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Malaysian government gives up on plan to "guide" online media

Malaysian government gives up on plan to "guide" online media

The Malaysian federal minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak seems to have abandoned the plans that he wanted to introduce. His goal was to offer "guidance" for online media outlets. But this month the Malaysian Insider said that the Communications and Multimedia Ministry no longer plans to draw up these "guidelines".

This is a softer tone than the one he had back in July when he was appointed. At that time he said that online news portals would be required to register with the government under proposed amendments to current cyber laws.

Minister Keruak tried to explain the reasoning behind his statements by saying the following:

"I feel all media, be it print or news portals, understand that there are laws governing their operations. Media portals tend to be bolder in their reporting approach so they should not abuse the existing freedom of the press. They have to guard the credibility and integrity of their profession."

He followed this statement by trying to assure everyone that online news portals would not be blocked without any valid reasons, explaining that the block on the UK-based "Sarawak Report" that was imposed in July was implemented because it had published what he went on to claim were "baseless and false reports".

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