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KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — A media council to oversee the code of ethics for the industry is expected to be introduced before the middle of this year, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
The Pakatan Harapan (PH) legal bureau chief, in an interview with R.AGE, revealed that he was informed that final stages of discussions over the council’s formation between senior journalists and the prime minister’s special media adviser Datuk A. Kadir Jasin was already underway.
“I’m informed they will meet me soon and hopefully we will be able to see it instituted before the middle of the year,” he said.
Gobind explained how previous meetings between him and senior pressmen saw them speaking on topics pertaining to the structuring and operations of the council.
He said the next step was for him to decide whether his ministry would be directly involved with the council.
“Do we want to get involved with it or do we want to say no, ‘let's get the press to deal with it, let them come back to us with a proposal, so that we can have this measure of independence.
“That gives them independence because it would then be an organisation that is built by them, by their peers, without government intervention, so it’s not the case the government is saying to you ‘this is how the media council should be’.
“Yes, of course at the end of the day they will consult the government and that gives me the freedom to take a position that is adverse to them,” he explained during the interview.
Early this month, local journalists banded together and launched its first draft proposal for the formation of a Malaysian Media Council to be submitted to the government and relevant agencies.
The formation of a media council also happens to be one of the PH election manifesto promises.