KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 -- The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) has attained impressive achievements in 2019 in assuring media freedom, transitioning national broadcaster Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) into the digital era, and enhancing the country’s digital connectivity through 5G.
Its minister, Gobind Singh Deo said Malaysia moved up 22 places to 123rd among 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index, proving that there is room for press freedom in the country.
“Malaysia was ranked 145 in 2018. Under the Pakatan Harapan government, media organisations and practitioners have more freedom to do their jobs,” said Gobind on the ministry’s achievements in 2019, uploaded on his Facebook account today.
The repeal of the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 on Dec 19, was also in line with the government’s commitment to ensure media freedom, he said.
Apart from that, Gobind said a survey commissioned by the Reuters Institute revealed that RTM was the most trusted media organisation in Malaysia, ahead of Astro Awani, NTV7, and TV3 News.
“A total of three new talk shows have been introduced including ‘Pastikan Sahih’ which aims to share true information and to curb fake news circulating on social media,” Gobind added.
He said in October 2019, RTM had also switched from analogue to digital broadcasting, marking the beginning of a new era in the country’s broadcasting industry.
The MyFreeview digital TV platform now offers 14 TV channels including TV1, TV2, TV3, NTV7, TV AlHijrah and Bernama TV, as well as six radio channels.
Credit : Gobind Singh Deo Facebook
More interestingly, Gobind said, RTM, for the first time, became the sole terrestrial station to broadcast the 2019 Rugby World Cup, 2019 Copa America, live broadcasts of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the 2019 Philippines SEA Games.
As for the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), he said the national news agency, which was established in 1968, also underwent a series of transformations. Among others, Bernama Radio is now known as ‘Stesen Berita Bisnes Anda’ aimed at bringing the latest business news including discussions centered on entrepreneurial development.
“Bernama TV has introduced 12 new programmes covering a broad range of issues and current news with content focusing on the younger generation. Bernama also won two awards at the World Brands Foundation's BrandLaureate Brand Icon Leadership Awards recently,” he said.
In another development, Gobind said the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), a five-year plan with an estimated cost of RM21.6 billion, was launched on Sept 19 and aimed at providing sustainable, comprehensive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity.
Under the NFCP, Gobind said approximately 4.14 million premises across the country would have access to high-speed broadband services through the fiber optic network while 213 new communication towers will be built including 100 in Sabah and Sarawak.
Streamyx subscription fees have been reduced to RM69 per month from the previous package price of between RM110 and RM160.
“Special offers for persons with disabilities (PWD), including discounts between RM10 and RM15 for selected prepaid and postpaid mobile services, and a 50 per cent discount (from RM120 to RM60) for new registrations on the .my domain from Jan 1, 2020.
To prepare for 5G implementation, Gobind said RM50 million had been approved under the 5G Ecosystem Development Grant aimed at promoting more digital application pilot projects.
He said the National 5G Task Force has submitted its mid-term report on July 29 last year and the final report on Dec 18 with recommendations to implement strategies for 5G technology and ecosystem.
The 5G Testbed initiative was initiated in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya to test the feasibility and effectiveness of 5G technology, Gobind said.
Touching on cybersecurity, he said CyberSecurity Malaysia has been recognised by the Interpol, an intergovernmental body to encourage cooperation among police forces around the world in developing the Interpol Global Guidelines for Digital Forensic Laboratories.
That apart, among other achievements were the courier and postal services under Pos Malaysia with the introduction of the ‘Address for All’ initiative in rural areas including Sabah and Sarawak.
“The initiative is aimed at ensuring that delivery of letters, packages, and government aid can be implemented effectively. Last year, 948 house addresses were successfully registered,” he said.
In line with the development of e-commerce, Gobind said Pos Malaysia has introduced two online shipping platforms namely Pos Laju SendParcel and Pos Rider.