The newly-installed government of Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not muzzle the press the way it has been suppressed under Barisan Nasional (BN).
This assurance has been given time again by several PH leaders and recently by DAP advisor, Lim Kit Siang.
In short, we recognise the press as the fourth pillar in our country. The media will play an important role in ensuring that there is check and balance on whoever is in power.
Facts are fact, but any speculations and accusations should be done without malice and clearly identified as such so that it gives an equal opportunity for the accused, if there is nothing to hide, to answer and defend their positions.
I also call on the press from now on to train its journalists to conduct investigative journalism as we are now moving in that direction.
Efforts are currently being made by the PH Government to amend (repeal) certain laws that will soon allow the press to fulfill its duties as an important player in upholding the democracy of this country.
The press do not have to curry favour with anyone in the administration as we are all public servants and elected representatives of the people. In short, the media must report any story “without fear or favour”.
We want fair and professional journalism to triumph in Malaysia. We welcome all sorts of criticisms from the press but we will not condone lies and fabrications. We also cannot tolerate people play on religious and racial issues.
This is so far our commitment as the government to uphold and protect the freedom of the press.