MCA’s Warped Logic on Press Freedom


By Khoo Kay Peng

MCA Chua Soi Lek’s understanding of press freedom is odd and bizarre. Does he really understand the meaning of press freedom?

“We value press freedom, we value freedom of the radio but with all freedom, it comes with responsibility. No country in the world has unfettered freedom. No, so every freedom must come with responsibility. More so in a multi-racial country like Malaysia which still have a lot of sensitive issues.”

The question is who decides the spectrum of responsibility? MCA? Umno? BN? These are political entities. There are enough mechanism in the legislation to protect and regulate press freedom. Readers and subscribers are very powerful check-and-balance mechanism too.

Second, why can’t this country debate and discuss ‘sensitive issues’ regarding race and religion if it can be conducted maturely?. Ironically, it’s race political parties and politicians such as MCA & Umno which are most involved in the use of race and religion as a political tool. Who should regulate these political parties? A free media could play a role to moderate these political parties.
Third, it is the biggest irony that MCA controls both Star Publications and StarFM despite its leadership pledging their support for press freedom. Can a media organisation controlled by a political party become totally free and impartial? Anywhere in the world, there is a reason to ban political parties from controlling any media organisation. It should be the same in Malaysia.

“It is because of this freedom of responsibility that Malaysia continue enjoy its stability and social cohesions,” Chua said.

Chua appears to support the level of press control in Malaysia and what MCMC just did to 988FM deejays on the morning talk show. If this is so, what reform credential can Chua hope to use to convince the Chinese voters that MCA can help to make this country more democratic and less racist?

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