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Media plays key role, press freedom must prevail: CM
Published on: Wednesday, November 27, 2019
By: Larry Ralon
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KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, wants the media in Sabah to continue playing a pivotal role in ensuring that the State, in particular and Malaysia, as a whole, continue to progress for the benefit of all. 

“The role and function of the media is not only to ensure how best we can disseminate information, but also how best we can provide all the facts and figures, to positively mould the mind and perception of the people. So that the country will grow, the prosperity will be realised for the benefit of all and the nation at large. 

“It is indeed very important for us, not only the politicians but also the government, on how best we can work together to ensure that the people at large will be better informed, get the right factual information. 

“It is not that we want to force or induce them, but it is also very important how best we can unite them to have the same kind of mind, to build the country and unite the people at large,” he said at the Kinabalu Press Awards (KPA) held at the Magellan Sutera here Monday. 

Thanking the media fraternity in Sabah especially those who have been playing their roles greatly in disseminating various information to the community especially at the state-level, Mohd Shafie reassured that the new State leadership and State Government will continue to uphold freedom of the press. 

“I think it is not so easy to ensure how the process of democracy can prevail. (But) It is very important, it is our belief, under the new leadership and new government that press freedom must prevail. 

“There should not be a high-handed kind of governing the state where we stop people from disseminating information. Which is rightfully they need it to ensure that they get the right picture, they get the right information, to ensure that they need to move forward. 

“But it is equally important as well that they shouldn’t fabricate story, and we shouldn’t tell lie until it lead to destruction. At the end of the day I don’t think, when destruction or civil war do happen (due to fabricated stories or lies), I don’t think the media will be able to sell their papers too because there will be no people who can afford it. 

“So it is important that we play our roles in the right way so we can get the people in the right mindset. So it is indeed very important for all of us to play our role for the good of all,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Daily Express and Harian Ekspres bagged three awards and 10 merit awards at this year’s KPA, while its Kadazandusun section got two merits and its sister paper Overseas Chinese Daily News (OCDN) received seven merit awards. 

Daily Express won the Environmental Journalism Award (English) through its senior journalists Neil Chan and Leonard Govin Alaza’s story titled “Not Just A Flick Of The Switch: A Rural Community’s Experience In Generating Energy”, the Entertainment, Cultural & Arts Reporting Award (English) through another senior journalist Ricardo Unto titled “Making Malaysia No 1 For Latte Art” and the Journalism Award for News Stringers through Lorena Binisol with her story “Teaching Rural Youths To Utilise Land For Farming”.  



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