Malaysian news portals Malaysiakini and have newspaper permits rejected, ‘too many papers will confuse public’

Malaysiakini logoIndependent Malaysian news websites Malaysiakini and have both had newspaper permits rejected by the government, FZ is reporting.

The portals “are inclined to publish sensational and controversial news to get the attention of readers”, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted as saying.

He added that too many newspapers in Malaysia would “confuse the public.”

FZ, which goes by the slogan ‘Freedom of expression, fairness in articulation’, had gained approval for a paper publishing permit last year, but had its licence revoked in February this year.

Malaysiakini has been trying to get a daily licence, but had an application rejected back in 2010.

“The rejection of publishing permits for FZ Daily and Malaysiakini were early measures to control the flooding of daily papers which may confuse the public, as there is too much news published in various newspapers,” the Home Minister said.

“These publications are inclined to publish sensational and controversial news to get the attention of the readers,” he said.

In neighbouring Singapore, the media authority has also been clamping down on news websites it sees as anti-establishment.

When news website The Independent launched last year, it was leant on to get a media licence and pay a “performance bond”. Another news website, The Breakfast Network, closed after it declined to get a licence.

Tough new laws for websites reporting on Singapore-related news were introduced in Singapore in May last year.


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