KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat has again passed the repeal of the Anti-Fake News Bill 2019 today.
A total of 92 lawmakers voted for the abolition of the bill, while 51 lawmakers wanted the bill to remain.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Arif Md Yusof called for a bloc voting after the earlier voice vote was called off.
A total of 25 lawmakers participated in the policy stage debate over the past two days.
The bill was first approved by the Dewan Rakyat in August last year, but it was later defeated by the Dewan Negara.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong re-tabled the Bill this week for the first reading.
The Bill seeks to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (Act 803) which was passed by Parliament during the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
According to the Bill, copies of which were circulated to the media, among others stated that the provision to repeal Act 803 was due to a change in government policy that fake news can be tackled by existing laws.
The winding-up of the debate was tabled by Liew’s deputy, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin and was heard by Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon.
The bill was introduced by BN at the height of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, causing the rakyat to be uncomfortable with the move.
Lawmakers from both sides of the political divide put forward their points with BN MPs urging the government to retain the bill while PH MPs urged the government to repeal it as the bill may be misused by those in power.