2007 is merely 9 days away but I was alerted by friends working in the media that none of the Chinese newspapers have received their KDN permit.
Every year, the Home Ministry will keep the Chinese newspapers in great suspense by delaying the issuance of permits.
What is so difficult for the Home Ministry to issue the annual printing and publication permits? Is this one of the tactics employed by the Home Ministry to intimidate the Chinese media?
Malaysians by now should know that almost every single English and Malay newspapers in the country are directly owned and controlled by Umno or MCA. Majority of the Chinese papers are owned by pro-establishment tycoons who are connected to MCA and other Barisan Nasional component parties. But these papers are relatively having more freedom in reporting news if you campare to the Malay and English ones( The Sun is an exception). These Chinese papers were subject to tight scrutiny of the Umno-led Government and the chief editors of these Chinese dailies often receive calls and directives from ministers or senior officials. They were often asked to tone down or even black out certain news and issues. The recent exaample was the toll hikes. Najib has forewarned all media not to highlight the issue before Samy Vellu announced the new toll fees for the 5 highways in Klang Valley the next day. Samy told the reporters not to ask any questions throughout the press conference. They just have to report what he has got to say.
Little wonder that most of the mainstream newspapers in the country now only print news that their political masters wanted you to read. More and more people are now going to the Net instead of waiting for their morning newspapers.