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Malaysia PM Najib Tun Razak: “Free press is guarantor of accountability and transparency”

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Malaysia PM Najib Tun Razak: “Free press is guarantor of accountability and transparency”

“Free press is guarantor of accountability and transparency,” stated the premier of Malaysia, who said that it allows “small voices to be heard amidst the misinformation that new technologies have brought.”

Mr. Najib echoed this year’s theme –“strenghtening print in the digital era”- and acknowledged “the vital role that newspapers have in free societies.”

Free societies, he assured, like Malaysia: “You may sometimes have heard foreign activists talking about crackdowns on press in Malaysia, but look at our press,” the PM said.

“You hear -he continued- ministers criticizing other ministers and officials; sometimes is the opposition criticizing ministers (…) Sometimes is a foreign minister or even a former PM criticizing… It gets very confusing,” he said.

“What I can tell you is that there is more than enough criticizing going around,” he assured, adding: “the social media… That is the wild wild west”.

“We are much more open to our citizens than most other countries in the region. Our press –or the fourth state- is vital to that”, Mr Najib said. He then continued saying that “with freedom comes responsability,” partly referring to the spread of "fake news," a “problem that has become so serious and widespread.”

“We have people talking of Malaysia becoming a fail state”, he said, before adding: “and we are here, in a first class hotel” of Kuala Lumpur.

“It is your duty as publishers, editors and designers to mantain the trust, and the Government of Malaysia will be on your side. Let me use this opportunity to remind you to not believe in invented propaganda, no matter how persuasively it may be presented,” said the prime minister.

Author

Paloma Almoguera

Date

2017-04-19 18:45

Author information


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