platform brings together NGOs under thematic clusters based on their areas of specialisation, such as parliamentary and state legislative assembly reform, key law/policies reform, governance leadership reform, and institutional reform.

"We hope that by separating the Malaysia Media Council from the government, it will guarantee the right of media freedom in our country.

CSO Platform's recommendations were in response to the country's 107th position in the World Media Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which is a drop by 34 places compared to the previous year.

CSO Platform further said an independent media council will enhance public trust in journalism by ensuring that news reporting is driven by factual accuracy and ethical considerations, rather than political or commercial agendas.

"This trust is essential for a healthy democracy where citizens rely on the media for accurate information," it added.

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