Malaysia records worst-ever ranking on Press Freedom

January 30, 2013

Malaysia records worst-ever ranking on Press Freedom

Reporters-without-bordersThe state of press freedom in Malaysia has hit a historic low, with the country being ranked No 145 in the latest World Press Freedom Index – the worst since the annual index was begun in 2002.

Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) – or Reporters Without Borders – attributed the poor standing to issues linked to the police crackdown on the BERSIH 3.0 protest last April, as well as repeated censorship and the undermining of basic freedoms, in particular the right to information.

InNONE 2010, Malaysia stood at No 141, but then clawed its way up to No 122 in 2011-2012. Despite this, Malaysia is listed with countries that are placed in a difficult situation, media-wise.

Several unfavourable reports on Malaysia noted by RSF include the deferment of a three months’ prison sentence imposed on blogger Amizudin Ahmat (right) pending his appeal for defaming Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim, and the court decision favouring the seizure order on cartoonist Zunar.

The BERSIH 3.0 protests saw at least two journalists injured after they were reportedly assaulted by policemen.

The authors listed Bangladesh, Libya, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei above Malaysia in the current index of 179 countries.

azlanSingapore was ranked lower than Malaysia at No 149, while Burma is fast catching up – it climbed 18 spots to No 151 after the “dramatic changes” of last year.

The report that states Malaysia’s drop to its lowest position was because access to information was becoming more and more limited.

Japan also recorded the sharpest decline in Asia, by 31 notches from 22 recorded in 2011-2012, to 53rd spot this year. This is attributed to the a lack of transparency and almost zero access to information on subjects directly or indirectly related to the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Mali recorded the biggest drop after its internal turmoil following the mediamerdekahires1military coup in Bamako on March 22, and the takeover in the north by armed Islamists and Tuareg separatists that brought censorship and violence upon the media in the north.

The report states that seven journalists and four netizens were killed this year, compared with 90 journalists and 47 netizens during the whole of  last year.

At present, 191 journalists, 13 media assistants and 180 netizens are being held in prisons worldwide over issues concerning the media, it adds.

8 thoughts on “Malaysia records worst-ever ranking on Press Freedom

  1. In Bolehland only the air we breath is free. Others come with a price. Soon even the air will be canned and sold in the open market by a crony of the Establishment.

  2. Press Freedom?Yes there is probably one of the best in the world,only if you write what the ruling party wants to hear.Thus the newspapers that are aligned to the ruling party can write all the malicious content against the opponents with little problems and probably will be front paged.Never mind about the truth….

    The reverse is for the opponents .Even the truth will not be prominent.To make it worse the spin specialists employed by these papers will use their “creativity” to add or subtract and even sprinkle some flavor to make it taste better for their readers.This is one of the main reason why the mainstream media lost substantial sales or followers.

    Din Merican blog is definitely more independent!
    I try my best to be fair to both sides, believing that a well informed citizenry is healthy for politics. They can keep politicians honest. I am not a chef.–Din Merican

  3. Aiiyah, just engage Utusan to do another survey and the erase the bad name la…..over night, the ranking will turned upside down ….

  4. I don’t read the daily newspaers from STAR and NEW STRAITS TIMES as news are lopsided as the publishers belong to BN ownerships. They twist and turn as they like to go to any news direction as long as they please their masters.Of late, UTUSAN MALAYSIA have been sued by politicians with court cases pending the outcome of the decision.

  5. We are already the world champ in corruption. Our press freedom is in the wrong direction. Our debts is the highest ever. Inflation and cost of basics have gone high. Everything seems to be wrong under Najib. Can BR1Ming, KR1Ming, SW1Ming help Najib.

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