Suhakam is committed to protect press freedom — Razali Ismail

Source: Malaysiakini

By Razali Ismail, SUHAKAM

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) renews its commitment to protect and promote press freedom in Malaysia and reiterates that freedom of the press is a fundamental component of democratic governance.

Suhakam values the important role of the media and recognises the influence of the media in shaping public opinion. In the context 14th general election, there is an expectation that the media will play the role of fair arbiter, provide an open platform for broader public deliberation, represent a plurality of opinions; and accordingly provide election coverage that gives voters comprehensive, balanced and accurate information.This is critical in enabling the public to make informed choices. Read more

Press freedom in Malaysia – whither rule of law? — Anusha Arumugam

Source: Malaysiakini

By Anusha Arumugam

Today, World Press Freedom Day, was declared to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.

What follows is a snapshot glance at the treatment of the press in Malaysia over the past few four years. Read more

Media Solidarity Festival

Bersempena Hari Kebebasan Akhbar Sedunia, sertai Geramm dan kawan-kawan dari Institute of Journalists Malaysia, Foreign Correspondence Club of Malaysia bagi merayakan semangat solidariti dikalangan para pengamal media. Dengan kerjasama World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-IFRA).

In conjunction with the annual World Press Freedom Day celebration, join Geramm and friends from the Institute of Journalist Malaysia, Foreign Correspondence Club of Malaysia, for a day of solidarity among media practitioners. With support from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-IFRA).

Prescribing press freedom in Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Dr Mustafa K. Anuar would still like to believe that the earth is flat so that all the elements of social injustice, bigotry and tyranny on this earth can be pushed off the edge. On this supposedly flat surface, he is a Fellow at the Penang Institute. Pic form the MMO.

MAY 4 — The fact that Malaysia attained the 144th slot in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2017 Press Freedom Ranking of 180 countries leaves a bad taste in the mouth for it obviously indicates Malaysia’s poor standing as far as press freedom and freedom of expression are concerned.

Clearly, this ranking is nothing to be joyous about. If anything, there’s a lot to be concerned about.

It does not come as a surprise though to many of us in the wake of what has happened in recent times when press freedom and other civil liberties encounter immense challenges from the powers-that-be.

Not too long ago, for instance, Malaysian journalists were banned from the Parliament’s lobby area by the Speaker of the otherwise august Dewan Rakyat, thereby preventing them from having direct access to information sought from politicians concerned.

This is the very place where vital issues confronting the nation are often discussed and debated, the results of which would have far-reaching implications on the general public.

And yet, ordinary Malaysians are deprived of such important information when journalists are prevented from seeking answers on their behalf within the lobby area.  Read more

World Press Freedom Day 2017 — Alaleh Eghbali

3 May is World Press Freedom Day. It is a day in honour and in support of one of the most fundamental of rights – freedom of press. The right to express freely and share information without fear of consequences. The right enshrined in Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of principles for freedom of press compiled by African newspaper journalists in 1991. It is on this day that the governments of the world are reminded to uphold this sacred right, and for people to defend the forth pillar of democracy, the media, from attacks on their independence. 

The United Nations has chosen “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies” as the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day. In times that independent media is under attack, all around the globe, it is more important than ever to remember the principles by which journalists are bound and the invaluable service they offer communities. Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunghe, who was assassinated in 2009, described free media as “a mirror in which the public can see itself sans mascara and styling gel”, adding: “From [them] you learn the state of your nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to give your children a better future”.*

On their part, journalists and media, without whom truth could be long lost in the world of politics and corruption, owe their loyalty to the people. Honesty, impartiality, professional ethics, and a responsibility to provide verified and reliable information are inseparable elements of journalism. There are many who tirelessly work and offer balanced and fair news to the public, abiding by the principles. It is this day that we thank them as citizens who rely on their conscious to know the reality of our world. Read more

Suhakam wants UN treaty on civil, political rights ratified

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement today in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day that the right to exercise freedom of expression and opinion was imperative for the holistic development of an individual and it was the foundation of every democratic society. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — The National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) called today for Malaysia to accede to the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement today in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day that the right to exercise freedom of expression and opinion was imperative for the holistic development of an individual and it was the foundation of every democratic society.

“Suhakam has always regarded the media as an essential instrument that has the potential to contribute immensely to the promotion and protection of human rights.

“The media does not only act as a conveyor of information but it also, either intentionally or indirectly, shapes public perception and opinion,” he said.

Razali noted that Article 19 of the ICCPR provides that everyone has the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. Read more

Malaysians need access to free and fair media — Bersih Statement

Dated 3 May 2017

On World Press Freedom Day today, BERSIH 2.0 would like to remind all Malaysians of the need to speak up for and defend this important freedom without which we would not be able to hold the powerful to account, expose corruption and resolve social issues.

Media freedom is not the freedom to report lies, as frequently alleged by certain critics with vested interests against it. Media freedom is the freedom of journalists to do their job well by upholding the principles and practice of good journalism.[1]

Specifically, it is the freedom of journalists to:

  • fulfil their first obligation, which is to the truth, and their first loyalty, which is to the citizen
  • adhere to a discipline of verification, which requires freedom of expression and information
  • maintain an independence from those they cover
  • serve as an independent monitor of power
  • provide a forum for public criticism and compromise
  • strive to keep the significant interesting and relevant
  • keep the news comprehensive and proportional
  • exercise their personal conscience.

Read more