KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 ― Schools, universities and other agencies under the Education Ministry are banned from subscribing to Malay broadsheet Utusan Malaysia and its weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia even if there are sponsors for them.
Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching reiterated that the decision to stop all subscription is based on the national newspaper’s past publication of content deemed to be racially and religiously provocative.
“The news from these papers can be accessed online and other social media platforms. In general, the Education Ministry plans on subscribing newspapers that published values that unify the nation instead of the other way around.
“We want to ensure that those involved in the education sector are able to make a balance and rational decision based on current events while accepting and respecting the multi religious, multi racial and multi lingual nature of Malaysia,” she said in the Dewan Rakyat.
Teo was replying Hulu Terengganu MP Datuk Rasol Wahid who asked if the ministry would allow him or anyone else to sponsor and deliver the Umno-linked papers to schools in their personal capacity.
But Teo was firm on the ban, for the time being at least.
She pointed out that a former Utusan Malaysia chief editor Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin had admitted that the two papers were nothing more than Umno’s mouthpiece.
“As I said earlier, the Education Ministry encourages newspapers that promotes good values. Only when Utusan Malaysia has achieved this goal will we consider this request,” said Teo.
Asked by backbencher Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin if MCA-owned The Star will also be banned, Teo said her ministry has yet to decide on that or any other newspaper.
She added that the government will not force schools to subscribe to Pakatan Harapan-owned newspapers.