Essay: Freedom of expression legislation

Freedom of expression is a basic human right that is in its greatest importance for adequate function for a democratic nation (Freedom of Expression, n.d.). Media freedom is proportionally linked to freedom of belief and expressions, which is now considered as one of the fundamental human rights fixed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Press Freedom is the right to transmit thoughts in print without government censorship. Press freedom is vital int today’s community as it tends to perform crucial functions in our lives, seeking out then circulate news story, information, notion, comment and thoughts and holds those in jurisdiction to account (Press Freedom Why is it important, n.d.). Press and newspaper The press tends to act as a platform for mass voices to be perceived. It is said to be the public’s watchdog, activist, protector, educator, entertainer and contemporary analyst.
 
Uphold the truth, Abdullah tells the media. Media should not be fearful of honest reporting while upholding the truth and justice, stated by former Prime Minister Datum Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Sujata. V, 2008). Abdullah stated media must not feel sorry while transmitting the facts and added that an institution’s credibility relies on its power to stand by the honestly while making certain that fairness triumph. He added that communication technology channels can be both constructively and destructively as well as a tool in upholding principles of fairness while spreading only the truth. However, there are law restraining the Freedom of Expression of press in Malaysia and compromises freedom, namely Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 ( PPPA ).

Printing Presses And Publication Act ( PPPA ) 1984 is an act to regulate the use of printing presses and the printing, importation, production, reproduction, publishing and distribution of publications and for matters connected therewith. It replaced the Printing Presses Act 1948 and the Control of Important Publications Act 1958, revised in 1972.

The arrangement of sections was displayed with five parts, namely Preliminary, Licensing of Printing Presses, Permit to Publish Newspaper, Control of Undesirable Publications and Miscellaneous. The PPPA 1984 which was amended in 2012 consists of 27 sections.

PPPA was initially established by the British known as The Printing Ordinance of 1948. It was the earliest law controlling publishing and the operation of presses in Malaysia (“Printing Presses And Publication Act Law Constitutional Administrative Essay”). The statute was introduced to prevent the Communism movements which was seen as threatening the establishment and to obtain yearly renewal of publishing license for printing presses and newspapers.

Following the 1969 Sino-Malay sectarian violence, the British revised the Ordinance into an Act of Parliament, which was named after the Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) in year 1971 (“The History Of The Printing Presses And Publication Act Timeline.”). This act aimed to forbid provocation of racial sensitivities that might eventually leads to prejudicial national sensitivities. In achieving national developments, the government was given additional power to revoke newspaper licenses when the printing presses and newspaper seems to be detrimental to the nation or might provoke national sensitivities.

In spite of the objections, a major amendment took place in year 1984. The Home Minister has had the “absolute discretion” in granting and revoke a printing presses and newspaper licenses as well as restrict or ban outright publications which tends to endanger national security interest or create social unrest. An ouster clause was established in the year 1987 to stop actions of the home minister from being questioned by the courts (Kaur, 2011).

In year 2012, an amendment was made as PPPA was criticised as it was contrary to Article 10, Freedom of Expression in the Federal Constitution. It was further amended and was aimed at restraining the absolute power of the Home Minister (Anuar, 2015), which in comparison less strict as more freedom for press was given in this amendment. The amendments made are majorly to control the Home Minter’s absolute discretion is Substitution of Section 3 and Amendment of Section 6(1), the Cancellation of annual renewal in Substitution of Section 12, while Amendment of Section 13A by deleting the words “and shall not be called in question by any court on any ground whatsoever”, and Allows one to be heard in Substitution of Section 12B (Printing Presses and Publications (Amendments) Act 2012). In this amendment, what remains is that the Minister still has the ability to apply his control over the publications concerned as far as determining on the sustainability of permit is concerned. This act also gives the minister provisions in manipulating undesirable publications (Printing Presses and Publications Act, 1984, n.d.).

It has been quite a debate on whether there is a need for abolishment of Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 in order to achieve press freedom. The PPPA aim was to maintain the real news stories, form regulated press sector, as well as issuing legal guidelines to the journalist, some stated that the law enactment Paste your essay in here…

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