National journalist body concerned over increasingly number of harsh measures by gov’t of the day on media houses

THE National Union of Journalists Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) has expressed its grave concern over the action to revoke media passes of reporters from PAS mouthpiece HarakahDaily as well as the paper’s accreditation.

The revocation of the media tags must take into account the welfare of the journalists involved, according to NUJM’s secretary-general Teh Athira Mohamed Yusof.

“NUJM is concerned that the journalists involved will not be allowed to perform their duties, hence will not be paid their wages and that their livelihood will be affected,” she pointed out in a media statement.

On Tuesday (Nov 7), PAS information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari claimed that the Information Department which is under the purview of the Communications and Digital Ministry has revoked the media passes of reporters from HarakahDaily.

“We accepted when the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) reproached HarakahDaily (during the Dewan Rakyat session) this morning,” noted the Pasir Mas MP during his debate session on the 2024 Supply Bill at the committee level in the Dewan Rakyat.

“But today, HarakahDaily also received a letter from the Information Department saying they are recalling the (official) media passes from its reporters. HarakahDaily has never experienced such action. Even when the country was under the ‘Maha Zalim’ (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s era), the government never revoked its media pass.”

Elsewhere, NUJM also expressed concern over the frequency of harsh measures imposed on media organisations and their personnel in recent times.

“NUJM is of the view that it would be better if the government expedited the establishment of the Malaysian Media Council to ensure that such incidents do not happen again and that the fate of media personnel is protected,” insisted Teh Athira.

“The Communications and Digital Ministry should meet with the Information Department to review the revocation of media tag of journalists from HarakahDaily as well as the publication’s accreditation as this has impaired the state of democracy and freedom of media that has been practised in Malaysia since the country’s independence.”

Above all else, Teh Athira hoped the Information Department has an explanation as to why this incident occurred.

“If there was indeed any false reporting by publication (HarakahDaily), further action should be taken according to existing laws and regulations,” she added. – Nov 11.2023

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