YOURSAY | Zaid is right to warn about this mother of draconian laws.
Clever Voter: The ‘fake news’ legislation is another draconian measure disguised to shut out critics, whistleblowers and the opposition from spilling the beans.
It is worrying time indeed, as the establishment continues to find ways to use legal measures to legitimise unhealthy practices. Already devoid of moral standards, the country will be forced to watch itself going on fire and with no one being able to report it.
With almost the entire state machinery in their hands, the future, as former law minister Zaid Ibrahim puts it, looks bleak.
Ravinder: Who on this earth, let alone in Malaysia, is truly infallible and could state with godly authority and fairness that such and such news is "fake"?
This is a very dangerous law as any honest, truthful or fair remarks about the government and its agencies could be termed "fake".
Zaid is right to warn about this mother of draconian laws. Its immediate purpose is to stop all adverse reports and exposes about the government in the run-up to the 14th GE.
But will this law allow government propaganda, if untrue, to be declared "fake news"?
Headhunter: Well written, Zaid. We are losing our freedom almost on a daily basis and if this continues, we Malaysians will be like living in a large prison.
Vgeorgemy: After the conviction of graphic artist Fahmi Reza, it is confirmed that our institutions are incapable of protecting our fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution.
Only those countries with a competent civil service and civil society dare to get the power holders to account for their incursions. In Malaysia, our civil society is vibrant but the civil service is incompetent.
So we need to reform our institutional set-up, for example, transferring the ownership of public information portals, such as TV, radio and information centres, to a public trusteeship run by eminent persons.
There must be diversity in the private mainstream media’s shareholdings, with a maximum stake of five percent by any single person or entity.
Anonymous_2679c6e5: What if a reporter or someone quotes reports that somebody has received billions in his personal bank account and attributes this to coming from 1MBD along with the money trail as evidence, does a mere denial by the recipient make the news fake?
What if the recipient lies about it to cover it up? Does that make this piece of news fake? Who is the arbiter of truth in such a situation? Who determines what is true and what is fake?
Quigonbond: I don't believe you, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chief operating officer Mazlan Ismail.
Why the rush on the law? Surely to use it by GE14 to stop certain news from getting out, like further expose on 1MDB, for example?
Xtcher: The argument (that anti-fake news law is to protect national interests) sounds all too familiar! Remember when Internal Security Act (ISA) was proposed and tabled in Parliament?
No less than the then much respected PM, the late father of the present PM, argued that the law was intended to fight communist terrorists and for the security of the country.
Yet, the law was used by a certain home minister to detain, based on a baseless accusation, a journalist for “her own safety”!
When promises by such a high-powered authority were so easily broken in the past, what guarantee is there that the proposed new law on "fake news" will not be abused?
Ravinder: How will even the courts decide whether any news is or was fake news?
Will Malaysia, in the process of creating a 'fake news' law, operate on the whims and fancies of those in power who have reason to suppress the truth, with the accused and all his or her lawyers having no way of proving otherwise?
For example, is the 1MDB scandal a fake news as all the relevant authorities in Malaysia have declared no wrongdoing by anybody, whereas the rest of the world have found wrongdoing and have taken action against parties connected to it and/or are still investigating the matter?
Wira: Indeed, will the proposed 'fake news' law stop the biggest fake news of our nation - that the RM2.6 billion donation, found in MO1’s bank account, came from an Arab donor?
And will it also stop those who claimed that they had met with the donor?
Negarawan: "In my opinion, the current fine of RM50,000 (for spreading ‘fake news’ under the Communications and Multimedia Act) be increased to RM500,000 and the jail sentence (from one year) should be increased to 10 years," said MCMC’s Mazlan.
Why is the MCMC acting like it has constitutional powers to determine the penalty of spreading "fake news"?
What about the act of covering up "true news", such as what was done by the MCMC when information of massive data leak affecting the personal data of more than 46 million mobile subscribers, was first reported by Lowyat.net?
The MCMC should take responsibility for its own weaknesses and transgressions. It should stick to its original charter of regulating the industry, rather than trying to play the role of a judge, as evident in its recent order to remove articles published in certain portals.
Clever Voter: Informed society has no worries over fake news. An insecure government does. Any legislation against fake news is not to protect public interest, but to protect the interests of a few.
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