With fake news law, M'sia is one step closer to '1984'

Opinion  |  James Chai
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | “It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen...”

George Orwell starts his classic novel, "1984", with a chilling cadence. "1984" was a dystopia and followed a man named Winston Smith who worked for a totalitarian regime (the Party). Every thought and action was watched over, and the government exercised utter and absolute authority over its subjects.

"1984" was written as a stark reminder to remain vigilant against government power and to protect our freedoms before they turn into ashes.

The Anti-Fake News Bill (AFN) has all the hallmarks that could bring Malaysia into 1984. Granted, Orwell’s "1984" society was a dystopia, an imagination far away from what we are now. But the AFN prepares the early steps for us to reach that place.

'Thoughtcrime'

In the colourless and gloomy world of "1984", there is “thoughtcrime”. You are not allowed to possess or express any thought incompatible with the Party’s.

Through repeated propaganda and falsified information, the Party brainwashes its people. The Party boasts on page 265 of the book that it does not merely destroy its enemies; it changes them...

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