Malaysia considers the development of information and communications technology (ICT) as a vital factor of the general Vision 2020 (for Malaysia to achieve developed country status by the year 2020). The fundamental rights that affect media and the individual include freedom of expression, freedom of the individual and freedom of assembly. As early as 1985, Malaysia’s fourth prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir pronounced that the press ought to act in a socially capable way and help with advancing national solidarity. In the 90s, government control over the standard print and electronic media was fortified, again for political and money related security. Resistance and remote media were limited as far as their flow and through lawful limitations.
Traditional media is any type of mass communication accessible before the appearance of computerized media. This consists of TV, radio, newspapers, books, and magazines. Media regulation is the control or guidance of mass communications by governments and different bodies. This regulation, by means of law or systems, can have different objectives, for instance, intercession to secure an expressed “open premium”, or empowering rivalry and a powerful media advertising, or setting up normal specialized guidelines. Media direction is a delicate system that requires various aptitudes and different techniques on a case-to-case preface. A part of the system can be formal while others are more easygoing.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is an administrative body and its key part is the control of the interchanges and interactive media industry comply with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (1998) and additionally the Content Code. The Ministry of Home Affairs places individuals from Film Censorship Board inside every TV slot in Malaysia in particular Media Prima, RTM, TM Net and Al-Hijrah. Individuals from the Censorship Board are not set inside Astro as Astro is classified under satellite TV which puts it out of the Ministry’s direction scope. Movies that are communicated in the silver screen should be re-sent in an alternate configuration to the Censorship Board division for screening before it is communicated on TV to maintain a strategic distance from any progressions being made by the film wholesalers. All communicating media stations in Malaysia must acquire their permit from MCMC with a specific end goal to manufacture correspondence framework and communicate content. MCMC consequently will screen if any of the communication media ruptures their permit condition in light of open objections.
The Communications And Multimedia Content Forum Of Malaysia (CMCF) will oversee content without anyone else direction in accordance with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code. The Content Code will set out rules and methodology for good practice and norms of a substance spread for open utilization by specialist co-ops in the interchanges and sight and sound industry. The Content Code will exhibit a dedication toward self-control by the business in consistency with the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA 98). It will try to recognize hostile and frightful substance while explaining the commitments of substance suppliers inside the setting of social qualities in this country. The Content Code will give the stage to imagination, development and sound development of a quickly evolving industry.
All communicate stations in Malaysia will get their licenses from MCMC and all film wholesalers will apply for an endorsement from Lembaga Penapis Film (LPF) for their movies to be communicated. For the situation Free-to-Air stations, movies would be screened and blue-penciled by the LPF’s individuals inside the station. Protestation by the general population after a film is communicated will be checked by the MCMC for rupture of the permit condition.
Current media regulation for traditional media in Malaysia have always been constructing reality and each media construct different versions of reality which plays according to the tune of the media owners. With the rise of the new media, the reading public now has a different source of information about existing realities. This analyzed the different agendas of the new and traditional media. Four printed newspapers and four online newspapers were selected for my presentation. A content analysis of the different media was carried out and the findings indicate that the different media projects different agenda. The constructed agenda reflect the prevailing philosophy the owners of these media. The four printed newspaper that is placed under the lens for scrutiny is Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, New Straits Times and The Star. The four internet news media that were examined are Harakahdaily, Maklaysiakine.com, Malaysiatoday, and MBakriMusa.com.
Due to the evolving nature of online web content, the researches felt that selected time would reflect the most current information that is being published by a particular webpage. With the continuous updating of stories appearing on Harakahdaily and Malaysiakini.com, they were agreed to code only stories that were published on the same day. This is because both newspapers published both today and yesterday news on any particular day. Coding of items in both online newspapers is done using published datelines that appear together with the news stories. Stories that have yesterday datelines will not be coded again to avoid double counting of items. In the coding of items published in Malaysia Today, the researches have decided not to code news items that were obtained from other online resources. The publisher had decided that coding such items will amount to double counting because the items were sourced from another website so they only coded articles that were personally written by Raja Petra Kamarudin. The same method was employed to content analyzed items appearing on MBakriMusa.com. The analysis of the various media reveals similarities between the different constructed agendas. With the knowledge about the philosophy groundings of the various media, they will be able to comprehend why these media have chosen to promote the constructed agenda.
