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FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE MEDIA IN MALAYSIA

part of a series of baseline studies on seven Southeast Asian countries

OARTICLE 19, London and SUARAM, Kuala Lumpur ISBN 1 902598 78 4

December 2005

ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London ECl R 1UQ Fax: +44 20 7278 7660

Tel: +44 20 7278 9292

info@article19.org, www.articlel9.org,

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), 383, 1st Floor, Jalan 5/59, Petaling Gardens, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603 7784 3525 Fax: +603 7784 3526 Email: suaram@suaram.net

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Acknowledgements
This report is a product of cooperation between ARTICLE 19 and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram). Sonia Randhawa, Pauline Puah and Susan Loone researched and wrote this report. Comments and legal analysis were provided by Toby Mendel (Law Programme Director of ARTICLE 19) and Dini Widiastuti (Asia Programme Officer of ARTICLE 19). Final editing was made by Luitgard Hammerer (Acting Director for the Asia Programme of ARTICLE 19). Copy-editing was by Dini Widiastuti. Proofreading was done by Joanna Hoare. The cover was designed by Mardiana Tukiran. ARTICLE 19 would like to thank the European Commission for providing funding for this study and six other baseline studies on freedom of expression and the media. These studies are parts of the project "Promoting and Protecting Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information in the ASEAN Region". We would also like to thank other donors who have contributed to this project: the Open Society Foundation, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bangkok and UNESCO.

"This project is co-financed by the European lnitiat ive for Democracy and Human Rights, European Commission. Opinions in this publication is fully the responsibility of ARTICLE 19 and Internews, and therefore do not reflect the official views of the European Commission."

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"This study was published with support from UNESCO. The ideas and opinions expressed in this study are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of UNESCO. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries. "

Freedom of Expression and the Media in Malaysia
Contents
1. INTRODUCTION..................................................................................... 5

2. RECOMMENDATIONS .......................................................................... 8 3. BACKGROUND ..................................................................................... 12 12 3.1. Government and Administrative System .......................................... 13 3.2. Ethnicity and Language .................................................................... 3.3. The New Economic Policy .............................................................. 14 15 3.4. Malaysian Democracy ...................................................................... 3.5. Political Parties and the General Elections .......................................19 4. INTERNATIONAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATIONS.......22 4.1. The Importance of Freedom of Expression ......................................22 24 4.2. Freedom of Expression and the Media ............................................. 25 4.3. Restrictions on Freedom of Expression ............................................ 4.4. Pluralism ........................................................................................... 26

4.5. Independence of Media Bodies ........................................................27 4.6. Freedom of Expression under the Malaysian Constitution ..............29

5. MEDIA SITUATION ............................................................................. 31 5.1. Print Media........................................................................................ 33 English...
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