SHAH ALAM, 2 Jan: The people have been urged to participate on the Angry Media Movement (GERAMM) protest, the Red Pencil Protest’ as a sign of support for the media and journalists, as well as media freedom in front of the Bar Council in Kuala Lumpur, starting from 2pm on 4 January.
The Chairman of the Independent Student Activist group (KAMI), Haziq Fikri, said that the media should be free to cover all issues, especially those involving the interest of the public and the community.
“This is because national segments should be the most important aspect in the publication of news by the media,” he said in a press statement today.
The Chief Coordinator for Jingga 13, Fariz Musa, said that the Red Pencil Assembly is a sign of the manifestation of media freedom and freedom of expression which celebrates democracy and rejects the practice of constraint by the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government.
He said that the Federal Government’s move, through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), in suspending The Heat is an undemocratic act and is against freedom of the press.
“Whatever the MOHA’s reason is, the people will see that the suspension of The Heat was because of the article criticising the Prime Minister and his wife on their luxurious and extravagant spending. To date, the MOHA has failed to release The Heat,” he said.
Fariz said that a study by Reporters Without Borders shows that Malaysia is an undemocratic country and curbs media freedom, from being ranked 127//179 in 2012 to 145/179 in 2013.
He said that the BN government continues to use the law to restrict the freedom of expression and media freedom by using the Printing and Publishing Act as a ‘weapon’ and ‘bomb’ in controlling all media behaviour which is seen to not fulfil BN’s appetite.
“Apart from the MOHA, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is also used as a tool by BN to intimidate journalists and media practitioners to control the freedom and right of expression.
“The Printing and Publishing Act should be reviewed and amended to be in line with freedom of the press,” he said.