The Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee has told lawyer-turns-minister Zaid Ibrahim in no uncertain term that
“The State now bears the primary burden of removing legislative curbs which have artificially impinged the natural position of freedom, restraints which were introduced by the State itself. Any sincere attempt to “de-regulate” the media and society must therefore start with an overt offer by the Government to review or repeal the said laws. It must also be accepted that the existing criminal and penal legislations in force are sufficient to regulate the media as with other actors in society. “
Endorsing the “Memorandum on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information” sponsored by Center for Independant Journalism (CIJ), Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), Benar and All-Blogs, the Committee also offers its expertise and assistance in drafting the Terms of Reference for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Media Law Reform.
Thanks a lot!
The committee stresses that “the law is not the problem but a considerable problem, and the State cannot be heard to shift the lumber of restraints it created onto the media, without meeting the legitimate demands of civil society.”