Before 2018, journalism in Malaysia was a risky profession. There were direct controls on mainstream outlets across print and television. The party of the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), partially owned Utusan Malaysia, the largest Malay-language newspaper, which it used as a political tool. Journalists, bloggers and even one cartoonist who satirized Najib were arrested.
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