Censorship in Media: How much more free is Malaysian press one year on from the landmark elections?

How much more free is Malaysian press one year on from the landmark elections?

Let’s discuss this at our first ever Coconuts Colloquium in KL on July 26!

We look at how freely the press feels they can speak, how much self-censorship is still prevalent, and whether or not the upholding of the Anti-Fake News act affects everyday press.

After a discussion on the Rome Statute attended by the attorney general himself was investigated by police, can we really speak our minds?

Are religion-based topics more contentious, after police question book publisher who printed memoir on de-hijabing?

The panel will be moderated by Coconuts KL Managing Editor Jacqueline Raposo.

Free flow drinks and canapés will be served.



NUMAN AFIFI, President, PELANGI Campaign

Numan Afifi is the President of PELANGI Campaign, a youth-led LGBTQ advocacy group based in Kuala Lumpur. He previously served as the interim press officer to Minister of Youth and Sports, before consulting for a local UN agency. He now works as an independent public affairs and media consultant.


SHARAAD KUTTAN, Assistant Vice-President at Astro AWANI and host of “Let’s Talk with Sharaad Kuttan” a News and Current Affairs & Arts and Culture talk show

Currently the host of TV talkshow in Astro Awani, he spent many years as producer and presenter of a morning radio show with BFM89.9

He has been curating conversations on various platforms for the last 30 years.

He has co-edited a book on Singaporean cultural politics – “Looking At Culture” (1996) – and still writes on visual art and performance. He is a member of the International Art Critics Association (IACA).

He has a keen interest in political analysis and has had columns in various media. He contributed a chapter to the scholarly analysis of the local electoral system, “Elections and Democracy in Malaysia” (UKM Press).

He has a Masters Degree in sociology from the National University of Singapore.


GAYATHRY VENKITESWARAN, Assistant Professor, teaching media and politics at the University of Nottingham Malaysia, where she is also a PhD candidate

Her research focus is on media reforms in Southeast Asia. Prior to this, she was executive director of the Bangkok-based Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) for five years, working on press freedom and access to information in the region. Before joining SEAPA, she headed and was co-director of the Malaysian press freedom organisation, the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) for seven years, worked as a journalist and taught media history and journalism in a number of private colleges and universities. She has an MA (International Relations) from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Mass Communication from Universiti Sains Malaysia. She is co-editor of a book Myanmar Media in Transition, and co-author of a Southeast Asia Cambridge University Press series on media and politics in Southeast Asia. She has authored, among others, two reports on freedom of association and assembly online and freedom of expression and religion online in Asia for the Association for Progressive Communications, and other reports and articles on freedom of expression, press freedom and digital freedoms.


More details to come and panelists to be announced.


Venue: Alila Bangsar, Meeting room 2 & 3

Coconuts Colloquiums are always free for all COCO+ Members, non-members can purchase tickets through Eventbrite here.