Published on Saturday, 24 August 2013 21:58
The Upper House Bill Committee has decided to push for the amendment to a controversial legislation that was drafted by the Information Ministry after discussing the issue with MPs at the Upper House on August 23.
The move came from the committee of Myanmar's Upper House of Parliament said in a report that an entire section of the controversial Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill, approved by the Lower House in July, needed to be cancelled and amended. They were discussing the bill during a parliamentary session in Nay Pyi Taw on August 19.
The press bill is the fourth pillar after three powers of administration, jurisdiction and legislation and it is directly related to the public. For that matter, it is the law that should be written with awareness, said MP Khin Maung Latt from Rakhine State Constituency No-6.
The MP representing Rakhine State added that there were 32 sections in the whole bill. Of them, sections 4 and 5 were the most unacceptable for media people. There were two parts in the section 5. The second part says, 'If a party who receives the certificate of registration is found to have been accomplishing the work contrary to the provision of this law, then, the Minister may revoke or terminate his or her certificate for a specified period.' This part was deleted by the bill committee and he supported that. But he would like to see the first part be cancelled as well.
The first part says, 'If a party who receives the certificate of registration is found, in any manner to have been applied for registration ticket with dishonest intention or deceitful intention, then, the Minister may revoke or terminate his or her certificate for a specified period.' I think that it is unnatural provision because the registration must be thoroughly scrutinized since applying for it, said the Rakhine State MP.
Instead of revoking the registration ticket as to the section 5, heavy fine system should be practiced. I proposed that the ministry should fine K 2 million to the media enterprise if found violation of the law, added the Rakhine State MP.
Today, a publisher can publish three to five journals at the same time. For instance, if a journal violates the existing law, it should be only revoked or terminated, but not other remaining journals. But the section 19 in Chapter 6 says, 'No one shall print, publish or distribute any publication or initiate news agency undertakings once the certificate of registration is revoked or suspended for a specified period.' The phrase 'No one' can hurt the publication of other journals by the media boss. In this situation, the words 'No one' should be deleted,” said the Rakhine State MP.
MP Khin Maung Yi of Ayeyawady Region Constituency-6 said that the ministry must issue the certificate of recognition to the applicant according to the section 6 and it mustn’t be denied. But in presenting the application to the upper level to get the certificate of recognition, there must be a particular official and department. Therefore, it is required to designate a sub-department supervised by a director level official.
The provision of the section 6 in Chapter 3 was unclear. The position of the person having the authority to issue out the certificate of recognition should be described.
Apart from the press bill, media bill, broadcasting bill and public service media bill will be submitted one after another to the parliament. If all these bills are formed in a single bill, it will be conformity with international norms, said Lower House MP Min Oo.
The Bill Committee decided the press bill for hearing back following the discussion about the process of changing the bill by 7 MPs at the Upper House parliament.
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