The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will take immediate steps to enhance the freedom and professionalism of government-owned entities Radio-Television Malaysia (RTM) and the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), its minister Gobind Singh Deo said.
"This is to ensure that the media has the freedom to carry out checks and balances against the government's administration," he said when addressing the ministry’s staff in Putrajaya today.
Gobind said all laws and regulations pertaining to the media would be revised to ensure media freedom.
He said the government was also considering the establishment of a Media Council comprising media figures who would be responsible for coordinating ethical guidelines, as well as to deal with media related public complaints.
He also urged the ministry’s staff to change their way of thinking and embrace teamwork to realise the importance of communications and multimedia in increasing growth and transforming the economic sector for the well-being of the people within six months.
Apart from that, he said his staff should always equip themselves with the relevant knowledge and skills as well as uphold the principles of trust and integrity in order to inculcate proper work and thinking culture of quality.
Hence, he said, the government's desire for Malaysia to have a broadband system at double the speed for half the price would be implemented first, to provide the people with a more effective means of communication.
Making internet access a basic right
"As a first step, I want to succeed in making the Internet access a basic right for Malaysians to move the country forward, more in line with likes of Brunei, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, which have gone far ahead.
"Technological infrastructure is very important to provide information to the people quickly, especially the era of the digital economy. I will be tabling the relevant laws, and I am confident of getting support not only from the cabinet and other ministries, but also from the people," he said.
Gobind said it was important to address the quality of internet service, so that it not only meets the needs of the stakeholders but also that of the people.
On the abolition of the Anti-Fake News Act, Gobind said he would review the law along with all other relevant laws and make the appropriate amendments, considering the advancements in technology.
"Reviews would be made to create more solid and comprehensive laws without compromising the freedom of speech based on the Federal Constitution of Malaysia," he said.
Gobind said he and the ministry’s management would review the strategy and direction of the ministry by looking at the functions, roles as well as rationalisation of divisions, departments and agencies under the ministry so that it could take clear measures in line with the government's aspirations.
"We need to position ourselves as a ministry that is always in touch with the people and to win their hearts and minds. I hope the ministry staff will be more committed, creative, and efficient in conducting government affairs with integrity, and to spend prudently on the implementation of programmes.
"This ministry will lead the way forward in terms of technology, media and communications. We must show we can live up to the mark and deliver," he added.