Wednesday April 15, 2009
Rais warns of legal action against errant private groups and bloggers
By BEH YUEN HUI
KUALA LUMPUR: The Information, Communications, Culture and Arts Ministry will use a “diplomatic approach” in dealing with private media corporations and bloggers.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the ministry preferred to take follow-up efforts than legal action against those who have violated the laws.
He said they, however, have to act against the hardcore perpetrators.
“Those who have broken the laws have to face legal action. If we do not act on them, it is the fault of the administration.
“But I stress that using legal action will be our last resort,’’ he said.
He told reporters this yesterday after taking over duties from Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who has been appointed Youth and Sports Minister.
Dr Rais, who is the former foreign minister, said he would study the current circumstances and find ways to work closer with private media groups and bloggers.
For this, he said a seminar on the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998 would be organised for journalists and bloggers.
The seminar will enable them to know the dos and don’ts under the acts, he said.
He said combining information and communications under one ministry would enable better efforts in enforcing the two laws.
“We want them to know that we have to take action if something happens,’’ he said, adding that the Bar Council would be invited to help organise the event.
Dr Rais also called on the private broadcast media stations to be pro-active in helping to develop the society and country.
He said some private television and radio stations had failed to adhere to laws that required them to play patriotic songs.
“Most of them are more concerned in making profit,’’ he said.
Dr Rais, who was the information minister from 1984 to 1986, said he would look into the contents of programmes provided by RTM and do the necessary rescheduling to attract more young viewers.
Must air songs, but will they censor it?