Malaysia Media Regulation by Sharmila Ramanathan

The proposal focuses on self – regulation based generally on the Consent Code which provides an insight for analyzing the development of Malaysian legislation, cyber politics and implementation and practices of Malaysian media players. Self – regulation is practised in  harmonizing digital intellectual property, market power, content values and culture diversity.


As for what should be regulated in journalism, the main concern is that the regulation in the media is not as transparent as they should be when reporting news, there must be a line whereby the reported news should be unbiased with political agenda or propaganda. This is said because “media ownership in Malaysia is carefully regulated and foreigners are reminded to keep their hands off the local politics” (Azizul 2006) Major newspaper companies and broadcast media are owned by Malaysia’s political wing that rules the government (lecture slides 2013)

As recently announced by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak at the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) to regulate online media as the government cannot practice double standards when it comes to regulating the print and online media. (Cindy, 2012)

However, this act is yet to be seen 18 years later as online media has more freedom as compared to traditional media.




Personally, I think self-regulation is better than government-regulation, as it leaves less space for government to monopolize or dominate the market place. The media should self regulate with more power and control over what should be on the media. A media watchdog compromising representatives from all media is one way of self regulation.


 In conclusion, although self-regulation is better than government regulation, the fact still remains that the government here is still the controlling power of what can and cannot go in the media with its Content Code. In addition the use of the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 is a powerful government tool to regulate the media. (Laws of Malaysia 2006) Hence, I personally feel this act should be repealed and replaced with self regulation body.



Cindy, L., 2012. Malaysia : Online Media to be Regulated Soon? Available online: (Assessed 3 April 2013).

Syed, A & Zulhamri, A & Md, S., 2011. THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE MALAYSIAN MEDIA LANDSCAPE IN SHAPING MEDIA REGULATION. Available online: (Assessed 3 April 2013).

Media Policy Debates; Self Regulation in Malaysia (the ‘it’policy) accessed from elearning lecture 5 slides, accessed 3 April 2013

Laws of Malaysia; Printing Press and Publications Act 1984. Accessed online from viewed on 3 April 2013

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