“(However) we are also aware that there is an urgent need to amend the legislative framework governing the media in Malaysia at the moment…and the government has committed to repeal the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) but they are also very keen to see progress on the idea of a media council as well.
The conference jointly organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR), is aimed at bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to work out a roadmap for the self-regulation of Malaysian media.
The conference gathered more than 70 participants including journalists, editors, civil society participants and government representatives.
The Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on Media and Communications, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin delivered a keynote address on the first day of the conference.
According to the outcome document of the conference, among others, the participants at the National Consultation reiterated that any moves to institute a media council are contingent upon the repeal of repressive laws that govern the media, in particular the PPPA, the Sedition Act 1972, sections 233 and 211 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, along with review of the Official Secrets Act and the implementation of a Freedom of Information Act.
It said the Malaysian media needs an independent self-regulatory body to uphold standards of journalism, raising levels of professionalism, and provide an avenue for the arbitration of public complaints.
It said a media council which is open, accountable and transparent could help to build confidence in the media and contribute to credibility of news media organisations. — Bernama