KUALA LUMPUR: There is a need to practise self-censorship when uploading information online, particularly in this era where information technology is rapidly advancing, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He stressed that the habit of self-censorship can help prevent the spread of negative news from being circulated online.
“This will also prevent the public from making irrational decisions,” he said in his speech at the National Book and Telenovela Awards 2017 ceremony held at the Seri Pacific Hotel.
Adding that perception is the key of success in dealing with various forms of accusations and slander, Zahid said mindset change in accordance with the rapid advancement of information technology is essential.
On another note, he said that books can help develop a culture of reading among the community.
These books, either be fiction or non-fiction, printed or digital, are a powerful legacy to pass on through the generations.
“Books are very important, not only in the education and academic sector, but also in the industrial and career sectors.
“Books become a basic reference of various issues and areas where we operate.
“The book culture should be developed and used as an important component of cultural policy and development planning of the country.
“The National Book Policy implemented by the government is very committed to the progress of the book culture,” he said.
He pointed out that this is clear in the goals of the 4th National Book Policy that each book published must meet good standards from content to cover design.
“For Malaysia to be given the title of a developed country, at least 1,000 new book titles must be published each year.
“This means that with a population that has reached 30 million people, there should be at least 30,000 titles published in a year by 2020.
“According to ISBN (International Standard Book Number) statistics released by the National Library of Malaysia, I learned that from 2010 to 2016, we were only able to issue between 16,000 to 18,000 new titles only,” he said.
Books these days, he pointed out, is not only limited to digital and electronic formats but have been transformed into films, telefilms and telenovela.
“The initiative of ‘books to display or Book2Screen’ has helped propel the industry and the creative industry to a higher and more dynamic level,” he said.
Zahid also said that the government aims to help further the industry.
“I will try to help all of you. The National Book Policy will be improved with the year focusing on the creative theme.
“I hope Malaysians have ideas creative enough to place the country on par with the global market.
He added that the National Book Development Foundation has created a platform called Global Content Exchange or GCE, a virtual ‘exchange’ that brings together a wide range of digital products and services online.
“GCE will be treated as a trade centre and the exchange of digital products including reading materials such as books, films including animation software, virtual games, computer applications and smartphones.
“More Malaysians will have the opportunity to market their creativity globally using GCE’s platform.
“GCE will also work with the operators of global marketing for products and services in the world such as Google.com, Amazon and alibaba.com,” he said.
He added that with the GCE, Malaysian products are now accessible on the world stage.
“I would like to congratulate the initiators for having played a major role when they acted swiftly to help realise the formation of GCE through the provision of an initial grant of USD$100 million (RM432 million) in March,” he said.
Zahid also assured that government will offer the necessary support, including financial support to any organisation that conducts global programmes for the benefit and progress of Malaysians on the world stage.