Demand for Free Access to Media and for Open Debate During the 13th G.E.

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Demand for Free Access to Media and for Open Debate During the 13th G.E.

This petition had 758 supporters

Malaysians for Beng Hock started this petition to Dato' Seri Najib Razak (The Prime Minister of Malaysia)

Demands :

We, the undersigned citizens of Malaysia, call upon the Barisan Nasional caretaker government to immediately meet our following demands:

1) Ensure that all political parties have free and fair access to state-owned media such as RTM and Bernama. The opposition must be given sufficient air time and coverage to present their policies and due opportunity to rebut criticisms.

2) Ensure that a series of at least 12 televised debates on key policy areas affecting the people, including democratic rights, economic reforms, labour and human capital, race-based politics, public welfare, a civil service overhaul, free education, culture and religion, transportation reforms, foreign policy, Sarawak and Sabah issues. In addition, special sessions need to be conducted for the smaller political parties.

3) Give privately owned media the assurance that there shall be no retaliation against those that give equal coverage to all contesting political parties.

要求:

1. 确保所有的政党获得政府支助媒体自由与公平的报导,包括国营电视与广播电台及马新社,必须给予反对党足够的报导以宣传它们的政策及拥有反驳指责的机会。

2. 确保至少12次的电视辩论,涵盖政策领域如民主权利、经济改革、劳工和人力资本、 种族政治、 公共福利、 整顿公共服务、 免费教育、 文化和宗教、 公共交通改革、外交政策、沙巴及砂拉越议题等。除此,必须为较小的政党准备特别环节。

3. 给予所有民营媒体保证,若给予参选政党公平的报导,将不会遭到秋后算账。

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Full text petition :

Dear Prime Minister of Malaysia,

We, the undersigned citizens of Malaysia, are appalled at the announcement on 22 March 2013 by the Minister of Information, Communications, and Culture, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, that all political parties would each be given 10 minutes' air time on the state-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) to present their election manifestos after Parliament was dissolved.

The decision actually is against the 22 recommendations made by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms that were passed in Parliament on 3 April 2012. The sixth recommendation clearly is for "all campaigning parties contesting in elections to get fair and free access to the media."

The promise of electoral reforms came after a massive popular rally in the country, which was Bersih 2.0 on 9 July 2011. Close to 100,000 people took to the streets that day to get the government to meet their eight demands, including that for "free and fair access to the media" as many would recall: "...BERSIH 2.0 calls on the EC (Election Commission) to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama, to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all political parties."

Ignoring the people's demand and the Parliamentary Select Committee's recommendation would show that Barisan Nasional is against the fundamental principles of democracy and be seen as contempt of Parliament.

The absence of free and fair access to the media apparently has a serious impact on the opposition as they do not have a level playing ground to compete with Barisan Nasional, which has blocked their access to the state-sponsored media for over five decades. This has eroded people's confidence in the electoral process, which is seen as unfair and partisan, and could lead later on to popular opposition to any election outcomes against the people's expectations.

On this eve of the 13th general election, therefore, we call upon the Barisan Nasional caretaker government to immediately meet our following demands:

1) Ensure that all political parties have free and fair access to state-owned media such as RTM and Bernama. The opposition must be given sufficient air time and coverage to present their policies and due opportunity to rebut criticisms.

2) Ensure that a series of at least 12 televised debates on key policy areas affecting the people, including democratic rights, economic reforms, labour and human capital, race-based politics, public welfare, a civil service overhaul, free education, culture and religion, transportation reforms, foreign policy, Sarawak and Sabah issues. In addition, special sessions need to be conducted for the smaller political parties.

3) Give privately owned media the assurance that there shall be no retaliation against those that give equal coverage to all contesting political parties.

Media reform is vital in every democracy, what more in a country where the top leader himself had vowed to build "the best democracy in the world." Whichever alliance wins the 13th general election, the incoming government is urged to immediately set up a parliamentary select committee on media freedom and to implement within 100 days the recommendations adopted.

Free our media!

 

Jointly initiated by :

1.      Aliran

2.      Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)

3.      Civil Rights Committee of KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

4.      Kumpulan Aktivis Media Independen (KAMI)

5.      Kumpulan Kartunis Independen

6.      Malaysians for Beng Hock (M4BH)

7.      Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)

8.      Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

完整请愿信:

敬致马来西亚首相纳吉拉萨:

我们,下述签署的马来西亚公民,对于新闻、资讯和文化部长拿督斯里莱斯雅丁于2013年3月22日宣布感到震惊,他表示一旦国会解散,所有政党可在国营电视台发表10分钟大选宣言。
 
莱斯雅丁的宣布实际上违背国会选举改革遴选委员会于2012年4月3日通过的22项改革建议,第6条建议清楚注明“所有参与选举的政党必须获得媒体公平和自由报导”。

政府是在净选盟于2011年7月9日发动大集会后许下选举改革承诺,接近10万公民走上街头参与大集会,要求政府落实八大要求,包括“获得媒体自由与公平报导”,内文提及“净选盟2.0促请选举委员会施压所有媒体,包括国家支助的媒体机构为国营电视与广播电台及马新社,给予所有政党均等与客观的报导”

国阵政府违背公民的要求和国会选举改革遴选委员会的建议,显示国阵违背民主原则,藐视国会。

缺乏自由与公平的媒体报导,将会对在野党带来严重的影响,因为他们无法获得与国阵公平竞争的机会,尤其在过去50年国阵都禁止在野党使用国营媒体。这种不公平及偏颇的做法已削弱人民对选举的信心,倘若选举结果与人民的期望有极大落差,将可能引起群众强烈反弹。

因此,在第13届大选前夕,我们要求现任国阵看守政府马上落实以下要求:

1. 确保所有的政党获得政府支助媒体自由与公平的报导,包括国营电视与广播电台及马新社,必须给予反对党足够的报导以宣传它们的政策及拥有反驳指责的机会。

2. 确保至少12次的电视辩论,涵盖政策领域如民主权利、经济改革、劳工和人力资本、 种族政治、 公共福利、 整顿公共服务、 免费教育、 文化和宗教、 公共交通改革、外交政策、沙巴及砂拉越议题等。除此,必须为较小的政党准备特别环节。

3. 给予所有民营媒体保证,若给予参选政党公平的报导,将不会遭到秋后算账。

媒体改革对民主制度至关重要,更何况国家领导层已誓言打造“世界上最民主的国家”。无论任何联盟赢得第13届大选,我们吁请新政府立刻成立国会媒体改革遴选委员会,在100天内落实媒体改革建议。

还媒体自由!

发起团体 :
1.      国民醒觉运动(Aliran)
2.      独立媒体中心 (CIJ)
3.      隆雪华堂民权委员会
4.      独立媒体运动分子组织 (KAMI)
5.      独立漫画家组织
6.      全民挺明福运动
7.      雪兰莪社区自强协会(Empower)
8.      维护媒体独立撰稿人联盟(WAMI)
9.      拯救砂拉越河流网络(Save Sarawak Rivers Network)

Petition Closed

This petition had 758 supporters