Details Published on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:17
.KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s fall of 23 rungs in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index should not be attributed solely to government actions, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
He said the actions of some opposition parties in blocking certain media from covering their events also affected the position of the country in the media freedom index.
“Therefore, it is not fair to blame the government as the only cause for the fall in ranking as other factors also contributed to the state of press freedom in the country,” he added.
He was winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address at the Dewan Negara sitting, here, today.
The World Press Freedom Index issued by Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organisation registered in France, showed that Malaysia fell to 145th position out of 179 countries last year compared to 122nd in 2012.
Ahmad Shabery said although media freedom in the country declined to 145th place, the government was open-minded, among which was doing away with the annual press permit renewal except for media which violated the law.
The question is why the fall? I was told the public’s perception is that the government is the enemy of media freedom. It is incorrect. The Philippines and Indonesia are also not in the best positions. Thailand is more or less the same with us,” he said.
Ahmad Shabery said interference by certain influential individuals could also contribute to the fall, for example, the act of an influential person in calling the news editor directly to determine a certain news also constituted press interference.
This could cause the fall in ranking of the country in press freedom, he added.
M'sia's Fall In Press Freedom Index Influenced By Various Factors