Most Malaysians read and listen to information that has been censored and filtered by the government. Clearly, there is a tight relationship between the press and the political parties in the ruling coalition. The party-owned media get to control the media and this allows them to have the power to decide on the scope and nature of the media content. This makes it difficult for the journalist as they are merely a part of the government’s propaganda machines and not professionals performing their duties to the best of their abilities. This situation also makes it hard for the citizens to exercise their rights to information and the right to make informed choices (Wang L. K 2001).
The government controls the media by imposing laws and acts to constraint the content of each media. These laws not only instill fear among the journalists, but also prevent media professionals from practicing investigative journalism and from playing any role as the guardian of truth (Wang L. K 2001). The laws include Internal Security Act (ISA), Official Secrets Act (OSA) and the Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) (Gan, S 2002). According to Gan in the ABC media report, Malaysiakini represents a concept of independent media, which trouble the government a little. The website says a lot about the government finding it hard to come to terms with the new media and with internet media, and now it is an environment where the government is losing complete control on truth.
Gan, S 2002, Virtual democracy in Malaysia: Putting press freedom in the front burner, Nieman Reports, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 65-67, viewed 21 October 2008,<http://www.waccglobal.org/de/content/pdf/636>
The Media Report, Paul Toohey; Youth Media Week; Malaysia Media; Byron Bay Echo, ABC Radio National, viewed 13 November 2008,
Wang L. K 2001, Media and Democracy in Malaysia, the Public, Vol. 8, Issue 2, p. 67-88