Press freedom: How low can we go?


If you thought Malaysia’s press freedom ranking was already bad, think again.

Singapore has surpassed Malaysia in the latest RSF global ranking for 2010. Singapore! Now Singapore may have made great strides in terms of material progress but press freedom is not exactly its forte.

Singapore is now ranked 136th (133rd in 2009) – ahead of Malaysia’s 141st (131st in 2009). That’s about the same as our football Fifa ranking of 144th place!  What else do you expect when even a cartoonist can be arrested?

The ‘democratic’ nation of Brunei, at 142nd, is now breathing down our necks. 

Timor-Leste remains the freest in Asean at 93rd (but down from 72nd), followed by Indonesia at 117th and Cambodia at 128th.

Do you know, almost all Asean nations dropped in their ranking. Has the region taken a repressive turn for the worse?

The countries with the freest presses are Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in joint top spot.

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When we express our thoughts and minds as individuals, we meant something as individuals, good or bad depending on the recipient’s perception. But when the masses express something in unison, good or bad, the Gomen must sit up and take note. Listening to the public is not a hard work, not a burden since the Gomen is elected by the people, for the people, and not for Kang Taus. It is a must for any caring Gomen to listen first with BIG EARS. So why is it so sensitive of the Gomen not to want to listen to the people… Read more »


What is even more worse, Now He is issuing a threat.

Kamal B

“Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya,” so declares Prime Minister Najib Razak when he was frantically beating the war drums at the 61st Umno general assembly.

Defending Puterajaya at all cost?

Let democracy works.

Ostrich K

The mainstream press are actually the newsletter of BN component parties.

semuanya OK kot

No way we will allow Singapore to pip us in the race to the bottom.


Press freedom is never free, not in this bolehland. Other than boleh in breaking all world records in Governing the nation for wrong reasons, the only Tak-boleh is press freedom.
C’mon, don’t we all know already. Its all their say, whichever and whatever ways, its still their ways..period. This nation heading for doomsday if these same ppl continues to managed the nation.


The emerging of Utusan Perkasa means we have press freedom for S…, S…, S… in print.


Complain, complain, but never act ! Those guys who can afford to run for election or have the network, or could fund someone from the background but don’t will be blamed if Pakatan turns into BN or BN wins again . . . We need more choices of candidates and cannot depend on any political party which will serve their own interests. Run for election yourself, then rubberstamp the below ideas into reality : Coordinate yourselves though, make such you know which constituencies are you from otherwise 2 independent 3rd Force candidates will be fighting for the same vote… Read more »


This might be the main and number one reason as to why the alternative media keeps on rising.


Why read mainstream press when they only report what BN wants you to know?

Abang Adek

So, did RSF take into consideration and compute into their index the anti-media stance of UMNO and the DAP? Both parties are fascist anti-free media outfits. All these two parties care about is to look good. And damn the media that does not play ball with them. UMNO damns Malaysiakini while DAP damns NST and Utusan. Likely had RSF imputed these actions into their calculations, Malaysia would have dropped even further down the rankings.


When rating nose dived it spell that the government of that nation is hiding something and bad management.
MALAYSIA is one nation that hids all its bad practices be it right from the PM to a simply civil servant that is a road sweeper all is not well .


press freedom should also concern the kind of policing and govt control of free speech. 101. Singaporeans have produced some writing on Why cant Asians think or why Asians are not like “westerners’. But these do not assess the kind of oppressive laws of Asian govts like Singapore and Malaysia that criminalise free speech and kills thinking. People are not allowed to live curious.

Foo Wy Len

How low can we go? Well we are JUST 141 and Burma ranks 178 right? So obviously we still have a long long way to the top haven’t we?


Press freedom always takes a hit when the economy is not doing well in Asia.


I am sure some smart-alec minister or even the Information Minister will come out publicly saying “Who cares about such ranking ! Malaysia is different” or something like that.

As always, denial or burying one’s head in sand while the world moves forward, seems to be the standard response from our public officials.


dont worry about press freedom. technology is changing everything. what can the government do? the government wants to suppress press freedom lagi the press becomes free.
Anil , Nowadays there is so much new technology. Twitter lah, face book lah, on-line press lah, sms lah, fax lah, skype lah,the whole range of mobile phones lah etc etc.

What can the government do? Put every one in ISA lah!

lagi the kerajaan suppress press freedom lagi the rakyat bengang dengan kerajaaan!


We can help to achieve press freedom by not buying local mainstream newspapers. Let the circulation go down further. Read The Sun by all means since it is FOC and Nades/Terence are doing a good job anyway.

We can read news from internet (Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today, Malaysia Insider) or watch Astro’s CNN/BBC/CNBC/CTV (especially now we have to pay 6% service tax).


Ever heard ‘ From dust thou come to dust thou shall return ‘ ?


I think Malaysia is freer than Singapore. Just check the Singapore blogosphere on this and they report that newspapers free and paid ones do not report both sides of any story, just the government’s version. In recent days the government used Temasek Holdings to force Blogsite Temasek Review to close shop. Please check the criteria for this ranking.


I think you might be confusing inefficiency of persecution with freedom. What might look to us like selective prosecution here might actually be haphazard. Besides, this report is about ‘press freedom’ which is meaningful. Opinionated ne’er-do-wells on the Internet is not meaningful. That’s why a few whining people on the Internet will never change anything until that old guy walking down the highway with no shoes in the mid-day sun has an iPhone. If you print something it will be read and read again, no matter whether it’s subscribed to by post, bought from a news-stand, comes wrapped around your… Read more »


Malaysia is behind Singapore in economy. Now it is even behind in press freedom. Anymore reason not to move to Singapore?


Singapore only need talented people.


I stopped buying newspapers more than two decades ago.

Ostrich K


You have saved almost RM9K.

You can reward yourself with a cuti-cuti Malaysia.


Woi, press freedom debates must stop, not tomorrow or the day after, but now.


Malaysiakini is barred from covering Umno general assembly. Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor pretended to show that Umno is democratic and open, so he promised access to Malaysiakini reporters. But the person-in-charge in the media hall is instructed to do the dirty work of barring Malaysiakini reporters. Umno actually doesn’t want Malaysiakini to cover the AGM. Ini semua wayang, lah. Whether Malaysiakini covers the AGM or not makes no difference: it’s all talk, grand statements, slogans and in the end, delegates go home and things go back to normal. Umno won’t change because Umno culture is so deeply rooted… Read more »