KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Anti-graft group, Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), today said that media freedom in the country has improved since May last year.
Its executive director, Cynthia Gabriel, said this is proven as more human rights advocates are appearing on mainstream media.
“Media freedom is more robust now than it was prior to May 2018, so people like me can appear on television, people like (human rights lawyer) Edmund Bon is on television every other day,” she said.
Gabriel was speaking at a round-table session held following the launch of the review paper “Creating a Conducive Legal Environment for Freedom of Expression in Malaysia”.
Gabriel, however, highlighted the imperfections that the new Malaysian government has undergone since coming to power.
“In this so-called new Malaysia, we have seen all kinds of drama happening from manifestos not really being realised, backsliding, halfway-through promises being realised, or some (promises) more or less being realised, depending, but it’s nowhere near where we were hoping it would go,” she said.
Moderated by C4 officer Hazri Haili, the panellists included United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) advisor Lim Ming-Kuok, lawyer Bon, Institute of Journalists of Malaysia representative Tehmina Kaoosji, Sinar Project coordinator Khairil Yusof and Knowledge and Rights with Young People through Safer Spaces (KRYSS) co-founder Serene Lim.
According to Ming-Kuok, they had approached C4 to conduct a review of Malaysian laws that are not in line with the international standards of freedom of expression, access to information and press freedom.
Broadcast journalist Tehmina also called for the need to cultivate media relations with non-governmental organisations.
“This is what needs to be fostered to sensitise mainstream Malaysian audience to social justice issues based on daily headlines all the way from violence against women to corruption,” she said.