KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the role of the media remains important for check and balance in a healthy democracy.
She said media practitioners in Malaysia were now enjoying a new wind of change due to less control from the government and they were now free to report news.
‘‘But enjoying freedom comes together with the responsibility to abide by the ethics of journalism and accurate facts,’’ she said in a special delivery on the Media Freedom Day celebration on Facebook today.
Meanwhile, Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, apologised for being one day late in wishing Happy Media Freedom Day to media Malaysian practitioners.
‘‘I hope my friends who are media practitioners will forgive me. Happy Media Freedom Day to Malaysian media practitioners,’’ she added.
Recently, Malaysia jumped 22 rungs to occupy the 123rd place out of 180 countries in the 2019 World Media Freedom Index.
According to the latest index issued by the organisation Reporters Without Borders on April 18, Malaysia was ranked at the top among countries in South East Asia.
This was followed by Indonesia (124th place), Philippines (134th), Thailand (136), Myanmar (138), Cambodia (143), Singapore (151), Brunei (152), Laos (171) and Vietnam (176).
Norway is at the top in the ranking list, followed by Finland in second place and Sweden in third place. — Bernama