A Free Press says MCA...a call too late? | Malaysian Sentinel : Malaysia's Politics from a Malaysian Citizen Blogger

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Free Press says MCA...a call too late?

Why MCA waited this long to make a stand on press freedom? I am a bit skeptical such statements would carry weight. Malaysiakini reported that Datuk Ong Ka Ting called for doing away of yearly press permit renewals for printed media.

Katanya, MCA menyokong cadangan Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar untuk menyemak semula peruntukan membaharui permit akhbar setiap tahun

Ong berkata, undang-undang yang ada sudah mencukupi untuk mengawalselia media cetak.

Oleh itu, katanya, langkah menyemak semula keperluan membaharui permit setiap tahun, pastinya mencerminkan komitmen kerajaan terhadap kebebasan akhbar di negara ini.

Source: Malaysiakini

Would it make any difference? It merely means that newspapers would not have to comply to government guidelines in order to win approval to print but the majority holders of main stream media are still government linked.

Take The Star newspaper which MCA owns. Regardless, whether the permits are done away with, the paper will still be very pro-government. In fact, doing away with the permit will allow it to operate longer without having to comply to their Big Brother watcher - UMNO.

But not all is negative, by doing away with permits, we can see more independent papers emerge. Then it will be the survival of the fittest from then on and hopefully the news reporting would be more open and transparent. I believe Malaysians are ready for this and we won't know, if we don't give it a try.

Would this be a reality? Let's wait and see but having a free press could come at the sacrifice of something else. It could mean the government will hold on to the use of ISA, only this time it may extend to people who are deemed seditious.



Anonymous said...

okt cakap tak serupa bikin.He has been intefering with the press all this while. He is nicknamed 'the national editor' by my journalist friends. Ask anyone in Nanyang, Sinchew or the Star and you will know what type of character he really is.

Anonymous said...

okt should be the last person to talk about press freedom.Just ask him what sort of things he did to the press, like sinchew, nanyang or the star while he was deputy home minister. Even now he likes to show that he is powerful in directing some newspapers to publish news he thinks favourable to him or his brother.

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