One of the cited justifications for the 19 September 2006 coup d’etat in Thailand was for the return of true democracy following years of backslide under deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
“So,” writes Thepchai Yong, group editor of The Nation Multimedia Group, “as we are working on political reforms in conjunction with the drafting of a new constitution, abrogating the 1941 Printing Act should be at the top of the agenda.”
The antiquated law gives the police licence to curb the media, so much so that these police staff are actually termed “press officers”. They may censor and halt publication and revoke licences of newspapers over content that are deemed to “disturb peace and good morals”.
The government should pay heed to the urging of the Thai Journalists Association and other media groups for the antiquated law to be replaced with a media-friendly bill drafted by members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), argues Yong. Find out more here.