PM: Anti-Fake News Act to protect Malaysians from security threat (Updated)

16 Apr 2018 / 20:03 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Fake News Act is to protect Malaysians from the scourge of fake news, caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said today.
Noting that fake news could pose a security threat, Najib added that there were incidences where fake news was used to interfere in a country's affairs.
He added that the government would not compromise Malaysia's sovereignty by allowing other countries or individuals to dictate the direction of the country.
"We have seen many instances around the world where ... fake news has been used as a tool of interference - which strangely some opposition leaders now say they welcome.
"As patriotic Malaysians, I can tell you that the members of my government do not (manipulates fake news)," he said.
"The future of our country is for Malaysian people to decide, and they should do so on the basis of facts, not fake news of lies, propaganda, false promises and illusions," he said in his speech at the opening of Putrajaya Forum 2018 at Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The Anti-Fake News Act was passed by the Parliament several days before it concluded its 13th session amid criticisms from opposition and press freedom advocates.
Caretaker Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had earlier dismissed claims that the bill was approved because of the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14), and that the government wanted to restrict freedom of speech.
Apart from the new legislature, Najib said several other laws, such as the National Security Act, were enacted as a sign of the government’s determination to protect its citizens.
He added the foundations of international security were weak when countries do not properly address the safety of their own people.
Najib added all of the laws made by the government had made it hard for extremist group, such as the Islamic State, to penetrate their influences among Malaysians.

“I make no apology for ensuring that our police and security services have all the tools necessary to combat those who would bring death and destruction to our soil,” he added.
Najib also brought political message in his speech in front of hundreds of military men from various countries, stating that Barisan Nasional (BN) would continue to maintain the safety currently enjoyed by Malaysians.
“As you know, the people of this country will soon be making a choice,” Najib said.
“Let me tell you that the BN will continue to preserve the liberty and safety enjoyed by Malaysians while increasing our efforts to manage and contain all present and future threats,” he said.

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