MARCH 14 — Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) welcomes the reported statement by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that the government would review the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 to enable writing, broadcasting and publishing to be not overly confined to guidelines.
At the same time, Geramm however reiterates our stand that the PPPA should be abolished in whole.
We believe that the most contentious element of the Act is the need for a permit to publish as it could and had been used against publications viewed as critical of the government of the day.
We firmly believe that there are other existing laws which could be used to regulate contents of printed media and the government should return the rights to publish without need to apply for a permit.
On that note, Geramm also welcomes Ahmad Zahid's announcement of the #media council hashtag to solicit proposals and suggestions from media practitioners for the review of the PPPA 1984.
We therefore encourage all stakeholders, particularly from among the media fraternity, to share their views towards the long-term move of setting-up an independent self-regulatory body for the media.
As a group fighting for the rights to freedom of the press and its practitioners, Geramm believes that having an independent self-regulatory body would be the best solution to not only the achieve the goal, but also indirectly restore public's faith in the media.
* Press statement by Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) issued on March 14, 2018.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.