Malaysia: Government accused of political interference in media

Media advocacy group Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geram) has raised concerns about press freedom in Malaysia following reports of alleged political interference in the appointment of a new group editor for English-language newspaper New Straits Times (NST). is increasing. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned any attempt to undermine the independence of the press and called on the Malaysian government to respect press freedom in Malaysia.

On September 13th, NST A subsidiary of Media Prima Group,announced it appointed farah naz karim He will take over as the paper’s new group editor, effective September 15. Ahmad Lokman Mansoor.

Immediately after the announcement, Mr. Gerram Said It had received reports raising concerns about alleged political interference in publications by former Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and Umno Supreme Council members. Datuk Seri Abu Rauf Yuso was involved in Karim’s appointment.

Mr Ghelam also expressed concern over the fate of outgoing editor-in-chief Mansor and called on the Malaysian government and NST to support the efforts of journalists and media workers to protect the independence of the Malaysian press.

Mr. Saeed Hussian Aljunied, Chairman of Media Prima Group; defended Karim’s appointment said the decision was based on her extensive experience in news editorial work and was part of the paper’s efforts to increase its profile and readership.

“Media Prima is not owned by, nor does it report to, any political party in any way as suggested in recent reports,” Aljunid said in a statement.

prime ministerDatuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yacob declined to comment directly on the matter. Said Reporters said on August 15 that the media is free to report as long as “…”Reports are accurate and reliable. ”

Media unions, advocacy groups and journalists expressed: concern The future impact of these allegations on Malaysian media and democracy.

IFJ stated: “The alleged government interference in the appointment of a new editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times reflects the deterioration of media independence in Malaysia. We condemn this and call on the Malaysian government to protect press freedom.”

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