23 October 2007

Malaysia’s worst-ever ranking in RSF worldwide press freedom index - could be even worse!

Taken from Lim Kit Siang`s article on his blog.

In the latest worldwide press freedom index released by Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Malaysia scored two “worsts” – the sharpest plunge of 32 spots from 92 to 124 placing, which is also Malaysia’s worst ranking in the RSF annual worldwide press freedom ranking since it was started in 2002.
In the past six years, Malaysia had been ranked poorly in RSF’s annual worldwide press freedom index –

RSF Worldwide Press Freedom Index (Malaysia)

2002 - 110 (out of 139 countries)
2003 - 104 (166)
2004 - 122 (167)
2005 - 113 (167)
2006 - 92 (168)
2007 - 124 (169)

Last year, when Malaysia jumped 21 spots to 92nd ranking from the previous year’s 113rd position, the New Straits Times crowed:

“This is the best ranking that the country has achieved since the global media watchdog first introduced the Index in 2002, when we came in 110th. In fact, this is the first time the country has scored higher than all the other Asean countries. Last year, we were fourth, and the year before were fifth.”

The New Straits Times today did not report the 2007 RSF worldwide press freedom index released yesterday and Malaysia’s worst ever ranking and plunge.
This year, Malaysia cannot make the same claim of scoring higher than all the other Asean countries, as we are behind Cambodia (85) and Indonesia (100) while in the Asia-Pacific region, we are behind Taiwan (32), Japan (37), South Korea (39), Hong Kong (61), Timor-Leste (94), Bhutan (116) and India (120).

Malaysia is one of five of the 169 countries which had suffered the worst plunge as compared to last year’s RSF worldwide press freedom index, dropping by 32 places.
Malaysia’s drop and placing for this year’s RSF 2007 worldwide press freedom index would have been worse if the shocking development that the Prime Minister does not want to hear the truth from the media and the public had been taken fully into account.
Can Malaysians expect a response from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself to the shocking plunge and placing of Malaysia in the RSF 2007 worldwide press freedom index in view of his earlier pledge to show greater respect for press freedom as compared to the previous administration?

Malaysia’s worst placing in the RSF 2007 worldwide press freedom index joins a lost list of indicators that all is not right with Malaysia on the occasion of our 50th Merdeka anniversary – that while we should be proud of our national achievements, we have greater reason to be concerned about our many national failings

Warong Kopi Comment;

Welll Mr Lim Kit Siang, If you really want to talk about the press freedom in Malaysia by referring to this press freedom index done by Reportes Without Borders (RSF), at least with due respect and truthfulness please do write about Singapore too since you and your DAP comrade are really into everything about them including an article by Ronnie Liu, who talks about a statement done by “who else other than Singaporean top honcho Lee Kuan Yew”.

Here you are; RSF Worldwide Press Freedom Index (Singapore) and how they
generate the index from

2002 – Not included
2003 - 144 (166)
2004 - 147 (167)
2005 - 140 (167)
2006 - 146 (168)
2007 - 124 (169)

Press freedom or freedom of speech will mean nothing to the public or rather than a potential threat to the stability of society, politics and even economy if there are no mediums of control or kind of censorships board plays their parts. Especially during our time of internet technology just at our fingertips whereas anyone even a small kid able to write anything and publish it on their web blogs.

Last but not least, the index is just a mere presentation of reports done by an NGO in France, talk about validity and reliability; I would leave it to our maturity to judge it since the index should in no way be taken as an indication of the quality of the press in the countries concerned as claimed by themselves .

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