Gobind says still studying how to outlaw political ownership of media

Gobind says he would like to ban news agencies from being owned by political entities, which could skew the publication of articles. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Gobind says he would like to ban news agencies from being owned by political entities, which could skew the publication of articles. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PETALING JAYA, Sept 4 ― A government decision on media ownership by people with political links will be made only after the Communications and Multimedia Ministry presents its study on the matter to Cabinet.

“The government will decide once I present the papers to the Cabinet. However, the mechanism is still being developed as there are still discussions on it,” its minister Gobind Singh Deo said in an interview with BFM radio this morning.

He reiterated his stance that he would like to ban news agencies from being owned by political entities, which could skew the publication of articles.

“My position is that there should not be any political influence in any news agencies.

“You have got to start asking yourself, do you want media reporting to be influenced by any political agenda?

“If a particular news agency is owned by any political party, then there is a tendency you see media reports being slanted towards their end,” he said.

Gobind added that in order to solve the problem, there must be a policy decision made to not allow any political dominance of any media agency.

When asked about the fate of media freedom resting at the hands of  Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a man who is known to limit media freedom during his previous tenure, Gobind said that the situation has changed.

“That was when he was a prime minister in a different regime, we are talking about his leadership in the regime under Pakatan Harapan.

“As far as we are concerned, the views of the Cabinet must be taken into account.

“You must also understand that there is a lot of things that happen in the last 10 years where there is a huge development in the media industry and many news portals nowadays are online so consideration has changed,” he said.

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