Press bosses to silently protest against Putrajaya’s media council plan

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 22, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Several media heads are expected to protest against Putrajaya’s proposal to form a Media Consultative Council (MCC) by snubbing a meeting next week to discuss the body’s terms of reference.

The Information, Communication and Culture Ministry has sent letters inviting numerous media organisations to attend the inaugural meeting at the historic Sultan Abdul Samad complex here on Monday afternoon.

But a source told The Malaysian Insider that instead of attending the meeting themselves, several media chiefs have agreed to show their protest by sending junior editors.

It is believed that the heads, including those from Barisan Nasional-controlled media, fear that the council will only impose further restrictions on press freedom.

According to the ministry’s letter, sighted by The Malaysian Insider, the proposed MCC will be jointly chaired by Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Its members are to include representatives from the government, print, electronic and new media organisations and selected non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Among those invited are mainstream media organisations such as state news agency Bernama, Utusan Malaysia, Astro TV, Media Prima stations such as TV3, NTV7, TV8, TV9, Hot FM, Fly FM and One FM, AMP Radio Network, AlHijrah Media Corporation, Suara Johor, Star RFM, and Husa Network.

Others include all newspapers under the NSTP group such as New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro, Karangkraf media groups like Sinar Harian, The Star newspaper, The Sun, The Edge, Malay Mail, Makkal Osai, Tamil Nesan, Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia Nanban, Kwong Wah Yit Poh, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau, Sarawak Press, See Hua Daily and United Daily News.

All newspapers have to seek an annual publishing permit while broadcasters are controlled by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Blog House Malaysia will be the sole representative for “new media”. The three NGOs are Malaysian Press Institute, National Union of Journalists Malaysia, and Persatuan Penerbit Majalah.

Alternative online news portals such as The Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, Free Malaysia Today, Malaysia Today or Merdeka Review have not been invited, although they are accredited by the Information Department.

The ministry’s letter came with a proposal paper for the MCC. It details the council’s terms of reference, to be discussed at the meeting. These include its roles, objectives, functions, membership and activities.

The suggested roles include fostering a “participative and engaging” cooperation between the government and the media; strengthening journalistic ethics, social responsibility and spirit of patriotism; setting the direction for media growth; and development and protecting press freedom “according to the law”.

The key objectives include ensuring all MCC members share the responsibility of “protecting and supporting” all matters of national importance, ensuring that media development grows in tandem with current trends, and ensuring that in protecting its independence, the media must also exercise its duties and responsibilities to the people and the country.

The proposal outlined five functions:

1. To improve the management and sharing of information on government policies, programmes and community activities;

2. To discuss current issues and draw up communication plans to address them in an integrated and organised manner;

3. To improve efforts on educating and strengthening the people’s minds and spirit for the purpose of instilling a sense of patriotism and achieving developed-nation status;

4. To share information and feedback on how to improve the civil service sector;

5. To detect, address and eliminate all negative elements in protecting the Federal and state constitutions as well as the country’s integrity and sovereignty.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 9:56 am

    They will b give a bible of publishing:
    Rule 1: Must always praise NR sky high
    Rule 2: Must always praise RM sky high
    Rule 3: Must always praise UmnoB/BN sky high
    Rule 4: Must always demonise Bersih, DAP, PAS, PKR, PR
    etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 10:03 am

    Instead of reform, Najib is putting the clock back. Umno/BN will bring retrogression to the country instead of progression.

  3. #3 by Loh on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 10:15 am

    ///A senior Selangor anti-graft officer launched a full-scale fund abuse investigation solely on an informant’s “mere belief” and without supporting facts, the royal panel reviewing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) procedures said.///

    It was not a belief that there was corruption, it was the belief that he could use the law to persecute whoever he wanted.

  4. #4 by Joshua on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 11:13 am

    to do more ‘phone tapping’ of the opposition like what ‘Murdock’ did.

    recaptha: ISBN Febriti

  5. #5 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 11:20 am

    Media owners should just send their office boys to collect the papers.

