'Fake news' in Malaysia could land peddlers in prison for a decade


Malaysia mulls up to 10 years' jail, fines for 'fake news' | Bangkok Post: news

Lately, Malaysia has always faced various challenges as a result of the circulation of fake news which not only confuses the people but also threatens the security, economy, prosperity and well-being of the people and country.

It is clear that the bill, should it be passed, is sheer overkill and an exaggeration of the problem of "fake news".

"Malaysia has already a litany of laws which have been used - and abused - to combat fake news".

Q: Will this bill address the dissemination of fake news in its entirety? Coincidentally, they're running on the same ballot this General Election.

"This would surely kill satirical news - which is an important element in socio-political dialogue". It is altogether too easy to see foreign press or commentators being targeted and punished for not toeing the official line when reporting on controversial issues on Malaysia.

The Bill will not involve additional expenditure by the Government.

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At the same time, the bill provides interim measures to check the dissemination of fake news when a case is under investigation and prosecution. Ming tweeted later. "The point of such a law IS to prosecute truth tellers by labeling them as purveyors of fake news".

Under a proposed new law, anyone convicted of knowingly creating or spreading "news, information, data and reports which is or are wholly or partly false" could be jailed for up to ten years and fined up to £90,000.

Q: In this context, who decides whether a piece of news or information is fake or otherwise?

"The courts will have the power to rule on the disposal of any publication deemed to contain fake news", she clarified. What is the government's view on this?

"Freedom of speech is the bedrock of democracy".

The government fund plans long-term investments for the country.

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"The proposed Act seeks to safeguard the public against the proliferation of fake news whilst ensuring the right to freedom of speech and expression under the Federal Constitution is respected", the bill reads.

He said the Bill has wide reaching implications to the industry due to the heavy penalties imposed on sources, publishers and funders, plus its capacity to force media organisations to remove articles through ex-parte applications.

The tabling of the so-called Anti-Fake News Bill on Monday comes ahead of general elections expected by August in which the ruling party led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing a vote of confidence after allegations of scandals.

Punishments for those breaking the laws include a 10-year jail sentence and large fines.

The Bill also provides for legal action against individuals who provide financial aid to those who produce and disseminate fake news.

It covers all mediums and extends to even foreigners outside Malaysia as long as Malaysia or its citizens are affected.

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When asked if they supported stronger laws against fake news, the majority of those polled, eight in 10, said they agreed or strongly agreed.

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