Media can report what they like, says Dr M

Make sure it’s real: A commuter (red T-shirt) reading news from his mobile phone next to an advertisement discouraging the dissemination of fake news at a train station in Kuala Lumpur. — AP

PETALING JAYA: The media can report what they like as long as this does not disturb public order, said the Prime Minister.

“They can report. Even if the Government does not like to hear it, they are free to report. No action will be taken against them,” said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.

Dr Mahathir also gave the assurance that the Government would not restrict the media as long as their reports were based on facts.

“In the previous regime, we felt there was restriction. Some newspapers may be for or against something but we will not block their reports as long as these have basis,” he said.

“But any effort to instigate the public to quarrel and so on will not be allowed,” he warned.

He said the Anti-Fake News Act would be amended to give a “clear definition” on what constituted fake news so that the public and media practitioners would have a clear understanding.

“Although we uphold the principle of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, there should be a limit.

“If they report fake news to deliberately cause chaos or tension, we will deal with them using specific laws,” said Dr Mahathir.

The Act was passed in the last Parliament meeting and gazetted before the general election.

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