We can want a free and independent media and Mr. Cheek is off tangent.


http://www.malaysiakini.com

No ‘envelope’ journalism in Malaysia

S Pathmawathy | October 30, 2008

Malaysia does not practise ‘envelope’ journalism which is the norm in certain developing countries, claimed Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek today.

MCPX

shabery cheek at world development information day 301008 01Speaking to reporters at the launch of World Development Information Day in Kuala Lumpur, the minister also said that absolute freedom of the press does not guarantee transparency or a dwindling of corruption.

“In countries that have press freedom, the people hope that the press will play the part of the ‘fourth estate’ in order to reduce corruption and promote good governance.

“But there are countries, where the press is granted unconditional freedom. However, this is not reflected in the level of corruption of the country. The press is free but corruption is still rampant,” he said.

Poor ranking

In his keynote address earlier, Shabery said he was perplexed that although Malaysia has achieved “tremendous progress” in terms of income level, infrastructure facilities, investment opportunities and more, it was ranked far below in the world press freedom index.

“Malaysia has been undeservedly ranked as a country with little press freedom, very much below many other countries known to be aid-dependent and not even among the top 20 trading nations.

“This sometimes begs the question whether absolute or near absolute press freedom will bring about greater well-being for the people,” he noted.

“Just because we have curbs on sexually-explicit materials, are less tolerant about gay and lesbian rights or sensitive religious issues… we have been unfairly attacked as having an oppressive media environment.”

shabery cheek at world development information day 301008 02The minister said some counties which are ranked higher in the press freedom index may not weigh in equally with their corruption index.

Shabery refrained from providing examples of the supposedly corrupt countries but said it is a “well-known fact that some countries… practise ‘envelope’ journalism”.

“This shows that the connection between the free press and battle against corruption is not clear. It is not based on professionalism but on favouritism.

“The media which is supposed to keep watch on the government, turns out to be crooked and corrupt as they accept ‘envelopes’ from popular figures and in turn provide more coverage,” he explained.

The minister reiterated that such practices are not condoned by the government and the practice has not been heard of in this country.

Media Council

Shabery also expressed hope that the proposed national media council will be established soon to monitor media activities and enable recourse against malicious reporting.

shabery cheek at world development information day 301008 03Asked whether the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) will be repealed, the minister said he would “like to see” less regulation but affirmed that he has no jurisdiction to decide on repeal of the law.

“Even in developed countries, although there is no need for a printing licence, they have a council to oversee the media to ensure that the media does not commit slander,” said Shabery.

He said the council is necessary to ensure the “do’s and don’ts” and that ethical reporting is adhered to in order to protect society.

“Given the far-reaching impact of the media we hope that only level-headed and responsible people will rum media organisations. We also hope that one day anyone can publish a newspaper without having to be subjected to many rules and regulation.

“Looking ahead the government takes the view that the media industry should expand in line with the nation’s progress… (where) people will have access to greater variety of sources of information and entertainment.

“However, one should be reminded that the business viability of such endeavours in a competitive environment depend very much on their content and presentation.

“We have already laid the foundations to open up the media industry but we need to open up at our own pace. But open up we will.”

18 thoughts on “We can want a free and independent media and Mr. Cheek is off tangent.

  1. “But there are countries, where the press is granted unconditional freedom. However, this is not reflected in the level of corruption of the country. The press is free but corruption is still rampant,” he said.

    This guy is talking through his ass! There will always be corruption. Does that mean we should not have a free media?? Corruption becomes a very serious problem especially when it becomes part of the national culture and when it becomes endemic.

  2. “Malaysia does not practise ‘envelope’ journalism which is the norm in certain developing countries, claimed Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek today.”

    I think what the Honourable Minister of Misinformation is trying to say is that in Malaysia, we have a different, more effective form of journalism called, “jaga periok nasi ” journalism !

  3. If we have an Information Minister who thinks that Press Freedom is directly related to the Corruption rate in a country, we have the wrong person for the job.

    Press Freedom does not guarantee zero-corruption. Nothing guarantees zero-corruption.

    What press freedom is supposed to do is to provide a check and balance for the actions of the government of the day. What they do with tax-payer’s money has to be scrutinised. Only that way we can be sure that they are not squandering our money away buying things that they don’t use, and don’t even check!

    Having a Media Council is going to be absolutely useless, if the PPPA and OSA are still in place as they are today. If the papers need to renew their licenses every year, how can we expect them to write freely? For the fear of having their licenses suspended, they would have to ‘toe the line’, although that is NOT what newspapers are supposed to do. With the OSA that claims that anything with the word ‘government’ in it is official secret, NOTHING gets scrutinised, and the public are left in the dust.

    He’s pussy-footing his way around this, saying that he ‘wants to see press freedom BUT…’. Nothing gets done when people say ‘but’s all the time.

    _______
    Mr. Cheek is being cheeky, Su. He thinks we are all fools. I am sure the VIPs including the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaya gave him a standing ovation. Pathetic state of affairs. We do not have intelligent leaders in Barisan Nasional and in government, only people who think that they are smart.—Din Merican

  4. pussy-footing his way” ?

    He’s got a big FOOT in the mouth!
    ______
    That, Salak, explains his frothing (meaning a mass of bubbles in liquid causing by salivating) whenever he opens his mouth.—Din Merican

  5. That, Salak, explains his frothing (meaning a mass of bubbles in liquid causing by salivating) whenever he opens his mouth.—Din Merican

    Err … kawan!

    Durian’s back in season! Don’t salivate too much! 😀

    We should take Din Ahmad’s advice. Move away when he speaks, nanti “kena tempias”! 😀

    Gila babi, bahaya! 😦

    Terrible, what else can we do more to help those guys who wallow in it! 😦

  6. Dinosor,

    Memang you pandai pilih nama. Sebab pemikiran you memang sesuai dengan makhluk yang di panggil dinosaur. Bukan masalah senada atau pun tidak dengan kerajaan. kebanyakkan kita disini menggunakan akal fikiran dan melihat sesuatu yang dilaporkan dengan pemikiran yang mendalam. Kita tidak terima sesuatu bulat-bulat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.