The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) is concerned with the idea to register online news portals with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
The proposed regulation of online media is unnecessary and troubling, given the way former news portal The Malaysian Insider was arbitrarily blocked over an allegedly inaccurate news report.
We strongly oppose any form of official regulation of the press, especially if such measures are abused to suppress negative reports about the government of the day.
We instead call for an independent media council consisting of representatives from the various streams of media in Malaysia.
This council would ideally come up with industry guidelines as well as act as an ombudsman for complaints against the media.
We at the IoJ believe that in these difficult times, further regulation of online media may close many of them down, at a time when the public needs to be informed more than ever.