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Malay Mail

MELAKA, May 29 — Malaysian journalists today unanimously called for the group to be given space to deliver authentic and balanced reports, in accordance with the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

This was among the five points of the Melaka Declaration 2022, read by the Berita Harian acting group editor, Datuk Ahmad Zaini Kamaruzzaman, at the highlight of the National Journalists Day (Hawana) 2022 celebrations here, today.

The declaration was then handed over to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, by Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) editor-in-chief, Khairdzir Yunus, accompanied by Broadcasting Department director-general, Datuk Che Roslan Che Daud and Star Media Group chief content officer, Esther Ng.

Accompanying them were Sin Chew Daily editor-in-chief, Kuik Cheng Kang; Sinar Harian Group editor-in-chief, Rozaid Rahman; Tamil Malar Daily managing director, Datuk M. Periasamy; Media Prima Television Networks head of News and Current Affairs, Kamaruddin Mape, and Ahmad Zaini.

The declaration stated that in preserving and elevating the dignity of journalism, media personnel should be given the freedom to carry out their duties as well as possible, without hindrance or restriction from any party.

“In this way, journalists can prepare reports that uphold the values of integrity, as well as being relevant and accurate,” it read.

The declaration also stated that trustworthy and responsible journalism is an important asset in the development of the nation state.

“Therefore, journalism must maintain its function and role to monitor the conduct and governance of the country, so that the administration operates with integrity in all aspects,” it said.

Through the Melaka Declaration 2022, journalists also pledged that accredited media organisations should work together to combat the spread of fake news that could tarnish the good name of individuals, organisations and the government.

“The Internet expedites the process of delivering news and information. Social media has a huge influence on today’s society.

“Therefore, social media can be misused to spread fake news and information that is deliberately generated to grab the attention of Netizens and to become hot or trending issues,” stated the declaration.

The declaration also called on journalists to uphold the Constitution and the Rukun Negara Principles, because they were a part of the nation-building process and contributed to fostering inter-racial harmony and national unity.

Apart from that, the Melaka Declaration 2022 stated that as the bedrock in driving the direction of the country, journalists had a role to play in ensuring that integrity becomes a practice of national governance.

“This can thwart practices associated with abuse of power, breach of trust, corruption and malpractice in Malaysia,” it added. — Bernama

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