THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Friday, May 4, 2007

World Press Freedom Day

World Press Freedom Day was celebrated yesterday, 3rd May. The theme for this year's celebration is " Press Freedom, Safety of Journalists and Impunity".

It was organised by Asian Institute for Development Communication in collaboration with Malaysian Press Institute and the National Press Club and held at Dewan Murni, Menara Integrity in Kuala Lumpur. It was sponsored by the United Nations.

The welcome address was by YBhg Tan Sri Dato Haji Mazlan Nordin, Chairman of AIDCOM. The keynote speaker was Mr. Lee Sang Kee, President of the Asia Journalists Association, Korea, who spoke on the fears and the security concerns of the journalists in their line of duty.

A presentation by students on the theme topics of Press Freedom, Safety of Journalists and Impunity followed.

An interesting forum was held after that. The BARISAN MP for Melaka, YB Wong Nai Chee, spoke of the rise in the press freedom index for Malaysia from 113 in 2005 to 92 in 2006 from among 168 countries in the world. We are doing better in Press Freedom he declared. Press freedom does not seem to be in the fore front of the government's priorities. Media control is under the Ministry of Internal Security. Greater press freedom will only come through better levels of education and greater awareness campaigns. He also does not advocate absolute press freedom.

The PAS MP for Tumpat,YB Kamaruddin Jaafar, spoke of the missing journalist Alan Johnston of the BBC in the Gaza Strip and the prominence given by BBC to Anwar Ibrahim in its coverage recently. He also spoke of the dignity and professionalism of journalists to bring about a free press.

The DAP MP for Kepong, YB Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, spoke of the Government's control of the Media and Judiciary. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely he said. He proposes a parliamentary select committee on press freedom in the country - Rajahram.