PUTRAJAYA: The media should be controlled instead of letting it to be fully independent, says former Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin (Zam), adding that no country gives total freedom to its people.
“Media should be controlled and should not be totally independent. To me, there is no absolute freedom,” he said during an interview recently.
Zam said this when asked to comment on the recent ban on news portal The Malaysian Insider (TMI) by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
The veteran newsman said he agreed with the action taken by MCMC. In fact, he said the government should have done it “a long time ago”.
“The timing was not right, it was too late. If it was blocked earlier, the situation would not have turned ugly like how it is now.”
On Feb 25, MCMC blocked access to TMI, saying it was due to a news report published by the portal regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe on state-owned firm 1MDB.
Zam, who is the former Utusan Malaysia Editor-in-Chief, also blamed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration for promising more freedom which then led to the people expecting more.
“His (Najib) administration abolished the ISA (Internal Security Act) and promised more freedom, and this led to the people as well as the media to expect more from it.
“And now the situation is even worse compared to the time before ISA was abolished,” Zam added.