Malaysia? No. 132

A lot of people has credited the present PM for making Malaysia more liberal. But is this the case?

The latest ranking of press freedom by Reporters Without Frontiers as reported in Malaysiakini shows that Malaysia is getting worse in press freedom. Malaysia ranked 92 in 2006, 124 in 2007and now, in 2008, we are ranked 132.

from Malaysiakini

Mainstream media are tightly controlled and often newspapers editors are called up to the relevant ministry for briefing, which in fact are instruction giving session on what can be and what cannot be reported.

ISA were used to arrest RPK and a newspaper journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, and this would be forever a black mark on our press freedom record.

While the Chinese press are more daring  in airing non-conforming views on certain issues, there is actually a monopoly in the Chinese press, with most of the major newspapers owned by a single person, and through that single person, the authority can easily control the Chinese press.

Of late, a Malay newspaper has published a story purported about a fictatious character, YB J, who was assasinated when she went to officiate at a certain function. This is a clear case of incitement in the name of press freedom, and this YB J bears a very strong similarities to the real life character of YB Teresa, another victim of ISA.

This sort of things pains all of us who want to see a freer press. A free press is actually a mirror for those leaders running the government. They reflect what is on the ground, and without such reflection, how could the leaders gauge the mood of the people and what the people want. One of the many reasons BN lost in the last GE is that they have got wrong feedback, primarily because the press is not functioning as it should as a mirror of the mood of the people.

I have written on 3 consecutive three years (2206, 2007 and now 2008) on the deteriorating rankings , and I really dread to think what would be the ranking next year.

At the rate things are going, i doubt there would be any hope of our press becoming more free. That is why nowadays, I read the net more than the Main Stream newspapers, and I can tell you, I am not alone.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. clearwater
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 16:44:29

    A free press in Malaysia is a pipe dream. Current political leaders will never allow it. Even news on the net will come under some form of coercion or control, if they can manipulate it. I can live with less press freedom if I have other freedoms; such as freedom from corruption, fear of crime, inequality and civil oppression. Singapore’s press ranking is consistently below Malaysia’s but her other attributes more than make up for her muzzled press.


  2. jeremy
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 16:56:01

    dont just blame Abdullah.blame the whole goddamn politcal parties in Malaysia.Teresa and DAP making it worse by sueing Utusan.”sueing” is just like the ISA version of the opposition.


  3. chinseng
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 18:01:42

    Dear Dr. Hsu,

    That is why nowaday everyone get news from the net and spend time bloging. We pay alot of money to malaysiakini too.


  4. Richard Loh
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 18:28:09

    jeremy, where else can the oppositions turn to, to defend their rights for wrongful reporting that causes one to be ISA’ed if not to sue?
    BN especially umno politicians and their control medias are immune to all the laws and are free to incite hatred, racist remarks and all sorts of things that should any of the non BN/umno members were to raised will be punished by their laws.

    There is freedom of the press in Malaysia but it depends which side you are on.

    Dr Hsu, it’s a surprise that your boss term badawi as the “father of democracy”. Does it sound right?


  5. nick
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 18:50:16

    Hey guys, has anyone notice that we are better off than our poor cousins down south?


  6. Meng
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 20:52:04

    Oh Yes we are much better off than our cousin down south in many ways:

    To name a few: High corruption, Poor education system and poor selection for U entrance, Bias in appointment and jobs, High crime rate, Idiots as ministers..and many more. I am sure we are very much better off.

    Well done Malaysia. Keep it up


  7. aaa
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 22:38:28

    dr hsu.

    not a joke. i have a friend who is in his sixties. he still buys STAR paper though for one reason: to read the obituaries. in case he comes across someone that he knows, he will just go for the wake.
    Incredible, aint it.


  8. petestop
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 23:24:57

    Must be Malaysia trying to catch up with Singapore…. Yeh, Baby… Malaysia Boleh !!


  9. Justin Choo
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 23:48:05


    There are those who will read the obituaries pages first, before reading even the headlines!
    (Not me)


  10. CYC
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 10:24:41

    Dear Dr,

    Gerakan and MCA have ISAed the basic principle of freedom and justice by refusing to endorse the repeal of ISA motion in parliament. What more can you champion if you are still part of the evil regime.

    A political party with no guts to stand up for their principle is as good as invalid.

    A call for change without action is as good as empty slogan shouting.

    A forum for Gerakan handicapped members is as good as a malfunction microphone.

    The day will come when Tun Lim Chong Eu will burn the Gerakan flag and emblem in frustration of his successors lack of foresight and courage.


  11. Penang Voter
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 12:45:23

    Jeremy, talk is cheap. If you are Teresa, what will you do?


  12. Bangsa Malaysia
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 14:51:21

    I’m all for Freedom of Press…but with accountability n responsibility.

    Real news without censorship…let the rakyat know the truth whether from PR or BN.

    If the rakyat wants the truth…tell them. Let them see, hear & read it and judge for themselves what is going on in Malaysia.

    Let’s when the truth be told as it is, let us all do not deny it…as we all know the truth is harder to swallow than a pack of lies.

    Satu Hati.


  13. CYC
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 16:43:34

    Damned the Gerakan talk big with no action.

    Damned the intellectual leaders lips service with no substance.

    Damned for keep on debating without result.

    Damned the continue lies of Gerakan without guts to admit their weakness.

    Damned the political beggars who keep cheating the voters.

    Satu Hati my foot. Tak ada hati is the truth. KTK juh sui siau Penang lang.

    Gerakan is no better than ” cakap tak serupa bikin” + pretend to be intellectuals and principled but remain empty and kia si within.


  14. eugene
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 18:55:19

    Now that the Gerakan party election already done with, positions already secured by some hence all the rhetoric and theatric also died down, everything back to normal . . . . .

    KTK after being officially elected as president got so excited that he even call AAB “father of democracy” after what he did to RPK, Teresa, Hindraf etc . . . . . what a bunch of spineless hypocrites, you see, Tan Liang Hoe is alone under attack . . . . . .


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