Refrain from stocking up 3R issues, says DPM

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi advised all parties to exercise self-regulation when posting or touching on the 3Rs issues, namely royalty, religion and race, as too many news items on such topics are being turned into controversies across various platforms today.

He further emphasised the importance of refraining from reckless writing and reflecting deeply on the implications, considering Malaysia’s diverse ethnic, religious, and racial makeup.

“Because these 3R matters are being heavily debated and politicised, we must be aware of the sensitivities surrounding them.

“In my view, there should be a balance. There’s no need for legislation; instead, we should exercise self-regulation, particularly among writers. They ought to convey their thoughts carefully instead of writing recklessly about anything that comes to mind,” he emphasised.

He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the National Writers Union Malaysia (GAPENA) complex and hosting an Aidilfitri gathering with writers in the capital yesterday, attended by about 500 guests, including literary figures.

Queried on Malaysia’s current 107th position in the World Press Freedom Index 2024, as published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) last Friday, Ahmad Zahid, acknowledged the direct impact of the 3R elements on Malaysia’s current standing.

He suggested that the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Higher Education should strive for better practices to improve media freedom, with writers or individuals disseminating sensitive issues to the Malaysian public exercising self-regulation.

Ahmad Zahid also pointed out that Malaysia cannot benchmark itself against other countries without considering the unique sensitivities of its diverse ethnic and religious demographics, as well as the institution of the monarchy.

“In my opinion, this should be understood by the Malaysian society above all,” he said. — Bernama.