  6. #6 by isahbiazhar on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 11:21 am

    Rais and Hishamuddin should quit immediately as ministers as their performance as ministers have been below par and have brought disrepute to the people of Malaysia who had elected them.As such their ideas are obsolete and not according to the freedom of press and speech.They have put themselves above the people who can give better ideas.The author is willing to give innovative ideas if seeked.

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 11:27 am

    Silently protest? LOL. When even the barking dogs are protesting, it should tell the owners, THEY ARE FREAKING IDIOTS…

  8. #8 by monsterball on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 12:11 pm

    Endless forming this ….forming that to make Malaysians happy…this is a caring and sharing government…to fish for supports and votes and in the end…look at all the dozens formed agencies..or sub government departments..whatever you wish to call them.
    All waste tax payers money doing nothing.
    After 55 is their intentions to keep Malaysians move backwards.
    The word BERSIH and yellow colour have become a nightmare symbols to them.
    Any child can know why.
    The are afraid…….very afraid………seeing more and more Malaysians dare to defy them.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 12:25 pm

    Putrajaya’s media council plan is simply to censor all the bad news and sex-up good news.

    For instance, all the msm do not give any coverage to news reports that William Bourdon told a 600-strong audience in Penang on Thursday night that ” Despite many obstacles and although such proceedings are complex and difficult, the truth shall emerge in France and we will expose the corruption related to the submarine deal”.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 12:27 pm

    From m’siachronicle—

    French investigators have managed to pin down a very important personality, who travelled with submarines negotiator Razak Baginda and murdered Mongolian translator, Altantuya Shaariibuu, to Macau as part of the complex negotiations.

    There is red-hot speculation that this person is HE himself. If true, it will blow away HIS previous denials HE never knew Altantuya, who is believed to have been HIS lover before HE “passed” her onto Razak, who was HIS confidante and representative. Such evidence paves the way for the re-opening of her murder trial, which had ended with two of HIS former bodyguards being sentenced to hang for her 2006 killing. However, the ‘mastermind’ is believed to be still at large. Lesser personalities involved in the sprawling deal have also been traced and their identities likely to be revealed as well.

    Who is HE?
    A. saifool bookhari
    B. genghiz khan
    C. barak obama
    D. jib-jib-jibby

    William is also expected to drop a new bombshell – previously unknown commissions that have just been uncovered by the investigators. This will add to the growing list of murky details shrouding the shady acquisition engineereed and pushed for by HIM years ago, when he was the Defense minister directly in charge of key military procurements. It looks like unless the French government is willing to help HIM out and muzzle the case, HE may have run out of hiding places. Whatever time that HE can buy will not last long either.

    And to pundits familar with all the ramifications both at the Malaysian and French ends, it is impossible for HIM to escape scot-free. One way or another, they say HE will have to explain to HIS people the true extent of his involvement, not just in the kickbacks but also in the Altantuya murder.

    In fact, not even HIS UMNO party can save him. With the Scorpenes trial expected to be heard in the French open court in August or September, many of the party warlords are already gearing up to push HIM out and slam the door on HIS administration, which has been scarred by non-achievement, gutter politics and extensive corruption.

    It does not help that in recent months, HE has felt the pressure and added to HIS own discomfort by making several disastrous decisions. The most recent was ordering a violent crackdown on a citizens rally for free and fair elections two weeks ago. HIS fast-fading popularity and plunging credibility makes HIM an easy target now.

  11. #11 by dagen on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 12:53 pm

    Silently protest? Oh that is stupid. Umno is absolutely insensitive and thick skinned and arrogant. All protest would be ignored. Silent ones? Come on, get real.

    Do a bersih on umno. Organise a street gotong royong.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 12:53 pm

    Best of the best…MACC formed…for years catching no big fishes.
    Shame to Najib ….the government and MACC.
    It needs the French government to reveal massive corruption in Malaysia..on the two submarines deal.
    How low can one go stealing and fooling Malaysians.

  13. #13 by monsterball on Friday, 22 July 2011 - 12:55 pm

    It needs the French government to reveal massive corruptions on the submarine deal.
    How low can one go stealing and fooling Malaysians.

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