KUALA LUMPUR: Freedom of speech must be
suited and match Malaysian norms which are
synonymous with good manners and noble
values, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib
He said this way, the freedom to express
differences in opinions could be done wisely
without inviting suspicions or prejudice.
"For democracy to truly function as it
should, the people and media practitioners
must uphold noble values so there are none
among us who deviate (from these norms) or
resort to abuse of power," he said in
addressing the Malaysian Journalists Night
2013 here today.
He said demands for freedom of speech in the
country not only arose due to globalisation
but gained impetus because of access to the
Internet, the people's higher socio-economic
standing as well as education level.
He stressed that Malaysians wanted and could
capitalise on freedom of speech by
disseminating information that is accurate
and did not lead to confusion.
"Freedom of speech must be suited and match
Malaysian norms which are synonymous with
good manners and noble values. Only then can
we discuss important issues by way of
dialogue when there is a difference in
opinion among different groups," he said.
Najib said the landscape of the media and
media organisations in the country had
undergone rapid changes with the
introduction of online media to complement
the existing print and electronic media.
He added that anonymous writers in the
social media had taken the opportunity to
spread lies that could cause disunity and
threaten the peace and harmony enjoyed by
the people, compared with the mainstream
media that continued to adhere to the ethics
Najib therefore urged those using the social
media as a tool to spread information, to
remain steadfast to principles,
responsibility and ethics.
"On this, I want to urge the people to
propose the best form of monitoring and
control to ensure what is written in the
social media do not breach the laws.
The proposals to be submitted should not
contravene the Communications and Multimedia
Act and also the Bill of Guarantee on MSC
Malaysia (formerly the Multimedia Super
Corridor) which stresses that there should
be no censorship on the Internet," he said.
The e Prime Minister also extended his
appreciation to and praised journalists for
carrying out their duties in an ethical and
responsible manner during the 13th General
Election (GE13), which concluded on May 5.
He said media freedom and freedom of speech
truly became a reality and the wide use of
all types of media was there for all to see
However, he said the spread of all kinds of
lies, slander and instigation in the social
media that happened during GE13 should not
be allowed to continue as it would only
bring about a negative impact for the future
of the nation.
Najib also urged journalists to wisely
highlight issues like unity and Malaysia's
efforts to become a highly successful
"As journalists, you too have a role to play
in dispensing information to the people. Let
us shoulder the responsibility together to
ensure Malaysia becomes a developed and high
income nation that is both peaceful and
prosperous while the people can reap the
benefits," he said.
The Prime Minister also gave away prizes to
the winners of MPI-Petronas Malaysia
Journalism Awards 2012, including the
prestigious Kajai award to Sophia Ahmad from
Also present were Communication and
Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery
Cheek and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad
Zahid Hamidi. BERNAMA