Press freedom: Malaysia up, Singapore down

Xinhua News
29 Oct 06

Malaysia has improved its ranking in the 2006 World Press Freedom Index by notching up 21 places, Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) said Friday.

TI-M is pleased with the impressive improvement, said its president Ramon V Navaratnam. He noted the country currently stands at 92nd place out of 168 countries and regions surveyed by the Reporters Without Borders.

It indicates the climate of transparency and accountability was evident in Malaysia in the past three years, resulting in a freer and less stifled press and media, said Ramon in a statement.

However, he said Malaysia could perform better if there were continuous efforts to eradicate the social menace of corruption.

“There is much room for improvement and TI-M calls on the government to urgently review all legislations that restrain press freedom with a view to loosening, if not repealing any outdated laws,” said Ramon.

Top priority should be given to reviewing the annual licensing requirements imposed on newspapers and media in general, said Ramon.

TI-M is an independent, non-governmental and non-partisan organization committed to the fight against corruption. It is registered with the Registrar of Societies Malaysia and is the accredited National Chapter of the Berlin-based Transparency International.

(See World Press Freedom Index for Singapore’s ranking.)

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