The freedom of the press in Malaysia is guaranteed by the constitution. But in practice, the freedom of press, expression and speech are restricted. Political discussion in the media did become more frequent after the 2008 elections, but many private television stations are closely tied to the BN and practice self-censorship. The Printing Presses and Publications Act requires publishers to annually renew their license; this procedure can be used to revoke a license with no judicial process if published content is deemed "likely to be prejudicial" to public order, morality, security, or national interest, thus providing strong incentive for self-censorship and limited investigative journalism. Lately, the internet has emerged as an outlet for dissenting views and opinions.
However, the government has been quick to react to this new trend by pressing charges, on grounds of defamation, against bloggers.