The proposed Anti-Fake News Bill has received Cabinet approval and will be tabled in Parliament next week.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, said that a briefing would be held for Barisan Nasional and Opposition lawmakers on the matter.
“The drafting of this Bill is intended to provide for several offences related to the circulation of fake news and measures to curb fake news.
“This Bill was drafted for public interest to protect citizens from the wave of fake news and from becoming victims of fake news.
“It will also identify the types of offences that can be regarded as spreading fake news.
“However, this Bill does not at all restrict the citizens’ right to freedom of speech that is provided for under the Federal Constitution,” the de facto law minister said in a statement today.
She said she hoped that all parties would accept the Government’s efforts and not indulge in polemics.
“The Bill will send a clear message that the Government will not compromise on any matter detrimental to the nation’s security and public order,” she said.
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Jailani Johari (BN-Hulu Terengganu) said currently the draft was undergoing a refining process, which included reviewing feedback from various non-governmental organisations, including Bar Council, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, and National Union of Journalists.
Earlier, Jailani told the Dewan Rakyat that the Special Cyber Crimes Committee which was formed on Nov 20 last year had investigated 154 cases, 16 of which had been brought to court.
“At the same time, action has been taken by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission against 4,358 fake social media accounts and 80 percent of them has been deleted.
“Access to a total of 48 websites found spreading fake news have also been blocked.”