PETALING JAYA: The Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 is meant to protect the public, says MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
He said he had dealt with many cases of fake news in the course of his work.
“In a lot of these cases, there are some warning signs that point to the news or picture or video being fake, but people still fall for it.
“We have to be more observant,” said Chong, adding that no one benefits from the sharing of unverified news. “Fake news can really destroy somebody’s reputation. So you have to think twice before sharing something that is not verified.”
Overall, Chong said, the Bill is meant to protect people.
“It is trying to curb fake news. We should be happy about it,” he said.
MIC vice-president and Dewan Negara senator Datuk T. Mohan said the Bill is “timely” as there has been an increase in fake news.
“People would hide behind a fake profile and post whatever fake news they can with the tech we have.
“They can doctor photos, take old stories and edit them, the list goes on,” he said. “It is often difficult to discern what is fake or true on social media.”
“The victims will be the people who forward the news. So my advice is to please check before forwarding news,” Mohan added.
However, Lawyer and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran said Malaysia has existing laws such as the Communications and Multimedia Act that can address fake news offences.