How does media censorship violate freedom of expression and impact businesses

Topics: Human rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Freedom of speech Pages: 10 (2874 words) Published: May 6, 2014
Discuss how censorship of the media is a violation of the freedom of expression and its impact on businesses in Malaysia. Censorship is the resistor of information and ideas distributed within a society, or can be defined as the act of changing a message, including the change of deletion (complete elimination of the message), between the sender and receiver. Censorship is a tool that can be used to accomplish good or evil but must be used carefully and only when truly necessary. Media censorship takes many forms in the way you get your news, while most information is edited at length some information is edited to keep delicate information from the public and this is usually done to protect a person’s privacy and also to protect media outlets from corporate or political fallout. Freedom of expression is the right to express ones ideas and opinions freely through speech, writing and other forms of communication but without deliberately causing harm to others character and/or reputation by false or misleading statements. An example of freedom of expression is freedom of press. Freedom of expression is an important human right. It also underpins most other rights and allows them to flourish. The right to speak your mind freely on important issues in society and to access information plays a vital role in the healthy development process of any society. Censorship is an expanding issue in Malaysia as they want to reach a knowledge based economy which is an economy that uses knowledge to generate tangible and intangible assets and using technology to transform a part of human knowledge to machines. Malaysia having one of the world’s firmest systems of media censorship with about a hundred movies being barred in the past 10 years on the ploy of upholding morality and the internet however remains unconstrained in line with keeping civil liberties and preserving democratic spaces. Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states that everyone has a right to freedom of expression but on many occasions people’s right to implement their freedom of expression is restricted and selectively based on the freedom of choice of the government. The restrictions are justified under the maintaining racial harmony and public order. Professor Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi argued that the constitution offers a rather weak provision for freedom of speech predominantly as a result of adjustments following the May 1969 clashes. The right includes freedom to give opinions and to obtain and convey information and ideas without disturbances by public authority irrespective of borderlines. To exercise freedom, it comes with duties and responsibilities, and may be exposed to formalities, conditions, restriction or penalties set by the law (The Sun, 2005). In the case of Chai Choon Hon v, Ketua Polis Daerah, Kampar and Government of Malaysia (1986), Choon applied for a license to hold solidarity dinner in public space. His application was accepted but stamped with seven restrictions, two he felt were unfair. The speakers should not exceed seven and that no speech to touch on political issues. It was turned down when he sued at that federal court but was granted to go ahead by the supreme-court judge. In this case we see how the government’s power to regulate meetings and event is not absolute. Such right is easily abused especially towards businesses and rival politicians, this comes to show that freedom of assembly remain safeguarded and only restricted when it is absolutely necessary. Daniel J.Boorstin, who was known as the leading intellectual public position in the nation argued that any sorts of censorship "has no place in a free society." Hence, media censorship is deemed unlawful or in violation of human rights and should undergo judicial review1. Even the Malaysian Press Institute chairman Datuk Azman Ujang himself claimed, "Media censorship will not really aid the country because Malaysia needs a free press that shows maturity and progress in...
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