KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Negara passed the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 on Tuesday (April 3) with a majority voice vote.
Dewan Negara president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran announced this, saying that the Bill was passed after 17 senators spoke during the debate session.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who tabled the Bill earlier, said during the winding-up of the debate that the government's move to introduce the law would not restrict freedom of speech.
She said the law was only aimed at checking the dissemination of fake news.
She said that despite the existence of several relevant laws, it had been difficult to effectively control the dissemination of fake news due to the rapid and complex development of information technology.
Azalina added that the Bill would provide a clear message that the government would not compromise on the dissemination of fake news which could be detrimental to the country.
The Dewan Rakyat passed the Bill on Monday (April 2) with two amendments, replacing the word “knowingly” with “maliciously”, and reducing the maximum jail term from 10 years to six.
The Dewan Negara will sit again on Wednesday (April 4). - Bernama
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