PUTRAJAYA, Jan 16 — The appointment of 17 members of the pro-tem committee today to discuss the direction and structure for the establishment of the Malaysian Media Council (MMC) has been well received by industry players.
Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran, who was appointed as the chairman of the pro-tem committee, said the council would discuss matters pertaining to the council’s establishment in the near future.
“The government wants this to be done quickly, in two months, to get back to the minister. We will try to meet the deadline.
“We welcome this in the industry and this is something that we called for, for more independent media, for more professional media that can inform the public on issues (pertaining to public interests),” he said.
Commenting on whether the abolition of laws such as the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 had to be done before the establishment of the MMC, he said: “I think that is something that the pro-tem committee can discuss and come up with a strategy to address this issue.”
Earlier, 17 members of the MMC pro-tem committee were appointed at the MMC meeting chaired by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo here today.
The establishment of the MMC is in line with a promise in Pakatan Harapan’s 14th general election manifesto to form the media council comprising leading members of the media fraternity.
Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) trustee Datuk Yong Soo Heong who is also appointed as a member of the pro-tem committee said the move was the first step in the current development of the media industry.
“It is also a ‘political will’ shown by the Minister (Gobind) in the effort to set up the MMC. Although many matters need to be discussed for the establishment of the council, at least he has already taken the first step with the appointment of a pro-tem committee,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gerakan Media Merdeka spokesman Radzi Razak said the appointment of the pro-tem committee members was the first step towards media freedom.
He said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia had taken proactive steps to realise the establishment of the MMC after being delayed for the past 45 years.
“This is the first step that everyone should accept and celebrate so that we can help the community to become better,” Radzi said. — Bernama