The Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) are committed to ensure the establishment of the Malaysian Media Council (MMC).
Its Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the efforts are the government’s commitment and support to continue enhancing media freedom in the country as well as assist media practitioners to face the challenges.
“This efforts may involve changes in the laws and provisions ….to encourage transparency and accountability in the media sector,” he said in his speech at the 2023 National Journalists’ Day celebration (HAWANA 2023), here today.
Fahmi said Malaysia’s ability to improve its status in the Press Freedom Index 2023 as released by the Reporters Without Borders is a manifestation of the government’s commitment under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to guarantee press freedom for all media practitioners in the country.
Malaysia is ranked 73rd in the World Press Freedom Index 2023, as released by Reporters Without Borders, the highest Malaysia has achieved in many years.
Fahmi said he hopes members of the media will be able to think and hold conversations and discussions that will broaden horizons and carry on with what needs to be done for the future of this industry.
“However, I would like to remind that press freedom is not a ticket or licence to disseminate or spread information or news from unreliable source, slanderous news that can disrupt or harm the peace and security of the people and the country,” he said.
Fahmi said that in line with the accelerated growth in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) including in media industries, media practitioners should help the government to understand and address some of the regulatory challenges.
“It is important to ensure the country is devoid of issues related to racial sensitivity, security, religious sensitivity, sabotage of economy or other issues that may harm unity and peace,” he said.
He added that KKD would continue to be committed to safeguard the welfare and challenges faced by media practitioners in the country.
“For that purpose, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme - Tabung Kasih@HAWANA - was launched to unite former media personnel and to assist veteran journalists who are suffering from sickness.
“The initiative to be introduced by the Ministry through BERNAMA will track down journalists who need assistance,” he said.
The three-day Hawana 2023 celebration, with the theme 'Media Bebas, Tunjang Demokrasi' (Free Media, Pillar of Democracy), which aims to re-emphasise the issue of media freedom for journalists in carrying out their duties, began today.
The date May 29 was gazetted as National Journalists' Day, marking the publication of the first edition of the Malay newspaper, Utusan Melayu, on May 29, 1939.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency