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Thursday, May 06, 2004


Printing Press and Publications Act 1984

The Printing Press and Publications Act 1984-PPPA was a hot topic at a Press Freedom Forum entitled "Testing the Limits". This forum was organised by the NUJ-National Union of Journalists Malaysia.
Among the editors at the forum the main concern of the day was regarding the PPPA and its restrictions on news reporting. The editors including Steven Gan of Malaysiakini, Wong CW of the Star and Zainon Ahmad of the Sun all called for the repeal of the act or relaxation of its licensing regulations. Presently there is a need to renew a newspaper licence annually, this could be made once-off or every 5-years, they suggested.
Apart from doing away with the Act or reforming the Act or removing some of its more restrictive regulations, the other point made by Wong of the Star is that newspapers "should always be run by professional journalists and not politicians." Coming from an editor of a newsspaper owned by a political party, what does it truly mean?
Our new PM, has talked so so much about transparency, good governance, zero corruption. He surely must understand for all that to be achieved, a free press which provide all the news that matter without fear or favour is of great importance. In these days of the internet and the world wide web, what the muzzled local press won't or is not allowed to publish, alternatives will do so. So all his talk talk will remain as kok talk and not bear any fruit if he does not take steps to liberate the press and the ACA as well.


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