GEORGE TOWN, May 4 — Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil criticised the statement of Bersatu supreme council member Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan who blamed him for Malaysia’s decline in the Press Freedom Index for this year.

Fahmi questioned the actions of the Tasek Gelugor MP for issuing a statement regarding the ranking of the index by comparing Malaysia and Israel.

“Israel killed Gazans. Why do you (Wan Saiful) want to compare Malaysia with Israel? Wan Saiful Wan Jan said we are worse than Israel.

“We did not kill anyone. So far, no journalists have been arrested or thrown in jail and not even a single newspaper has been closed,” he said after visiting the Ministry of Communications’ stall in conjunction with the Madani Rakyat 2024 North Zone Programme at the Sungai Nibong Pesta site near here today.


The 2024 World Press Freedom Index report published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) yesterday showed that Malaysia’s position in the Press Freedom Index fell 34 places compared to 73 last year, with a score of 52.07 points.

Wan Saiful was reported to have said that Malaysia’s ranking of 107th in the Press Freedom Index is worse than Israel’s ranking of 101st, besides blaming Fahmi for the decline in the ranking.

In relation to that, Fahmi who is also the spokesperson of the Unity Government urged Wan Saiful to think first before making a statement because Malaysia had experienced a dark democratic period during the previous Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.


“If you want to propagate brother Wan Saiful, I hope brother Wan Saiful thinks about what happened during the PN era (as government). Parliament is closed and this is not propaganda, this is fact. It is not the newspaper that is closed but the Parliament itself is closed.

“So, before Wan Saiful wants to say more, he (Wan Saiful) should realise that the darkest era of democracy in Malaysia was during the time of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is the leader of his party,” he said. — Bernama