Self Regulation in Malaysia?


Does media regulation need to be always keeping pace with the media development? In my opinion, I think it is needed to depend on what kind of issues. For example, racial and religious are the controversial issues that Malaysia media has agreed to stay away in order not to create hatred and chaos among the public. However, there is “media ethics and self-regulation are complicated by the different performance standards that mass media operations establish for themselves.” (Ramanathan, Ivan & Kaur n.d.) The self-regulation is actually abided to the “Communications and Multimedia Content Code (Content Code) which is a set of industry guidelines for the usage and/or dissemination of content via the electronic networked medium for public consumption.” (The Communication & Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia 2011) As a matter of fact, Malaysia government has been seriously focused on laws and regulations to the extent of content restriction and limit of creativity on media field. The content codes which have been set up are infused the boundaries of print media, radio, internet and others media that actually making too much guidelines for them to follow.

For example, there was a case that a journalist from Malaysia’s National Union insists “that newspapers be allowed to regulate themselves through an independent media council that will ensure ethical journalism.” (Boo, 2011) Personally I think the government should have give some space for the journalist to regulate themselves especially on what kind of issues needed to be interfere or not to be interfere. Hence, this could be a win-win situation for the journalist and government to decrease disputation and also beneficial for them to know how to disseminate the news to the public in a right time with right words. To conclude, I think certain issues have to be controlled by certain regulation could minimize the risk of society in chaos situation. Hence, media regulation or self-regulation has its advantage and disadvantage upon specific issues. 


Alsagoff, SA, Abdullah, Z & Hassan, MS 2011, ‘The growth and development of the Malaysian media landscape in shaping media regulation’, Global Media Journal – Malaysian Edition, vol.1, no.1, pp32-55.

BOO, SL 2011, ‘Journalist union insists on self-regulation’,The Malaysian Insider, 16 May, viewed 3 April 2013,

Ramanathan, S, Ivan, LSC & Kaur, K n.d., ‘Media Regulation, Re-regulation and Self Regulation in Malaysia and Singapore: A Comparative Analysis of Current Status, Needs and Trends’, viewed 3 April 2013,

The Communication & Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia 2011, viewed 3 April 2013,


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