THE Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V’s support of the proposed law to curb fake and defamatory news in social media shows His Majesty’s concern for the people and his desire for them to refrain from such immoral activity, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
“I am pleased that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has expressed his stand on this matter to stem the circulation of fake news,” Bernama quoted him as saying after launching the Malaysia Fintech Expo 2018 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here yesterday.
Sultan Muhammad V, in his Royal Address at the opening of the first meeting of the sixth session of the 13th Parliament yesterday, expressed support for the law in light of the gripping influence social media has on the values and culture of society.
Dr Salleh said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who is leading the committee to look into laws to curb fake news, added that the final draft on the Bill could be presented to the Cabinet in two weeks’ time.
It was reported that representatives from the ministry, police force, Attorney-General’s Chambers, National Security Council, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Legal Affairs Division attended the first meeting on the matter in January this year.
Azalina was also quoted as saying that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also agreed that the committee would include NGOs and MPs to ensure the Government’s efforts in tackling the issue would receive support from various parties and through consultations with stakeholders.
MCMC chief operating officer Datuk Dr Mazlan Ismail was reported to have said that the current punishment meted out to curb the spread of fake news was no longer effective as a deterrent to offenders.
He said the current fine of RM50,000 or a jail sentence of up to one year, or both, was insufficient to stop offenders from committing such crimes.
He said the people need not worry when the law would be enacted as it would be used to protect them from the threat of fake news.
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