SOLYMONE BLOG

'REVIEW THE ONCE-YEARLY NEWSPAPER PERMIT'

Kota Kinabalu: United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Organisation (Upko) proposed that newspaper publication permits be renewed every five years instead of annually, as is the case presently.
Its President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok made the suggestion in view of the predicament faced by the Catholic Herald, which is still waiting for its permit to be renewed by the Government.
Dompok said the country could not have democracy without the contribution of the media. He gave Indonesia as an example which practised freedom of the press whereby the print media was not required to apply for a printing permit.
"Even in Indonesia, a country which has a much younger democracy than Malaysia, the Press is much freer, he said at the "Upko with the Media" dinner at Grand Port View Restaurant, Sunday.
According to him, the Press in Sabah and Sarawak has relatively more freedom than their counterparts in Semenanjung. "I'm not saying the national Press is not free but there is self-censorship. In Sabah, people can read what others have to say like in the Sunday forum.
He lamented that efforts of local leaders in voicing out Sabahan issues at national level were interpreted by some as being devoid of national aspiration.
"But what we say is actually good for the nation as a whole. Because if one part is 'limping', (the country) could not function as a whole," he explained. "I appreciate the role of the Press," he said, adding that the media plays an important role in creating a change in the country for the better.
The event was organised by Upko Permanent Chairman, Datuk Herman Tiongsu. On hand were Upko Deputy President, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing, all the party elected representatives and Supreme Council members, as well as Sabah Journalists Association (SJA) President Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.
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