The National Democratic Force (NDF) announced on August 4 that their Members of Parliament will discuss and support the Media Bill drafted by the Press Council (Interim) if the bill is brought before the Parliament.
“We cannot ignore the Media because it is one of the pillars of Democracy. It will be sensible to promulgate a law drafted by journalists. This is the reason behind our support”, said Daw Khin Wine Kyi, Upper House MP of NDF.
Starting August 4, the journalists have been collecting public signatures in support of bill. Since, only Union-level officials and organizations can put forward bills in the Parliament, the journalists are preparing to put the bill forward through an MP.
Kyaw Min Swe, the General Secretary of the Press Council wrote on his Facebook page that a Lower House MP and an Upper House MP have already offered to put forward the bill to the Parliament.
The Press Council (Interim) invited 23 political parties to Saturday’s meeting held at the Yuzana Hotel in Yangon seeking suggestions on their plan to put forward the Media Bill in the Parliament.
But major political parties, the NDF, the National League for Democracy and the Union Solidarity and Development Party did not attend the meeting. The statement issued by NDF on August 4 expressed regret for not attending the meeting.
Kyaw Min Swe said, “I do not claim that the bill we have drafted is perfect. It might have weak points, but I can guarantee that we drafted the bill with complete honesty. It is not for our self-interest, and we drafted it as fairly as we can.”
There is a disagreement between the Information Ministry and the Press Council regarding the Information Ministry's insistence to promulgate a separate ‘Internet Law’ for electronic media. The Press Council is of the opinion that every media person has to use electronic devices, so the ‘Internet Law’ for electronic media is unnecessary.
There are four Lower House MPs and one Upper House MP of NDF who support the Media Bill.