KUALA LUMPUR: All parties should play an active role in verifying the authenticity of news or information they received before spreading it so as to avoid misunderstanding and misleading others.
Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil (pix) when winding up the debate on the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review said the rapid dissemination of information without careful verification can lead to slander and defamation.
“I’ll give you the most recent example; there are parties claiming that Malaysia intends to buy palm oil from China, and this information was spread on X (Twitter).
“... and when I investigated, it turns out it arose, among other things, because there was a report from the media with a misleading headline,” he said in reply to Mohd Sany Hamzan (PH-Hulu Langat) on the government’s actions in handling the issue of fake news among the public.
The issue was also raised by Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang) who emphasised that the government should focus on educating senior citizens about media literacy because they are more susceptible to the implications of fake news.
Fahmi said his ministry may also discuss the proposal by Rodziah Ismail (PH-Ampang) for a daily review of false news.
“There is a suggestion to add a slot in RTM news, to be called Fitnah Apa Hari Ini (Today’s False News). This is just a suggestion and we may discuss it later, but it is true that we need to scrutinise this matter (false news),” he said.
Fahmi said that the government also reiterated its commitment to being open to criticism and media freedom in the country.
On the National Creative Industry Policy, the minister said that the government agreed to conduct a comprehensive review to determine the direction and scope of the creative industry.
“Since the scope of the creative industry now spans several ministries, departments and agencies, a comprehensive review of the policy would be carried out by the Ministry of Economy,” he said.
On the status of Starlink Internet Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s (Starlink Malaysia) contribution to the Universal Service Provision Fund, Fahmi said it could only be ascertained after June 30, 2024. - Bernama