I will ensure gov’t respects press freedom: Teo Nie Ching

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching (pix) will ensure the government will respect press freedom and recognise the important role played by media practitioners in the country.

Teo, who is also Kulai MP, said in line with the aspirations expressed by Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, she will help detail the establishment of a Media Council to ensure the industry can be regulated and will remain free from any political influence.

“We (Teo and Fahmi) hope to set up a professional Media Council so that it can regulate the media industry and ensure that there is no politically motivated interference,“ Teo said.

“The Minister (Fahmi) and I are old friends. I intend to help him towards ensuring that media freedom will continue to be strengthened.”

Teo said this after taking her oath of office as deputy minister before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara here today.

Earlier, Fahmi was reported to have said that he needed to get details regarding the proposed establishment of the Malaysian Media Council from media industry players, especially journalists’ associations, besides giving an assurance that press freedom and the welfare of media practitioners would be given priority.

The proposal for a Malaysian Media Council was mooted at the inaugural celebration of the National Journalists Day (Hawana) in 2018.

Meanwhile, Teo said she will also ensure that fake news does not continue to spread.

“The threat of fake news is a threat that is happening around the globe. All parties need to play an important role. As the deputy minister, I will ensure it will not threaten the country’s democracy,‘ she said.

Teo, who is with Pakatan Harapan (PH), contested in the 15th general election for the Kulai parliamentary seat and went on to win with a majority of 36,023 votes.

She became an MP for the first time when she won the Serdang parliamentary seat in 2008. She contested in Kulai in 2013 and has held the seat till today.

The 41-year-old Teo, who hails from Batu Pahat, Johor, served as its assistant national publicity secretary from 2008 to 2011 and DAP’s international secretary in 2017 before being appointed as the party’s national publicity secretary this year.

She was also the former Deputy Education Minister under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration from July 2018 until February 2020. - Bernama