Move to cut ‘po­lit­i­cal’ eq­uity in me­dia bod­ies

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY TI­MOTHY ACHARIAM

KUALA LUMPUR: The gov­ern­ment is look­ing into re­duc­ing the eq­uity share held by po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in me­dia es­tab­lish­ments, said Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Min­is­ter Gobind Singh Deo.

He said many ques­tions had risen on the no­tion that the run­ning of me­dia com­pa­nies re­quires share­hold­ers with po­lit­i­cal back­grounds.

He said this would lead to news be­ing bi­ased to a par­tic­u­lar party.

“We are in the process of look­ing at whether we can limit the eq­uity share of po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in me­dia com­pa­nies to pre­vent this.

“What is im­por­tant is to dif­fer­en­ti­ate share­hold­ing and con­trol in such com­pa­nies. We are study­ing this. We need to en­sure that the re­ports pub­lished are not just neu­tral, but ac­cu­rate and re­flect the true pic­ture.

“Glob­ally, news re­ports shape the minds and the think­ing of the peo­ple, whether through elec­tronic or print me­dia. We are look­ing at how to im­prove this.”

Many me­dia com­pa­nies in the coun­try are owned by po­lit­i­cal par­ties such as Umno own­ing a sig­nif­i­cant stake in

Utu­san Me­layu Bhd and Me­dia Prima Bhd while MCA con­trols the Star Me­dia Group Bhd.

Gobind was an­swer­ing a ques­tion from Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai in the De­wan Rakyat on whether the gov­ern­ment would curb po­lit­i­cal own­er­ship in me­dia com­pa­nies.

Tan said this is to curb bi­ased re­port­ing, al­lud­ing to the fact that the main­stream me­dia had not given fair cov­er­age to op­po­si­tion par­ties dur­ing the Barisan Na­sional ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The main en­trance to Seri Per­dana.

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