In Malaysia, You Can Still Be Charged for Spreading 'Fake News'

Despite Parliament passing the repeal, Dewan Negara claimed the Act was needed to curb fake news.
Thursday 13 September 2018
For the first time in history, the Senate has rejected a bill by the Parliament. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP

In what seems to be an unorthodox move against the Dewan Rakyat (Parliament), the Dewan Negara (Senate) rejected the repeal of the Anti Fake News Act 2018.

This was the first time the Dewan Negara has ever overruled a decision by the Dewan Rakyat. Dewan Negara Speaker, Tan Sri S.A Vigneswaran, announced the rejection of the bill after 28 members of the senate voted against the repeal while only 21 voted for it.

It was reported that three others chose not to vote.

Senator Khairul Azwan Harun called for a vote on the bill after Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, completed the wrap up of the Bill for second reading.

On 16 August, the Dewan Rakyat under the premiership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad passed a bill to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act.

In his closing speech, Hanipa Maidin said there were currently sufficient laws to deal with fake news.

He said that existing laws such as the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 as well as the increased autonomy of enforcement authorities were sufficient measures in curbing fake news.

The bill was passed by the Barisan Nasional government in April.

It was heavily speculated that the then government had made that move to suppress any information spread against the government and the former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The big question is, under the new government, what role would the Anti Fake News Act 2018 play?

Source: The Star

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