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Gobind Singh Deo named Minister of Communications and Multimedia

Minister Communications Multimedia Malaysia

The new Malaysian Government has just revealed its full cabinet lineup. Taking the helm of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry is Gobind Singh Deo, the Member of Parliament for Puchong. The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to take place next Monday, 21 May.

Gobind, who is also a lawyer by profession will replace Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak which held the Ministerial position since 29 July 2015. Salleh Said Keruak lost his parlimentary seat of Kota Belud during the 14th General Election.

Pakatan Harapan had promised in their manifesto (Page 62) to repeal laws that restrict press freedom in Malaysia including the recently gazetted Fake News Act 2018. Their election manifesto states the following:

“Pakatan Harapan Government will ensure that media has the freedom to check and balance our administration. We will review all laws and regulations related to the media so that media freedom is guaranteed. We will also take steps to improve the independence and professionalism of entities such as Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and BERNAMA.”

“The Pakatan Harapan Government will also set up a Media Council, comprising media figures, which will be responsible for developing and implementing a code of ethics on reporting and functions as a hisbah body (ombudsman) for public complaints.”

The new Government will revoke the following:

  1. Sedition Act 1948
  2. Prevention of Crime Act 1959
  3. Universities and University Colleges Act 1971
  4. Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984
  5. National Security Council Act 2016
  6. Mandatory death by hanging in all Acts.

They also plan to abolish draconian provisions in the following Acts:

  1. Penal Code 1997 especially on peaceful assembly and activities harmful to democracy
  2. Communications and Multimedia Act 1998
  3. Security Offences (special measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA)
  4. Peaceful Assembly Act 2012
  5. Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) 2015

You can read the full Pakatan Harapan manifesto here.

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Alexander Wong