Both Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon and MCA president Ong Ka Ting had issued statements noting the impact of the Internet and the need for media law reforms. Koh said Gerakan supported Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar’s suggestion that the practice regulating newspapers through an annual printing permit application process be relooked. Opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah had also questioned the police move to haul up celebrated blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for interrogation on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, although he was later released without his statement taken. Read the Malaysiakini reports here, here and here.
Indeed, the enactment of a Freedom of Information Act and the repeal of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) is necessary for a free media so that democracy can flourish in Malaysia.
To celebrate World Press Freedom Day and to allow our journalists to carry out their work without fear or favour, BENAR, a civil society initiative that took root in the People's Parliament, in collaboration with the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), will be launching their BENAR campaign immediately following their forum on Press Freedom at 2 p.m today.
Date: 4 May, 2008 Time: 2 p.m. Venue: Annexe, Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
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