How reliable can our Main Stream Media is?

Malaysia naik dua tangga untuk berada di kedudukan ke-141 dalam kebebasan akhbar yang dibuat oleh Freedom House di kalangan 196 negara.

Bagaimanapun kedudukan terbaru itu masih menyaksikan negara berada di takuk terbawah di kategori 32 peratus negara yang tidak mempunyai media yang bebas.

Menurut kajian yang berpangkalan di Washington DC itu, Malaysia berkongsi tempat dengan Algeria dan Zambia.

Antara sepuluh negara paling bebas ialah Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra, Switzerland dan Liechtenstein.

Manakala lima negara yang berada di tangga paling bawah ialah Eritrea (pada kedudukan 192), Libya (192), Burma (194), Turkmenistan (194) dan Korea Utara (196).

Di rantau Asia Pasifik, kedudukan Malaysia masih ketinggalan di belakang jiran-jirannya seperti Filipina (kedudukan 97), Indonesia (107), Thailand (124) dan Kemboja (134).

Freedom House meletakkan media di Filipina, Indonesia dan Thailand di bawah kategori “sebahagian bebas”.

Freedom House adalah kumpulan pejuang kebebasan demokrasi antarabangsa dan senarai kedudukan yang dikeluarkannya adalah sempena Hari Kebebasan Media Antarabangsa yang disambut setiap 3 Mei.

And this is what have happened in Malaysia:

case #1:

Gutsy Sin Chew Daily senior journalist Tan Hoon Cheng makes Internal Security Act (ISA) history for being detained for the shortest period under the infamous detention-without-trial law – less than 20 hours!

She was detained in her Bukit Mertajam home on Friday, September 12, 2008 at 8.35 p.m and released at her Bukit Mertajam house at 4 p.m.

She spent the Friday night in the police lockup and the next morning was being taken down to Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur by car but U-turned at Ipoh to return to Penang as “instruction” came for her release.

All for a four-paragraph straight reporting of a speech by Umno Bukit Bendera division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail in the Permatang Pauh by-election ceramah on August 23 referring to the Chinese in Malaysia as “penumpang”!

case #2:

The award winning ntv7 journalist Joshua Wong explains the reason for his shock resignation as producer for the current affairs talk show ‘Editor’s Time’.
I have on 20 April resigned as producer for ntv7’s talk show ‘Editor’s Time’.

I am dissatisfied on the way the company has handled two complaints which came from the Prime Minister’s Department and the First Lady (Rosmah Mansor). The complaints came after the airing the programme’s Kuala Lumpur roadshow (19 March) and Penang roadshow (8 April).

The company, without conducting due investigation, set unreasonable restrictions for the talk show on the issues to be discussed as well as those to be invited as panel speakers.

case #3

RTM2 producer Chou Z Lam also claimed political interference when his documentary on the Bakun dam project in Sarawak was cancelled under the direct instruction of RTM director-general Ibrahim Yahaya, for fear of affecting BN’s chances in the coming Sibu by-election.

case #4:

On Feb 26, the Home Ministry issued a show-cause letter to The Star over the article Persuasion, not compulsion by its managing editor, that was published on Feb 19 pertaining to issues of syariah law. The daily also apologised to its readers.

A week later, The Star refused to publish its columnist Marina Mahathir’s column touching on the caning of women under the Islamic law in February.

Lim Guan Eng criticised the intimidation of book sellers through the confiscation of books deemed unfavourable to the Barisan Nasional government.

He said copies of Where is Justice and 1Funny Malaysia were among titles seized in January and February this year.

“At the same time, no action is taken against Utusan Malaysia for its lies against Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, preaching racial hatred and even violence.

“Freedom to lie is not freedom of the press. Similarly newspapers should observe one of the basic tenets of press freedom, that is to give a right of reply. This right of reply has been denied repeatedly to PR leaders by the mainstream media controlled by BN.

“The press must be free. Let all Malaysians press for freedom,” he added.

Freedom of press and speech have died long time ago here in Malaysia, many news was blocked. Sometimes the online news portal like MalaysiaToday and a few others were even hacked. What makes the ruling party so scare of the truth? If there is NOTHING wrong with them, why block? why hack?

So, the truth really hurts! Siapa makan cili, dia terasa pedas!

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