KUALA LUMPUR: Government measures to curb the spread of fake news are not an effort to curtail the freedom of Malaysians to use the Internet and social media, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).
The Deputy Prime Minister said this was done to ensure that the public was not fed with fake news and information.
"Malaysia will hold its 14th General Election in three weeks and this is the time which some label the 'crazy season'," he said, adding that the people will be inundated with all sorts of information.
"The country has seen too many fake news flying back and forth, which is certainly not the best way to progress," he said in his speech before closing the Putrajaya Forum entitled "Recalibrating Regional Security Architecture" held in conjunction with the Defence Services Asia and National Security Asia exhibitions here on Tuesday.
"Fake news is harmful to the country and it is the responsibility of the Government to neutralise the danger it poses," added Dr Ahmad Zahid.
"Please bear in mind that it is not a tool to silence government critics, neither it is meant to curtail the freedom of speech and freedom of the press," he said.
He added that the measures would also educate the public to be responsible Internet users instead of fake news mongers.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said in the context of national security, the rapid emergence of new technologies and in increasing threat in cyberspace.
"It raises the question of how far the security and defence establishments should evolve and respond.
"These are among the major challenges that defence and all security agencies have to deal with now and for many more years to come," he said, adding that cyber threats are at the top of many governments' list of concerns