As part of a three-day visit to Asia, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will hold bilateral talks with the Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah today (3 January) and reiterate the UK’s support for the new government’s reform agenda. Both ministers are due to discuss close cooperation on foreign policy issues including the UK’s relationship with ASEAN and action to support Rohingya refugees.
The Foreign Secretary will also hold meetings with the Malaysian Minister of Communications & Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo and media practitioners to discuss strengthening media freedom and combatting disinformation.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
The UK is leading international efforts to support and protect media freedoms. At a time when these freedoms are increasingly under threat across the world, I applaud the new Malaysian government for the positive commitments and early steps it has taken. Lifting travel bans on journalists and moving to repeal laws that restrict media freedom demonstrate an intent to support journalists in their vital work and foster a free press.
Later this year I will be hosting an international conference in London on media freedom, which will bring together countries like Malaysia, and mobilise consensus behind the protection of journalists and the environment they operate in.
At the meetings, the Foreign Secretary will offer the UK’s support, through the sharing of experience and expertise to help upskill the Malaysian media and announce that the UK will deliver a programme for Malaysian journalists focusing on investigative journalism.
While in Kuala Lumpur the Foreign Secretary is also expected to call on the Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and will attend a roundtable with businesses.