IPOH, May 28 — The Malaysian Media Council Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament in March next year at the latest.
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said his ministry was currently at the final phase of drafting the bill before conducting engagement sessions with media industry players.
“We will forward the draft to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for review and then it will be brought to the Cabinet. After the Cabinet approves, it will be tabled in Parliament.
“We expect it to be as early as October when Parliament is in session or at the latest in the first session in 2024, around March,” he said at a media conference after the National Journalists’ Day (Hawana 2023) main event that was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim here today.
He said that after the bill was tabled and approved, the following Hawana celebrations could be managed and conducted by the Malaysian Media Council in line with the prime minister’s intentions.
Fahmi also said his ministry was studying issues related to advertising expenditure brought up by media practitioners during previous engagement sessions.
“I have received some initial framework on mechanisms used by other countries. But to review and adapt it to the local situation, I expect we can form a taskforce for a more comprehensive engagement process.
“After that process is complete, we can bring a draft on it to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, followed by the Cabinet,” he said, adding that he hoped that industry players would continue giving ideas and suggestions to realise that effort.
On the initial RM1 million funding for Tabung Kasih@Hawana announced by the Prime Minister, he said that it would bolster efforts by his ministry to continue to engage journalists who face health and financial issues.
“I really do understand the situation they face. Besides financial aid, there are other aspects we can look at, for instance, helping them find a new career or how they can benefit from the digital economy to survive,” he added.