Sunday 19 May 2024
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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 20): The government is in the final process of finalising the draft to establish the Malaysian Media Council (MMC) Bill, according to Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

“It takes some time as the process involves the Attorney General's Chambers and needs consideration and a decision by the Cabinet. God willing, it won’t take too long to be done,” Fahmi said in his speech during the launch of the journalism ethics manual here on Tuesday.

Initially, the MMC Bill, which outlines the regulatory mechanism of the media industry, is expected to be tabled in Parliament in March.

However, Deputy Communications Minister Teo Nie Ching in January said that the MMC Bill might face a slight delay, which may push the Bill to be tabled in June.

The Bill aims to outline a code of conduct and dispute resolution procedure for public complaints against the media, and establish a budget for the council.

Earlier, Fahmi launched the newly revised Malaysian journalism ethics manual, aiming to raise the bar for professional conduct and strengthen public trust in the media.

In conjunction with the launch, Fahmi noted that his ministry is committed to addressing the welfare of freelance journalists, dubbed as “stringers”, which make up a majority of 61.54% of 9,750 registered journalists in the country.

“I have also held a meeting with Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong, along with the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso). We are looking into issues related to freelance journalists.

“I need a little time to discuss with the KSU (secretaries-general of the respective ministries) perhaps in not too long a time...we have some positive news,” he added.

Edited BySurin Murugiah
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