KUALA LUMPUR--Malaysian legislators will soon debate a plan by the ruling coalition to ease decades-old restrictions on newspapers.
The planned changes to the Printing Presses and Publication Act are part of Prime Minister Najib Razak's pledge to improve civil liberties and media freedom.
Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop tabled the proposed amendments in Parliament on April 18. They include removing a requirement for newspapers and magazines to renew their government-issued publication licenses each year.
Media activists nevertheless say the changes are insufficient because the Home Ministry can still determine whether a license is granted in the first place.
Officials can also revoke publication licenses, but the amendments allow publishers to appeal such decisions in court.
Parliament is expected to approve the changes this month.
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