KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 ― The government should not be in a rush to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 as the very formulation of the act is to protect victims of false news and to enable them to seek justice.
Barisan Nasional (BN) chief whip Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the Act, which was just gazetted on April 11, was drafted after some detailed research.
“If the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government feels there is a clause or section that is no longer suitable, amendments can be made but it should not be abolished ,” she said in a statement today.
Azalina said that while there may be some related laws, the spreading of fake news cannot be controlled effectively given the rapid development and complexity of current technology.
“When the issue of fake news is brought up, the laws that come to mind such as the Penal Code; Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984; and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, are unable to address the complex nature of the offence as they were enacted in the 1990s.”
She added that the PH coalition in its election manifesto had a list of laws that it wanted to abolish but the Anti-Fake News Act was not on the list.
Azalina said that she was of the view that the government in the current parliamentary sitting should focus on laws that urgently affect Malaysians such as enacting a Sexual Harassment Act and bringing amendments to Clause 88A of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act (LRA). ― Bernama