A Call To You: Free The Nation by Freeing the Media

While the nation’s attention is drawn to Sabah and Sarawak on possible sea-change party politics, I would like to draw yours back to the larger picture of democratization and one of the most vital legal-institutional changes needed – media law reform.

A memorandum calling for media law reform was launched on May 3 2008 (World Press Freedom Day). It has three simple demands: (a) a parliamentary select committee on media law reform (the terms of reference is being drafted by civil society with the help of Human Rights Committee of the Bar Council); (b) the shelving of the Printing Presses and Publications Act until the select committee completed its task; (c) the enactment of Freedom of Information laws at both federal and state levels.

A Walk for Media Freedom was organized on June 1 to garner more momentum for a five-month campaign to pursue goals listed on this memorandum.

The aim is simple: to show that Malaysians are serious about media law reform, the memorandum will be presented with signatures collected to the national leadership (from both sides of the divide) on August 31 and to the state leadership (of all 13 states) on September 16.

Why August 31 and September 16? Because we cannot have a free nation without a free media, we want to remind the political leaders that the struggle of national independence is not complete until the media is free.

We cannot do this without your support. The memorandum carries more weight with more names. We aiming moderately at 1,000 by end of June and at 5,000 by end of August.

If you believe in the free nation Malaysia should be, you can make it possible by endorsing the memorandum on this website: http://benar.org/endorse.asp. We would require your NRIC (so, you have to be a Malaysian) but only your name (with your consent) would be published on the web.

We wish that you would endorse and consent the publication of your endorsement (which would encourage your friends to do so) and help publicizing this campaign via your blog, podcast and emails.

For bloggers, kindly publish this image on your blog:

Some hand written signatures collected earlier may not have yet been updated online. If you do not find your name there, feel free to re-register again. (We would avoid double-entry when updating the names from the hard-copy signature list.)

Many thanks for your support. We can’t thank you enough.

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

**
The memorandum and the campaign are sponsored by five groups:
Benar for Free and Fair Media (Benar),
Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ),
Charter2000-Aliran,
National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs)
Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

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