Despite the criticism levelled against him relating to press freedom, Dr Mahathir says he believes the media has a big role to play in a democracy because information is necessary in order for people to make informed decisions. He believes it’s important for people to get their information from various sources. For example, don’t just read the English papers, which he says is more curtailed, but also the vernacular press, which for some reason or another, is freer in its reporting.

There are licensing requirements in this country but the government cannot simply take away that licence without a valid reason. If the government abuses its power by making use of that law to stifle opposition and prevent people from speaking the truth, the country will not do well, he says. The role of the media is both deep and important, says Dr M, because it equips the people with the necessary information to do the right things in life.