PM assures media freedom after NST, The Edge controversies

PM assures media freedom after NST, The Edge controversies

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob refuses comment on both matters, claiming lack of information

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has assured media practitioners that freedom of the press will continue to be preserved under his administration, despite recent events surrounding news publications New Straits Times (NST) and The Edge.

Ismail Sabri also assured that the government will not interfere in the impartiality of the press.

“We (the government) will not interfere. The media have the freedom as long as the reporting is accurate and credible,” he said when asked to comment on the contentious circumstances faced by journalists and editors in the two publications.

However, when pressed further on alleged political interference in the NST and criminal charges laid against The Edge’s editorial leadership over their reporting on alleged manipulation in the penny stock markets, Ismail Sabri said he is not in the know.

“I have not yet read the news on the matter, I will only comment once I have full information on those issues.

“Not fair for me to comment on matters that I do not have the full information on,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said this to reporters after attending the Malaysia Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020 Appreciation Ceremony at Majestic Hotel here tonight.

Yesterday, The Vibes had reported that Lokman is slated to be axed as NST group editor following alleged political interference from Umno bigwigs, namely former second finance minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.

Rauf has denied his involvement, saying he was not involved in any way or form in the appointment and dismissal of key personnel in NST and its parent company Media Prima Bhd.

Lokman’s replacement, Farrah Naz Karim, a journalist who formerly served NST as its associate editor, is presently an executive editor at its parent company Media Prima.

In the case of The Edge, the publication’s former editor-in-chief, Ahmad Azam Mohd Aris, was charged with two counts of criminal defamation and had claimed trial to both charges at the Petaling Jaya magistrates’ court.

The publication’s contributing editor, Shanmugam Murugasu, who is currently overseas, was also jointly accused in one of the charges, but was granted a discharge not amounting to acquittal pending his return to the country.

The charges were filed under Section 500 of the Penal Code on defamation, which carries a prison sentence of up to two years, or a fine or both.

source – The Vibes

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