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Khamis, 13 Februari 2014

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Putrajaya’s ‘free media’ boast laughable, PKR says

Posted: 13 Feb 2014 01:04 AM PST

TMMO

Putrajaya should first remove all restrictive laws governing the media and allow free coverage for all parties before proclaiming that the Malaysian media is "freer than it has ever been", PKR said today.

In a statement here, PKR vice-president N. Surendran labelled the proclamation by the Prime Minister's Office false and "laughable", pointing to the recent suspension of local weekly, The Heat, and Putrajaya's rejection of a newspaper permit for FZ Daily, which currently publishes its news on the Internet.

An interview with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on BFM radio was also barred from the airwaves, Surendran said.

"Further, the government completely bars opposition access to television and radio, including public-owned media such as RTM.

"This is not just undemocratic, but blatant abuse of public resources and funds by the government for the benefit of the BN political coalition," he said, referring to the ruling Barisan Nasional pact.

Surendran suggested that Putrajaya remove laws like the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984, which gives power to the government to grant or revoke publishing licenses of any newspaper.

He said despite amendments to the law in 2012, newspapers have continued to operate under the threat of having their licenses revoked.

Even worse, Surendran pointed out, editors are often summoned to explain articles deemed critical of the government.

"Instead of issuing ridiculous statements that the media is free, Putrajaya must immediately repeal the PPPA and allow free access to TV and radio to the opposition and civil society," he said.

In a statement yesterday, the Prime Minister's Office denied that press freedom in the country has deteriorated, saying that Malaysian media is freer than it has ever been.

The declaration came after news that Malaysia tumbled 23 places to land at 147th spot in the World Press Freedom Index for 2014, putting it below Thailand, Indonesia and even Myanmar.

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