Azalina: Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 To Protect, Not Stifle Freedom Of Speech

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KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 4 – The Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 is aimed at protecting the public from fake news and freedom of speech as provided for under the Federal Constitution.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said claims that the bill was approved because of the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14), and that the government wanted to restrict freedom of speech, were untrue.

“I would like to emphasise that the claims are totally baseless because this is a global issue. Some countries such as Germany, Singapore, France, the Czech Republic and European Union have also taken and are taking the same measures to curb the dissemination of fake news.

“The bill is people-centric and quasi-criminal in nature; it provides for offences related to fake news. The bill also provides protection for everyone from falsehoods through a court order application as stipulated in Part III of the bill,” she said in a statement here today.

The Dewan Negara yesterday passed the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 which represents a serious move by the government to check the dissemination of fake news brought on by the development of modern technology.

Azalina urged all quarters to stop turning the bill into a political polemic as she had answered all the arising issues during the winding-up session of the debate on the bill at Dewan Negara yesterday.

“The government’s efforts are also in line with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V’s royal address at the opening of the first meeting of the sixth session of the 13th Parliament recently; he wanted fake news to be curbed as it would have negative implications on the people,” she said.

In additional, Azalina also expressed her disappointment over the action by several opposition members of parliament to waste time debating various confusing issues. — Bernama

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