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Govt encourages media to self-censor

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 Nov 2008: The government prefers to encourage media practitioners to adopt self-censorship and will only invoke provisions under the Printing Presses and Publications Act as a last resort.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh told the Dewan Rakyat this in reply to Alexander Nanta Linggi (BN-Kapit) today.

He said that out of 2,017 publication permits already approved, only four permit holders had been reprimanded up to September this year. “The government’s tendency is not to prosecute or penalise but more to giving advice,” he added.

He also said the ministry constantly monitored all publications but had no power to directly take action on the electronic media as long as the materials were not downloaded or printed in the country.

Replying to a supplementary question by M Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat), Ahmad Farid said the government did not have problems with media freedom but certain parties kept on abusing it.

“If the freedom given is abused, I don’t think we are afraid what other countries would say. As long as we practise media freedom, we are not worried about other countries’ views about us,” he said. — Bernama


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