Malaysiakini Under Fire
In his latest piece for the Media Power Monitor, CMDS Director Marius Dragomir writes about the current state of media in Malaysia. Dragomir writes that mainstream Malaysian media are practically captured by the government. Most of them, including newspapers such as the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia, have ownership links with the ruling coalition. Utusan Malaysia, in fact, is directly owned by United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the ruling party. Utusan’s reporting mostly reflects the party’s interests. The dismal state of independent journalism has sent Malaysia to the bottom of the heap in international press freedom rankings. In the 2016 World Press Index from the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an NGO, Malaysia is ranked 146th in a total of 180 nations. Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia all fared better. Only Singapore in the Southeast Asian region lagged behind, on the 154th position. Malaysian government scorns the ranking, saying it is biased by western interests. The internet thus remains the only space for critical articles in Malaysia. But that is changing now, too.
Read the article here.