Syed Saddiq slams govt on media freedom

Syed Saddiq slams govt on media freedom

Syed Saddiq slams govt on media freedom
Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman says the government has forgotten its promises and is interfering in matters that were previously untouched.

KUALA LUMPUR: Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has slammed the Pakatan Harapan-led unity government for failing to uphold its promises on media freedom and interfering in areas previously untouched.

According to the former minister from Muda, the government is planning to license social media companies and expand controls under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA).

“I’m sorry, but even the former Pekan MP (Najib Razak) didn’t do such things. Now they (the government) want to do so, which I find strange,” he said when debating the Suhakam report in the Dewan Rakyat today.

“Things that weren’t disturbed before, they now want to interfere with.”

It was previously reported that government stakeholders, in consultation with media industry players, are considering expanding PPPA controls to digital media content, while the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is planning to license social media and messaging platforms.


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Najib’s tenure as prime minister between 2009 and 2018 saw some amendments being made to the PPPA, such as removing the requirement for publishers and printing firms to obtain an annual operating permit. However, Putrajaya still retained the authority to grant or deny licence applications.

Syed Saddiq also said he did not believe the government had no hand in the removal of several TikTok posts on BlackRock and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) by former minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“The issue with BlackRock was discussed based on facts and data. This isn’t about playing with emotions. It’s about facts and data. But the video was taken down afterwards,” he said.

“The (communications) minister (Fahmi Fadzil) said, ‘Oh, it’s not the government’s fault. TikTok took it down.’ But who threatened TikTok with a kill switch?”

Yesterday, Fahmi denied that the government was involved in the removal of the TikTok posts, and said MCMC also did not take any action.


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Khairy had posted a notice from TikTok regarding the removal of two video clips about the MAHB privatisation deal involving Global Infrastructure Partners, which US investment firm BlackRock has agreed to acquire.

He questioned the lack of transparency over the deal, and raised doubts about the foreign partner’s expertise in airport management as compared to MAHB.

The MAHB deal has faced significant scrutiny because of BlackRock’s alleged connections to Israel and its military.

Syed Saddiq slams govt on media freedom



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