JAKARTA: Ikatan Setiakawan Wartawan Malaysia-Indonesia (ISWAMI) Indonesia is always ready to collaborate in sharing information with journalist associations in Malaysia to realise the proposed establishment of the Malaysian Media Council.

ISWAMI Indonesia president Asro Kamal Rokan said that the formation of the council is crucial to ensure the welfare of journalists and the quality of produced news is at its best, in addition to ensuring the freedom of the media.

“In regard to media freedom (in Indonesia), legal actions (like lawsuits or arrests) cannot be taken directly against the journalists without going through the Press Council (Media Council) for discussion and assessment of the issue first. This is because the council is formed by the law.

“That’s what we want our media colleagues in Malaysia to implement as well. In fact, we have also discussed this matter with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during the last HAWANA (National Journalists Day) celebration,” he said during the ISWAMI dinner meeting with 15 Malaysian journalists in the Jejak Serumpun ISWAMI programme, here on Monday.

The dinner meeting was also attended by the Minister in the Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia Hairul Reaza Haroun Al Rashid, The Jakarta Post editor-in-chief Taufiq Rahman, Indonesian Journalists Association chairman Hendry Ch Bangun, and Kumparan editor-in-chief Arifin Asydhad.

During the dinner meeting which lasted almost two hours, the Malaysian delegation was exposed to various topics and challenges related to the journalism world, particularly involving both countries, including the history of ISWAMI, the political landscape in Indonesia leading up to the 2024 General Election for the Presidential Election (PILPRES) and legislative members.

On the Jejak Serumpun ISWAMI programme, Asro said the involvement of young journalists in the programme is considered important to rejuvenate the Malaysia-Indonesia journalism forum, fostering innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability in advancing the evolving journalism institution.

“Alhamdulillah, now the younger generation of journalists has started covering the PILPRES and the National Press Day (HPN) 2024, and this needs to be continued. If ISWAMI was founded by ‘senior’ media leaders from Indonesia and Malaysia, then indeed, this forum should be continuously rejuvenated,” he said.

Yesterday, 15 journalists from various Malaysian media organisations arrived in Jakarta for the Jejak Serumpun ISWAMI programme, which will run until Feb 21.

ISWAMI is a Malaysia-Indonesia journalist forum established in 2003 as a bridge for media relations between Malaysia and Indonesia, playing a role in building prosperity between the two neighbouring nations. - Bernama

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