PUTRAJAYA, March 1 — The Home Ministry (KDN) will not be making any amendments to the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA), its minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said today.

He said he had been receiving calls from senior editors of local news agencies asking him if KDN was going to make amendments to PPPA, which compelled him to clarify matters today.

“I’ve been receiving tons of calls from the media including very senior editors asking if I was first, against the formation of the national media council and second, if we were going to amend or change the PPPA.

“I was wondering where this rumour started or came from. It’s totally untrue. I never said we were going to do any of that in order to control the media, which is what was suggested.”

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He added that they merely had discussions about certain compounds that need to be put in place in case there were breaches to the rules.

Saifuddin then touched on the formation of the proposed national media council and rumours KDN were against it.

“Before we present the papers and findings plus suggestions to the media council, we want to make sure we don’t have any overlaps from the side of enforcement as we too have our own enforcement department and the media council will have theirs.

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“What we’re doing is trying to harmonise these things. As for abolishing the PPPA, no. As for amendments, only small things like the quantum of compounds. So any amendments we’re making isn’t to try to control online media, it’s only concerning the compounds,” he added.

Civil rights groups and advocates for free speech have been calling for the repeal of the PPPA Act as it is used by the government to suppress the right to freedom of expression and information.

Recently the communications ministry launched a new code of ethics for journalists which received criticism as it was drafted without proper engagement sessions with major stakeholders in the industry.

It was said that the proposed national media council must remain free from government interference and stay independent, regardless of any change of government.