KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 – Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has criticised the statements by the opposition that claimed the formulation of the law against fake news was merely to look after the political interest of the ruling government.
“Sometimes there is a misunderstanding as though when we formulate the new law, we will apply it merely for political interest, this is totally not true,” he told reporters after officiating the National Aspiration and Leadership Summit (NALS) 2018, here today.
He said a special committee to study the law chaired by a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman would take into consideration the opinions of as many people as possible to ensure that the law to be passed by Parliament would receive agreement from everyone.
“The fake news are not only a matter of concern for those from the ruling party but also those from the opposition parties and members of the public. We should determine together that the fake news problem can be resolved,” he said. He was asked to comment on the claim by the opposition that there was a strong possibility that the authorities would apply the law to be used as a weapon to abuse its political enemies.
Salleh explained that the new law was not aimed at controlling those who wished to criticise or give ideas against the government. “We welcome (this matter). We can now see the social media, the opposition parties and their leaders are free to give their opinions and ideas, there is no restriction at all.
“But what happens, if we don’t control the fake news, it can affect racial and religious harmony in Malaysia, this is what we wish to emphasise,” he said. Salleh said he was confident that the special committee would hold discussions with everyone, including those who believe in different political ideologies.
Carrying the theme ‘Youth Arise: Mapping the Ideal Malaysia’, NALS 2018 provides the platform for participants to be involved in the dialogue session with leaders, community icons, and youth leaders from throughout the country. The sixth edition of the summit will be participated by more than 3,000 people from within and outside the country comprising young professionals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). — Bernama