Malaysia profile - Media

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Image caption A range of political opinions are found on the internet

Malaysia has some of the toughest censorship laws in the world. The authorities exert substantial control over the media and can impose restrictions in the name of national security.

The government is keen to insulate the majority Muslim population from what it considers harmful and foreign influences. News is censored, and entertainment output can fall foul of the authorities.

A Sedition Act poses the biggest threat to journalists, says Reporters Without Borders.

The TV sector comprises state and private networks and pay TV. TV3 is the leading national private, terrestrial broadcaster.

State-owned Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) operates two networks. Private stations broadcast in Malay, Tamil, Chinese and English.

Private TVs have close ties to the ruling National Front coalition, while state outlets reflect government views, says US-based Freedom House.

Newspapers must renew their publication licences annually, and the home minister can suspend or revoke publishing permits.

Around 21 million Malaysians were online by 2016 (InternetLiveStats).

News websites and blogs offer a range of opinions that are absent in traditional media, says Freedom House. Social networks host lively debates about politics and government policy.

The press


Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Newspapers must renew their licences annually


News agency/internet