Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another 3M - Majils Media Malaysia

Editors of various newspapers and online portals, and even blogger Rocky Bru, met the Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf for the first time today to discuss the proposed Malaysian Media Council. I attended the meeting in my capacity as the Group Chief Editor of The Star. I can say that most of us kept an open mind of the proposed body, which plans to be self-regulatory if it takes off.

Most countries already have such a similar set-up but we also expressed our concern that the proposed MMM should not be another layer of regulation. There are already too many stringent laws governing the press and certainly we do not need any regulatory body. But the aim and concept of the MMM is good.

If there are reforms on the related laws, which can be carried out simultaneously with the setting up of MMM, then it is good. For one, the annual renewal of printing permits for newspapers should be abolished. Nobody needs a permit to start an online portal, so why should newspapers need to have one?

It is also important that the MMM has the respect and support of the public. It would be meaningless if the MMM is perceived as another government body.

For it to work, it must be truly independent and that means politicians should not be appointed into the body. It should comprise of editors, publishers, ministry officials, NGO representatives and eminent persons. It has been a good and positive preliminary meeting. It is only fair that everyone keep an open mind of the proposal and not be too quick to shoot it down. Reservations from journalists and members of the public are expected as the country does not have a strong track record for press freedom. Aziz sent positive vibes at the meeting but he has now being named the new Elections Commission chairman. What happens next?


amoker said...

NO wonder Rocky has been aligning itself with TDM and Najib.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of having all these media councils when there is no rule of law in Malaysia?

Under Mahathir, Malaysia has lost its separation of powers between the executive, legislature, judiciary and media — to the point where corruption and abuse of power has seeped into all levels of Malaysian society. After 22+ years of Mahathirism, UMNO has become so arrogant that they think they can say and do whatever they like — like locking up an innocent woman journalist under ISA for “her own protection”. How stupid do you think the Rakyat are?

The racist Ahmad Ismail is another good example of UMNO’s arrogance championed by Mahathir himself. As long as Mahathir, Ahmad Ismail, and self-serving politicians like them exist, Malaysians will continue to live in chains. As Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said, Mahathir has “destroyed the fabric of our lives as a democracy.”

Until the rule of law returns to Malaysia, all the councils, commissions, committees and govt men can't put humpty-dumpty together again.

BlueMoon said...

Bro Wong, It seems that MMM has caught your attention more compared to Lee Hsien Loong proclamation that the PM of his island republic is almost certainly a chinese. Imagine how hostile your reaction would be if Pak Lah announces that the PM of this country must be Malay. Probabaly I am wrong. Perhaps also you have changed. Maybe you had enough reading racial slurs in this forum. Whatever the reason maybe, I hope you'll stop commenting issues which are racially inspired. BTW I already stop reading your column in The Star because I think comments that you posted there are very different from ones that appeared in this blog. In contrary I enjoy reading articles written by your colleague Mdm Joceline Tan because I think she is good writer as well as responsible author. Probably you should learn from her on how to write a fair comment but yet mind boggling.

Anonymous said...

Chun Wai,

Sorry that I cannot keep an open mind as you had suggested because I simply don't trust the government based on past experience.

What's the use of having the council or commission or whatever you call it as long as the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Official Secretas Act? Repeal the laws and have the council.

Anonymous said...

Really I think the MMM is a waste of time. In this age of internet and globalization, information cannot be supressed or regulated. Truth and transparency is the name of the game. Let the public be the judge-if the media publishes un-newsworthy articles, it will die a natural death. NST is a good example of the disconnection between the media and its readers.

Anonymous said...

How true amoker. I can see as clear as day rocky and nuraina buttering up Najib real good. Also s softer stance towards Dollah.
Whatever people say, I respect MSM than some blogs. At least they dont publish things not liked by the powers-that-be.
Bloggers are blatantly supporting one personality, hoisting them like god.
And they claim they are bipartsan.
Nuraina made clear she loves Anwar.
Why is she changing tack?
Anything fishy?
Najib don't you forget.