See More on Facebook

Politics

Malaysia’s fake news law will not be confined to political space

Proposed laws to curb the spread of fake news will not be confined to political space says government.


Written by

Updated: February 7, 2018

The proposed laws to curb fake news will apply to all and is not confined to just politics, said Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.

Salleh said that there was recently an increase in fake news and that there was a need to clamp down on it.

“If what is being spread is not fake news then why the need for concern? The laws are to protect victims of fake news who should be offered justice as well,” he said in a blog post titled “Disinformation and fake news is a threat to democracy.”

Opposition leaders had expressed concerns that the new laws would overreach and be used as a tool to hide the truth.

Salleh responded by saying that even the Western world is beginning to relook at freedom of speech and now regards disinformation and fake news as a threat to democracy.

He said that Britain, considered to be the bastion of democracy and free speech, is also mulling new laws to combat the problem of people abusing freedom of speech.

“Democracy and freedom of speech need to be protected from disinformation and fake news. So we need to uphold its sanctity by clamping down on the abuse of freedom of speech by those who spread disinformation and fake news,” Salleh said.

According to rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch, Malaysia has cracked down heavily on activists and opposition politicians since the 1mdb scandal engulfed the Najib Razak government.

“Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib has gone to great lengths over the past year to stifle critical commentary of his government,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for HRW. “The fear of further repression against activists will only increase as the 2018 elections approach.”

A HRW statement added that Najib’s government has “repeatedly used the Communications and Multimedia Act to investigate and prosecute those who criticized government officials on social media.”

“Among those prosecuted were top staff of the online news portal Malaysiakiniover a video criticizing the attorney-general for clearing the prime minister of corruption allegations,” the HRW statement continued.

Malaysia ranked 144 in Reporters without Borders’ Press Freedom Index placing it between Gambia and South Sudan.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

President Xi emphasizes role of Hong Kong, Macau

Both Hong Kong and Macao were told to integrate with nation’s overall development. President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the unique and irreplaceable role of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for China’s reform and opening-up in the new era. He also called on the two regions to better integrate themselves with the nation’s overall development. Xi’s remarks came as he met with a delegation of about 210 representatives from the two SARs who were in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. The position and role of Hong Kong and Macao will only be strengthened rather than weakened, Xi said. The two regions should continue to play a leading role and enable more capital, technology and talent to take part in the country’s high-quality development and in the new round of high-level opening-up, he said. People of the two regions should continu


By China Daily
November 13, 2018

Politics

Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty honour

The Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the latest of several honours taken away from her since last year’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingyas. This is the eighth honour that the former Nobel peace prizewinner has been stripped of over the past year, with Amnesty following the example of Canada, US Holocaust Museum, UK’s Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle and Canada’s Carleton Universities which also revoked Suu Kyi’s honorary degrees and awards. The long-celebrated Nobel Laureate was given Amnesty’s most prestigious honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of her arrest and 20 years since it declared her a prisoner of conscience. The AI yesterday announced withdrawal of its highest honour fr


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Politics

Date set for Bangladesh elections

Bangladesh will hold a parliamentary election on December 23 despite the failure of political parties to resolve major contentious issues over the polls. The country’s chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda said there was a “congenial atmosphere” to hold the polls and promised it will be free and fair. “We hope we will be able to hold a free, fair and acceptable election,” Huda said in a televised address. A day before, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wrapped up week-long talks between the ruling Awami League-led 14-party combine and at least 80 parties under the banners of different alliances. During the dialogue, Jatiya Oikyafront, an alliance of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and several other opposition parties, demanded for a dissolution of parliament before the polls and the creation of a caretaker government. The ruling party, however, rejected it over const


By Asia News Network
November 9, 2018

Politics

Woman accused of blasphemy freed in Pakistan

Asia Bibi was initially found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death. After her release from Multan’s women prison in the light of the Oct 31 Supreme Court verdict overturning her conviction and death sentence, Asia Bibi was brought to Islamabad on board a special aircraft on Wednesday night, reliable sources told Dawn Newspaper. The aircraft carrying Aasia Bibi, whose acquittal of blasphemy charge sparked countrywide protests by religious parties and groups, landed at the old Benazir Bhutto International Airport of Islamabad adjacent to Nur Khan Air Base. Soon after her landing, she was taken to an undisclosed place in Islamabad amid tight security. The authorities were keeping her movement and whereabouts secret for security reasons. Authorities concerned were also tight-lipped about her future plan and it was unclear if she would be kept in Islamabad or would be allowed to fly out of the


By Dawn
November 8, 2018

Politics

Goldman Sachs and 1MDB

The US Justice Department’s first charges against individuals related to the pillaging of the Malaysia investment fund known as 1MDB offers several new insights into the global, multibillion-dollar scandal. For­mer Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng has been arrested in Malaysia while his former colleague Tim Leissner pleaded guilty in New York over financial transactions related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The United State’s Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged Leissner alongside fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low (pic), over funds misappropriated from 1MDB and paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials. The three-count indictment charges Low with misappropriating money from 1MDB and using it for bribes and kickbacks to foreign officials, to pay for luxury real estate, art and jewellery in the U


By The Star
November 2, 2018

Politics

Imran Khan delivers warning to religious groups

Pakistan premier Imran Khan warns off religious group after supreme court rules on high profile blasphemy case. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday issued a stark warning to religiopolitical groups that have been agitating against the Supreme Court verdict to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death on charges of committing blasphemy. The premier addressed the matter in a short video message that solely focused on the Asia Bibi verdict and its aftermath. The message was broadcast on state-run PTV. He said he had been “compelled” to communicate with the nation due to the reaction given and language used by a “small segment” in response to the SC verdict. Pakistan was founded “in the name of Islam” and the verdict given by the SC is


By Dawn
November 1, 2018