Freedom pressed

Just for the record, we’re still stuck at the bottom of the heap as far as press freedom goes.

In its latest report, Paris-based watchdog Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF, Reporters Without Borders) ranked Malaysia at 131st spot, a position that should be of deep concern to Malaysians who yearn for freedom of expression and thriving democracy.

That said, for those Malaysians who still crave for that ‘feel good’ factor despite this poor showing, Malaysia has improved by one notch over last year’s spot, and is slightly better than Singapore, and way ahead of other Asean countries of Vietnam, Laos and Burma.

Malaysiakini reports:

Malaysia remains on the bottom quarter 175 countries in the worldwide press freedom ranking index released today by Paris-based watchdog Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF, Reporters Without Borders).

In the latest 2009 ranking, Malaysia inched one place up to 131 from last year. Just four years ago, RSF had placed Malaysia at 94.

Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden all share the No 1 spot, with Luxembourg, United Kingdom and the United States sharing the 20th spot.

Out of 11 Asean countries, Malaysia ranks sixth behind Thailand (130) and ahead of Singapore (133).

Self-imposed censorshipazlan

Other bottom rung countries includes Brunei (155), Vietnam (168), Laos (169) and Burma (171).

“The authoritarianism of existing governments, for example in Sri Lanka (162nd) and Malaysia (131st), prevented journalists from properly covering sensitive subjects such as corruption or human rights abuses,” wrote RSF in its official website.

“In Malaysia, the interior ministry imposed censorship or self-censorship by threatening media with the withdrawal of their licence or threatening journalists with a spell in prison,” it added.

A full country report has yet to be published at the time of writing.

2 Responses to “Freedom pressed”

  1. 1 James Low 21 October 2009 at 2:01 pm

    We are better than Singapore! Cool and fancy? But, umpteen years back we were so much better than this ‘little red dot’in so many disciplines and aspects.

    Who are the people responsible for our mediocrity. Ask those visionless and corrupted politicians of ours.

  2. 2 lafourmiautodidacte 21 October 2009 at 11:58 pm

    The freedom of press constantly threatened in the world …



    Homage to Anna Politkovskaïa


    In a miserly desert
    Of humanity
    The glance of a dove
    Settled where the wolves,
    Low heads,
    Are not wearied to howl,

    In a poisoned desert,
    Miserly of truth,
    A dove, this evening, fell.

    Anick Roschi october 7th,09

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