Thursday, November 05, 2009

Revisiting press laws

Home Ministry to meet with industry on press control laws


PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry is planning a brainstorming session over several days with print media practioners to re-look the provisions under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 so that it can be made to “adapt to current trends.”

The ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said he felt that that it was time to look again at the provisions in the Act after more than 20 years because the print media and its role had gone through a huge change in that time.

“We want to hear from the media practioners themselves on what they think of the existing controls under the Act and what other methods of control can be used to ensure that the newspapers exercise responsible reporting,” he told representatives from various print media organisations a special discussion here on Thursday.

Read the rest of the article H E R E.

Firstly, for the record, The Malay Mail was not represented at the special discussion mentioned in the report. The National Press Club, of which I am the President, was also not invited. I hope all the relevant players will be consulted when the Ministry holds that brainstorming.

That aside, I welcome the sec-gen's statement to revisit the Printing and Presses Act 1984. At a meeting with the Home Minister recently, the Star EIC Wong Chun Wai openly demanded that Hishammuddin Hussein cancels the need for newspapers to renew their licences annually, a requirement under the Act. Suprisingly, the Minister said he had no objection to the idea. In principle, that is.


  1. Anonymous9:29 pm


    Mixed feelings, I have on this.

    First, being in the state of mind that we are in today, I am skeptical that things will change much. Not the first time editors are invited to give their thoughts.

    Still, I would want to at least hope that something positive comes out of this.

    The Najib admin, in all fairness, has been balanced and pretty flexible with the media, compared to the previous admin.

    Hoping for the best....

    The 2nd part of the story is on the media giving govt agencies the chance to tell their side of the story: isn't that always the case? Why would any journalist worth his or her salt want to water down a story by quoting sources, for example, when you can attribute it to a person in authority?

    The problem is in getting these ppl in authority to verify. In some instances, they wouldn't even come out in the open to assist.

    At times, they are scared of being quoted. Sometimes, they put up an attitude. We all know of quite a number of people in authority who would not pick up their phones, and when they do, they tell reporters that they don't work for the media...

    Sometimes, they just want to play it safe.

    At times, reporters are hauled up for questioning.

    These are some of the "problems" plaguing the industry, and need to be sorted out.

    Maybe they ought to consult the press secretaries, many of whom were former reporters, to verify if these things are happening on the ground. Then, they may get a clearer picture, and then can move forward...without fear or prejudices.

    The question, really is this: How serious are they?

  2. johnsilver9:57 pm

    in this case, i think the home ministry should also invite the malaysian press institute (mpi), the information department (the department issue the media accreditation card),the communication faculties from relevant IPTAs, the institute of public relations malaysia (IPRM) and other relevant bodies which the home ministry think they can contribute something on the subject matter.

  3. NoMalayApologist12:11 am

    "..other methods of CONTROL can be used to ensure that the newspapers exercise responsible reporting."
    Take it as a compliment that you're not invited Rocky. Just what we need, more control on our freedoms. I thought to "adapt to current trends" would have meant a more open press

  4. Anonymous12:47 am

    An aside. Anybody wondering what the fuss is all about regarding Dr Asri's recent brush with the Selangor JAIS should know that Dr Asri is the one who is going to bring down Anwar Ibrahim, as he can so powerfully sway the generally-unlettered islamic masses as shown here.

    maza disciple

  5. Anonymous9:26 am

    Policies should be in tandem with the times.

    Have to admit that a lot of leeway has been given, but it does not mean a passport to abuse. Things should be done in moderation, including moderation itself.