Apart from that, traditional media are heavily legally restricted, this shouldn’t be a surprise because these media are not under the purview of the same owner. Unlike the new media, the owners of the traditional newspaper owned by people who are linked to the ruling coalition. The legal framework for the traditional media is as restrictive as a corset. The Sedition Act of 1948, which makes agitative actions a punishable offence, must be mentioned here, along with the historical note that in reaction to the uprising on May 13th 1969, merely questioning and challenging the abolition of constitutional articles which allow certain special privileges for ethnic Malays and other indigenous groups amounts to agitative action in the eyes of the government.
In Singapore, in spite of having a close imposing business model of media possession, media investigation by the government has been significantly more extraordinary. In his as of late discharged diaries, Lee Kuan Yew has made it obvious that Western-style libertarianism is not an appropriate model for Singapore to take after. The official restriction is after production, and should any hostile productions show up, the distributor may need to review all duplicates appropriated. Our law of defamation is basically out dated. Canada has recognized the defense of responsible journalism long time ago while United Kingdom had for a long time recognized the defense of innocent dissemination (Defamation Act 1996) and recently a new defense of “truth, honest opinion and publication on a matter of public interest” (Defamation Act 2013). The United States had given privilege or protection to Internet Forums (Communications Decency Act 1996), and Australia had renewed its defamation law in its Uniform Defamation Act 2005.
Back in the 1980’s, mainstream media was mostly controlled by the government. Foreign media was also heavily restricted and were hard to come by. However, with the launching of the Multimedia Super Corridor in 1994 ; the ICT vision, it was compulsory that Malaysia would have to make some changes to its media regulations. That is why in a push towards privatization, it was decided that telecommunications and television should be privatized in the mid-1980’s. There are several factors that contributed to this, the first one being Malaysia wanting to keep up with the growing international economy in the wake of globalization. Another factor was also the increase in demand for learning and working opportunities in the ICT industry. Malaysia was also one of the first countries in the world to implement laws covering ICT, known as cyber laws. It began to be implemented in early 1999.
The law covers a huge variety of cyber activities such as digital signatures, computer crimes, copyright, telemedicine and development of communications and multimedia. The government also recognized the importance of implementing self-regulation in the industry from the recommendation of industry practitioners. Self-regulation occurs when an industry enforces rules or standard operating procedures concerned with ethics. These procedures are mandatory for individuals working in an industry to follow. If fail to do so will usually result in the person being fired or blacklisted. Despite self-regulation being a very effective means of maintaining control in the media industry, it is a very exhausting and complex process. It is not only enormously different to how most mass media operations function, it is also impossible to apply a certain type of self-regulation to all forms of mass media. Additionally, self-regulation is only a functional concept if the people properly uphold it. Prime Minister Mahathir back then was practical to recognize the need for self-regulation in the media industry. He understood the importance for the government to work closely with the industry to stay up to date on industry development issues. It also helped maintain national goals and commonly accepted national values such as patriotism, racial unity, and harmony.
Malaysia also decided to implement a ten-point Multimedia Bill of Guarantees, this made sure that the Internet will not be censored by the government. The reason for this was because the government had voiced their intentions of wanting to allow the Internet to flourish, despite the concerns of the Internet being used as a method of communication for government critics. In spite of that, countless efforts have been made to make Internet access available to everyone from all walks of life to encourage local content development. Because of the Bill, the creation of online magazines and newspapers supported by both the government and opposition have dramatically increased over the past few years. In conclusion for this point, it is no surprise that media regulations have changed dramatically over the past few decades. We should be thankful for said regulations which allow us to freely view and browse content from all over the world with minimal restrictions. Our lives would not be the same if not for the wise decisions of certain individuals.
Traditional media have a high chance of becoming outdated in the future due to the rise of new media and technology because the new media will be more convenient compare to the traditional media. New technologies have developed so quickly that executives in traditional media companies often cannot retain control over their content. Therefore, media regulation for traditional media most likely will not improve in the future in our opinion.