Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also says that the media and government should work together on how to resolve challenges faced by print and electronic media in the wake of alternative media

PUTRAJAYA: A proposal to tax Google and Facebook advertisements will be presented to Cabinet, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“I will bring this matter to the Cabinet for discussion tomorrow,” he said today.

He said this proposed tax was brought up at a lunch dialogue session with editors and publication permit holders, reported The Star Online.

The suggestion came from Star Media Group group managing director and chief executive officer Wong Chun Wai, who pointed out that Vietnam imposes a tax on ads posted on Facebook and Google.

Zahid said that the media and government should work together on how to resolve challenges faced by print and electronic media in the wake of alternative media.

He also raised the issue of self-regulation in the media industry, saying one way would be the setting up of a council or appointing ombudsmen.

Last year, the Home Ministry issued one stern warning letter, two warnings, 14 reminders, 44 advisory and four show-cause letters for violations under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984.

Revisiting the PPPA

Zahid also said that the Home Ministry will gather views and opinions from media practitioners in the country to identify the suitability and relevance of the PPPA.

He said this was necessary following the entry of new media.

“We will revisit the Act and collect suggestions from the media practitioners nationwide. Although the act has been amended, we need to study if the current act is suitable or relevant based on the current situation.

“If the act is still relevant, what can we do to improve the guidelines? And if it is not relevant, what are the mechanisms that we can use to empower the media and printing industry?”

“That’s why we will open our doors for any suggestion and we give chances to the chief editors, editors and other media practitioners to give their feedback.

“We will discuss on the pros and cons of the Act,” he said.

He also launched the #mediacouncil to gather suggestions from the media practitioners.

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