Malaysia's press freedom ranking plummets in 2024 report

RSF report: Malaysia's ranking drops 34 spots due to media restrictions

MUKHRIZ MAT HUSIN
MUKHRIZ MAT HUSIN
03 May 2024 08:58pm
Malaysia falls in world press freedom index. - FILE PIX
Malaysia falls in world press freedom index. - FILE PIX
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SHAH ALAM - Malaysia's press freedom ranking has dropped significantly in the 2024 World Media Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The country now sits at 107th place, a steep decline of 34 spots compared to last year's 73rd position.

The report reflected a decline in Malaysia's score from 62.83 points in 2023 to 52.07 points in 2024.

This placed Malaysia as the second-worst-ranked country in Asean for press freedom, following Thailand at 87th.

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) issued a statement blaming government restrictions on media coverage for the decline.

According to CIJ, the report highlights filtering and blocking transmissions or content deemed sensitive regarding race, religion, and royalty (3Rs).

The statement further slammed government efforts to censor sensitive topics and hinder critical reporting.

"Online censorship persists despite the media landscape's shift to digital platforms.

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"This reinforces taboos surrounding the 3Rs and restricts journalists' ability to address issues of public concern," CIJ said.

CIJ urged the government to address these issues and improve Malaysia's ranking.

"Malaysia must strive for a press freedom environment that fosters ethical journalism and eliminates the culture of fear and intimidation," the statement added.