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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

WILL NAJIB GO AFTER TOP CULPRITS UTUSAN & TV3? CAN HE BLAME MALAYSIANS FOR FEARING ANOTHER OPS LALANG CRACKDOWN?: AZALINA ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF SPECIAL TASK FORCE TO COMBAT ‘FAKE NEWS’

A SPECIAL task force has been formed to study new laws aimed at tackling fake news, which could threaten political stability, and undermine public order and national security.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said said the task force met for the first time last week, and included representatives from the police, Attorney-General’s Chambers, Legal Affairs Division, National Security Council, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, and Communications and Multimedia Ministry.
She said Prime Minister Najib Razak had consented to having civil society groups and MPs involved in the task force.
“This is to ensure that the government’s efforts to address this issue receive the support of various parties, and go through the negotiation process with all stakeholders,” she said in a statement today.
She said once the process was completed, a proposal would be submitted to the cabinet for consideration.
Azalina said the government also hoped that the new laws could be brought to Parliament in the next sitting.
She said currently, there were acts in place to deal with the issue, such as Section 8A of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, which was introduced 30 years ago.
“Therefore, it is appropriate for the government to examine whether the existing provisions can still be used to address new threats, which are not only published in print and broadcast, but also online.”
She said new measures to tackle the dissemination of fake news should be undertaken so that people would be more responsible in publishing, disseminating and sharing news, and to ensure the country’s security.
On Sunday, Najib had said the government would consider introducing new legislation to curb the spread of fake news, following similar moves by several countries.
It was reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May had said there was a need to set up a new unit to boost efforts to tackle the spread of fake news and prevent the distribution of false information by other countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron was reported to have said he wanted to introduce a new law banning fake news from being spread on the internet during election campaigns.
– Bernama

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