New media rules in Parliament to stifle reporting, say MPs


(TMI) – New arrangements for press personnel reporting on parliamentary proceedings will isolate them in a separate building away from where legislative sittings are held, limiting the media’s access to lawmakers while also making it harder for MPs to hold briefings.

The move has been criticised by two MPs, one from the ruling Barisan Nasional and the other, an opposition MP.

PKR lawmaker Chua Tian Chang called it an attempt by Putrajaya to prevent the media from reporting on critical issues.

A circular on the new arrangements issued by Parliament’s corporate communications division, sighted by The Malaysian Insider, was released on October 1.

It said media personnel covering parliamentary meetings will have to operate from another building away from the main building housing the Dewan Rakyat.

The change takes effect on Monday, when the Dewan Rakyat convenes for its last meeting of the year.

It is learnt that the order had come from the new minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, Datuk Azalina Othman Said, who took over the portfolio from Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim following a cabinet reshuffle in July.

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