Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


The Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA), the second most powerful party in the ruling coalition, bought two major Chinese-language newspapers. Leading editors were replaced with MCA-favored journalists. This further consolidated state control of the news media. That control is systematized by the annual issuance of government licenses for print and broadcast media. Authorities sometimes do not renew licenses for opposition media outlets. Political news and editorials in the main private newspapers strongly favor the government. Until the recent buyout, Chinese language publications offered fairly balanced coverage. Several Malay-language papers are pro-opposition. The Sedition Act and the Internal Security Act restrict criticism of government policies. State-run Radio Television Malaysia is the major broadcaster and mainly provides pro-government views.