Shame of shame! This is the worst setback to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “best democracy in the world” claim with Malaysia’s 2014 Press Freedom Index falling to the lowest point in nation’s history, even below that of Myanmar.
Malaysia already plunged last year to a historic low of No. 145 ranking out of 179 countries in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index – the worst since the start of the annual index by Reporters Without Border (RSF) in 2002.
Malaysia fell by 23 rungs last year, as it was ranked at 122 in the 2011/2012 Press Freedom Index.
In the latest 2014 World Press Freedom Index just released, Malaysia fell further to 147 out of 180 countries, two places behind Myanmar which climbed from 151st ranking to 145th position this year.
ASEAN nations which outperformed Malaysia include Brunei 117, Thailand 130, Indonesia 132 and Cambodia 144 and Myanmar 145. Philippines is ranked 149, Singapore 150, Laos 171 and Vietnam 174.
Malaysia’s World Press Freedom Index 2014 would have been more abysmal falling even behind Philippines and Singapore if the government’s latest press freedom repression had been taken into account, i.e. revocation of the publishing permit for FZ daily, hours just after the publisher The Edge Communications Sdn. Bhd. was granted leave to initiate proceedings against the Home Ministry for deferring its initial approval of the permit.
Malaysia was in respectable ranking of 92nd position in 2006 but under Najib’s premiership, Malaysia is now locked into the worst position in the bottom quarter of 180 countries assessed.
Can Malaysians expect an explanation from Najib after today’s Cabinet meeting why he had reneged on his promise to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world” with the worst World Press Freedom Index in the past 12 years, falling even below Myanmar – which had up to now been regarded as the “bad boy” of democracy in ASEAN?