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Malaysia Drops 18 Places & Ranks 119th Out Of 180 Countries For Press Freedom

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Source: Roman Kraft l Unsplash & Afeeq Nadzrin l Unsplash

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The RSF (Reporters Without Borders) works to provide information on media freedom worldwide, according to their website. They are most notable for publishing the World Press Freedom Index of 180 countries annually.

The 2021 World Press Freedom Index has just been released and Malaysia dropped 18 ranks as compared to the previous year. Our country now ranks at 119 in 180 countries. They said that ever since the change in government from Pakatan Harapan (PH) to Perikatan Nasional (PN), the situation which was considered “favourable for journalists” has been reversed.

Afeeq Nadzrin Txl 08Bhewa Unsplash 1

They mentioned that the drop in ranking is due to a “draconian legislative arsenal” that works to suppress the freedom of media. The arsenal they were referring to is the 1948 Sedition Act, the 1972 Official Secrets Act and the 1998 Communications and Multimedia Act.

The website has also stated that these laws enable authorities “strict control over the distribution of the publication licences and power over journalists”.

“For the media, the restoration of more authoritarian rule in 2020 has led to prosecutions, police searches, expulsions (of journalists and a whistleblower) and flagrant violations of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.”

In addition to that, they also mentioned that many journalists are now practising self-censorship.

Roman Kraft Zua2Hyvtbk Unsplash

Norway holds the top rank for countries with the most freedom given to the media while Finland and Sweden follow closely behind. South Korea is the highest-ranking Asian country in the list at #42 while Taiwan is at #43.

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments your take on this.

 

Also read: Study: KL Ranks 4th For Top Overworked Cities & Worst Work-Life Balance Globally In 2020

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