The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 is aimed at protecting the people from being victims of false news, according to Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.
He said the ministry fully supported the new law in light of rampant erroneous news carried by social media.
Although the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 exists, he said, it was inadequate to act against the culprits, unlike the new law.
"If we feel that we are not involved in spreading fake news then we should have no qualms about accepting this law, as it is for the benefit of our children and everyone as a whole," he told reporters after launching the Malaysian Artistes Association’s official vehicle in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said the new act should be viewed in a wider context rather than from the political aspect alone.
With regard to the media, Salleh claimed the proposed law does not curb their freedom although they are also required to abide by the regulations.
Yesterday at the Dewan Rakyat, the government tabled the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 for the first reading.
The Act provides for a fine of not more than RM500,000 or jail not exceeding 10 years, or both, upon conviction.