Anti-Fake News Bill seeks high punishment for offenders (Updated)

  • Nation Premium
  • Monday, 26 Mar 2018

PETALING JAYA: Under the proposed Anti-Fake News Bill, the dissemination of fake news on social media and any other medium could land you with a fine and in jail. 

According to a Frequently Asked Question sheet about the Anti-Fake News Bill make available to The Star, offenders will see a higher punishment that includes a fine and imprisonment. 

It said the Anti-Fake News Bill is needed as a deterrent to send the message that every individual is responsible for sharing real and verified news.

It said the proposed bill indicates that the Government will not compromise with the dissemination of fake news that can threaten the security and harmony of the country. 

It added that the bill is needed because the current Penal Code, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 are not sufficient to cope with the complex nature of the spread of fake news in this technological era. 

Among the new elements in the Anti-Fake News Bill includes the allocation of extra territorial applications, which means the Government is legally allowed to exercise authority beyond Malaysian borders.

The bill will also have an interim measure to restrict the dissemination of fake news while probe and prosecution of a case is underway.

It said Government will appoint the Courts as a neutral party to decide the authenticity of the disseminated news by due process of law. 

The Courts will also have to power to order the removal of any publication that publishes fake news. 

On whether that the Anti-Fake News Bill will restrict freedom of speech, it said the Government views the allegation as a political motivated move. 

“There is no law drafted and approved by Parliament that is intended to restrict the freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” it said. 

It added that bill was drafted in accordance with the power of attorney as provided in paragraph (a) of Clause 2 Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.


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