Bangkok, September 16, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists
welcomes Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's vow to abolish the Printing
Presses and Publishing Act, and urges his administration to follow through with
additional press freedom-related reforms.
On Thursday, during an Independence Day national address, Najib vowed to dismantle two harsh security-related laws--the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance--and ease legal restrictions on civil liberties, including the right to assembly, international press reports said. He has also vowed to abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act so that newspapers do not have to reapply annually for permission to publish. The Home Ministry previously had sole discretion over whether to renew newspapers' operating licenses, and its often arbitrary decisions could not be legally appealed.