Move to cut ‘political’ equity in media bodies
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.