13/05/2018
 

Malaysian elections bring hope for restoration of press freedom

Former Malaysian prime minister and opposition candidate Mahathir Mohamad (C) celebrates with other leaders of his coalition during a press conference following the 14th general elections in Kuala Lumpur on early May 10, 2018. Credit: Manan VATSYAYANA/AFP

On Thursday, May 10, Malaysia held the 14th general election (GE14) which saw the defeat of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) which has held government in Malaysia for 61 years. Led by Najib Razak, the UMNO was defeated by the Pakatan Harapan governing coalition, led by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Matathir. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists, Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) welcome the elections and call on the new government to guarantee press freedom in Malaysia.

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On Thursday, May 10, Malaysia held the 14th general election (GE14) which saw the defeat of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) which has held government in Malaysia for 61 years. Led by Najib Razak, the UMNO was defeated by the Pakatan Harapan governing coalition, led by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Matathir. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists, Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) welcome the elections and call on the new government to guarantee press freedom in Malaysia.

In a statement welcoming the election results, NUJM urged the government to keep its commitment to repeal the Printing, Presses and Publishing Act 1984 (PPPA) and other relevant laws and regulations that curb media freedom and poses threats to journalists in our country and to ensure that all efforts will be done in line with the democratic process.

NUJM general secretary, Chin Sung Chew said: “As we all know, Malaysia’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index has been dropping from year to year during the previous government’s administration. Reviewing and repealing, if necessary, all relevant laws immediately will not only improve the media industry’s role and professionalism, but also boost its standard at global level.”

“Therefore, NUJ sincerely hopes that the PH government would rectify and amend various laws and regulations that are detrimental to the profession and stifling to the development of press freedom. We welcome any effort by the government to engage media owners, practitioners and various organisations representing journalists to discuss further on this issue,” said NUJM.

The IFJ said: “We welcome the elections in Malaysia and stand in solidarity with our colleagues and affiliate, NUJM, to call on the new government to ensure press freedom is guaranteed, and repeal the necessary laws that continue to impede and hamper press freedom and freedom of expression in Malaysia.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific

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