Press Release By Transparency International – Malaysia on Malaysia’s improved performance in the 2006 World Press Freedom Index
Transparency International – Malaysia notes with encouragement the impressive improvement in Malaysia’s ranking in the 2006 World Press Freedom Index which recorded a jump of 21 places. Although Malaysia’s ranking of 92nd place of 168 countries surveyed is satisfactory for now.
TI-M believes Malaysia could perform much better if there was greater efforts made to combat to corruption in the country. The improvement does indicate that the climate of more transparency and accountability evident in the country in the past three years has in fact resulted in a freer and less stifled press and media.
This in turn has led to challenges as to how best to manage this increased press freedom in a complex multiracial and multi religious society. This issue also has to be addressed more with more transparency and accountability.
Nevertheless there is much room for improvement and TI – Malaysia calls on the Government to urgently review all legislation that restrains press freedom with a view to loosening, if not repealing any outdated laws. Top priority needs to be given to reviewing the annual licensing requirements imposed on newspapers and the media in general.
Malaysia has to seriously aspire to adopt more and stronger measures to move up the Press Freedom Index as it seeks to be a developed and globalised nation by 2020.
Our Government must subscribe to the first prerequisite of a matured democracy – a free and vibrant press in order to increase confidence in order to increase confidence in our leadership and management capacities, for a more united and progressive Malaysia.
Tan Sri (Dr) Ramon V. Navaratnam
Transparency International – Malaysia