KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The Ministry of Communications proposes to develop a basic system so that news owners or content creators can lodge complaints if their content is used without permission.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said this is because news material that is taken and “copied” and then uploaded without permission will result in the information being misinterpreted or altered as if reported by the original media.

“I see that we need a basic system where the original owners of the news can make complaints, for example, to the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) so that action can be taken.

“So here (this system) has not yet been created, but God willing, a simple system can be developed so that copyright content can be ensured for those who have produced it,” he said at a press conference after the Maxis 5G-Advanced Trial Showcase programme here today.

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On another issue, Fahmi emphasised that the latest version of the Malaysian Code of Ethics for Journalists would not restrict media freedom in the country. He also denied claims that the code was an attempt to control media and speech freedom.

In fact, he said some of the comments on the revised version of the code were unfair towards the Information Department (JaPen) and the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI), who drafted it.

“If you were to look at the original code of ethics, it includes phrases like to curb communism which no longer is an issue in Malaysia because they no longer exist. So it’s a little bit anachronistic.

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“... if you were to compare (the original and the revised codes) they are almost the same. The preamble is the same; there are still eight key points in the document. Nothing to do with curbing media freedom,” he added.

Fahmi said it was necessary to update the code, especially in the era of artificial intelligence, blogs and online media which did not exist when the original code was introduced.

The Malaysian Code of Ethics for Journalists, an initiative of the Ministry of Communications through JaPen, outlines eight main responsibilities of journalists.

Apart from being the voice of a pluralistic society and agents facilitating dialogue, they must be transparent and have integrity when carrying out their duties.

They are also encouraged to consistently strive to be fair in delivering information and not to be influenced by personal interests. — Bernama