Najib Razak said today the government will not compromise with any quarters in matters related to sensitive issues such as race and religion.
The Prime Minister said news published in whatever form should be fair in terms of the reporting as well as to Malaysians, and should not comment on matters that can disunite the people.
“With false information rampantly disseminated with the intention to confuse the people, news reports by the local broadcasters and publishers must be released fast to counter the fake news with the facts,” he said in his speech launching the ‘NJOI Now’ service of Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad in Kuala Lumpur.
The text of the Prime Minister’s speech was read out by Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.
Najib said the government had never restricted freedom of expression in Malaysia, especially among the media, even when there was disagreement in terms of opinion.
He pointed out that the government had lifted a ban on the publications of opposition political parties years ago.
“Nevertheless, reported news and opinions expressed cannot at all touch on sensitive issues that can incite the people, especially to drive them against one another,” he said.
On the growth of the broadcasting industry, Najib, who is also the finance minister, said the sector played an important role as an agent that can mould the mindset of viewers.
He said that through the Internet and satellite television, viewers were able to gain access to various news channels from around the world.
“News is supposed to be a platform for viewers to obtain confirmation on what is happening around them. The information so received daily, whether we realise it or not, moulds our mindset or gives us ideas which in turn influences our decisions and actions,” he said.
Expressing appreciation to Astro for having provided various information dissemination services since 1996, the Prime Minister said he was happy that NJOI Now would also offer live broadcast of the biennial SEA Games 2017 over the Astro Arena sports channel.
“Now, all of us have the opportunity to lend our undivided support to our athletes in the national contingent in the most eminent sporting event that will be held in Malaysia in August this year,” he said.
NJOI Now is a free video streaming service that can be enjoyed through a mobile device or online. – Bernama