Malaysiakini News

Liow: Anti-fake news law will 'protect' newspapers

Published:  |  Modified:

The impending Anti-Fake News Act 2018 will not curb press freedom because the job of the press is to report facts, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai said.

He said the intended target of the law are the ones that are creating "fake news" and such a law would protect newspapers.

"We should welcome (the law). Newspapers will be protected (from 'fake news')," Liow said, according to Oriental Daily today.

"Anti-fake news law will not restrict or pressure media freedom as alleged by the opposition because it does not relate to press freedom.

"It will not influence press freedom because all the reporting by newspapers are true - (news) that is about what happened in society."

Critics and lawyers have pointed out that the definition of the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 is far too vague and that the provisions are open to abuse.

The Bar Council has also pointed that the provision to allow for an ex-parte court order to "remove" published materials was unfair.

It said that although the order can be challenged, an application to challenge does not operate to suspend or defer the original order, which must still be complied with.

Another provision in the bill states that a court order to remove such materials sought by the government on national security grounds cannot be challenged.

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