HAKAM comment: HAKAM welcomes the return of Jahabar Sadiq and the new TMI (The Malaysian Insight). Media Freedom in Malaysia is only meaningful if there are more players and movers with the 2 essentials : courage and journalistic integrity. Let us support our news men and women, they play an important role in democracy as part of the checks and balances.
The Malaysian Insider, a widely followed online news site that was forced to close just over a year ago by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration, is set to make a comeback under a new masthead, The Malaysian Insight.
Mr Jahabar Sadiq, former editor of The Malaysian Insider and now the principal mover of the new venture, told The Straits Times that The Malaysian Insight will go online before the end of the month “as a free site before introducing a paywall sometime down the line”.
In a country where the ruling political elite controls most media outlets, Mr Jahabar said the new venture would be independent in its editorial stance, even at the risk of upsetting the government, which forced its closure in March last year because of a story related to the scandal-plagued state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Unlike print publications, which require publishing licences from the government, online media outlets in Malaysia do not require an operating permit.
However, the official Internet watchdog agency, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), has sweeping powers to block sites that are deemed to be acting against the national interest.
Malaysian media analysts said a new player like The Malaysian Insight is likely to shake up the market where print and online news outlets are battling sharp drops in circulation and readership. Read more