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Malaysia seeks 10 year-jail terms for 'fake news'

28 March 2018

The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 defines fake news as "any news, information, data and reports, which is or are wholly or partly false".

In addition to clear definitions, explanations or illustrations on the meaning of "fake news", the bill also makes it an offence for anyone to extend financial aid for the goal of circulating fake news, and an offence if the individual does not eliminate any publication/broadcast of fake news and such.

Be that as it may, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, clarified that the proposed Bill can effectively manage the increasingly complex offences that have sparked from the rapid technological development - stressing that these are offences that are not now being addressed by the law. "Imagine this, comedy and political satire can be criminalised", the lawyer expressed, and emphasised that the ambiguity of what is categorised as fake would lead to political satire being criminalised.

The survey also found that most people are concerned about the spread of fake news online and supported strengthening laws and regulations to curb the problem.

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All of this said, firearm background checks, a loose proxy for gun sales, have remained relatively stable in recent months. Remington has also been sued by individuals claiming some guns are defective, and voluntarily recalled some of its models.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari earlier said any information related 1MDB that has not been verified by the Government is considered "fake news".

Gan, who co-founded Malaysiakini with chief executive officer Premesh Chandran, recalled the words of George Orwell in his dystopian novel "1984".

He added that the bill could affect reporting stories such as the scandal surrounding 1MDB, Malaysia's state development fund.

Najib was under pressure over allegations that around $731 million received from 2011 to 2013 was diverted from 1MDB into his personal bank account in 2013 - a charge that Najib has denied, saying the money came from an unnamed Saudi Arabian donor. $128,165) fine to go along with it, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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This should not happen that an innocent kid going into school to gain knowledge and education does not return home one evening. Then she continued with her speech, saying: "Our mission is simple, and our visions are unbeatable".

Opposition lawmaker Ong Kian Ming also criticised the bill, writing on Twitter that the bill would be "an attack on the press and an attempt to instill fear among the rakyat (people) before GE14".

Ergo, a section of the Bill that covers the creation, publication, and distribution of fake news could easily cover topics that are not news, such as satirical works.

Malaysia is ranked 144th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index. The 92-year-old politician has increasingly turned to foreign and social media in his election campaign after failing to get much coverage by mainstream media in the country.

"It is timed for the elections and to silence discussions on 1MDB", he told AFP. "Our responsibility is to protect the people".

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President Donald Trump has called to expand the scope of American libel laws and has attempted to shame news organizations with a "fake news award", although he hasn't seriously pushed for legal change.

Malaysia seeks 10 year-jail terms for 'fake news'