Home Ministry to meet with industry on press control laws
By DHARMENDER SINGH
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.
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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.