WITH reference to the recent three-month suspension on Harakah and Suara Keadilan, Kedah Gerakan Youth feels there is a serious need to consider amendments to the Printing Presses &and Publication Act 1984 (PPPA) so as not to affect the media freedom in the country.
Kedah Gerakan Youth believes there are sufficient civil laws in our country that provide for recourse against defamatory statements, such as award of damages or injunctions against the publisher.
The wording, in particular Article 7 of the Act, is too wide in definition and is widely viewed as the source of erosion of media freedom in our country. This is also contrary to the provision in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which provides for “freedom of speech and expression.”
Furthermore, Malaysians are now better equipped to determine the accuracy of reporting in publications, with the existence of so many media channels, such as the internet, radio and television.
Any publication which is filled with inaccurate reporting would eventually “run out of business by natural death” as no Malaysian would want to buy its publications.
As such, we hope that our incoming prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will, as soon as he takes office, set up a committee to review the contents of the Printing Presses & Publication Act 1984.
Tan Keng Liang
Parti Gerakan Kedah