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Fadillah welcomes move to curb fake news
Posted on : 01 Feb 2018  Source of News: THEBORNEO POST ONLINE
 

Fadillah welcomes move to curb fake news

February 1, 2018, Thursday Marilyn Ten, reporters@theborneopost.com

Fadillah (second right) stresses his point during the press conference. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof has expressed his support for the government to introduce laws to curb the spread of inaccurate information to the people.

Fake news, he said, not only causes discomfort, confusion and insecurity among the people, but may also cause real harm.

“Imagine if a particular fake news involves a certain individual, this will not only effect that person as it can also impact his or her family members,” he told a press conference after chairing a roundtable discussion on the development and upgrading of the proposed Pan Borneo Highway at a leading hotel here yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the recent statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that the government was looking into introducing laws to curb fake news as it is a threat to political stability and public order.

Such move, he said, was necessary because the people could be instigated to hate the government or even cause uprisings due to the influence of fake news.

Fadillah stressed that the dissemination of fake news ought to be curbed and stern action should be taken on the perpetrator.

“In fact, there are many countries that are now taking stern action against the perpetrators who disseminate the fake news. Malaysia is just slightly slower to jump on the bandwagon.”

He pointed out that in countries such as Singapore, if there were any comments which criticised the country’s leader, the individual would be charged as soon as the next day.

“The whole point of the law is to ensure that our country is peaceful and the people are safe,” he remarked.

Following Najib’s statement, a special committee to curb the spread of fake news has since been formed on Tuesday (Jan 30).

According to a news portal, this was announced by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said in a statement where she expressed her hope to see a new law introduced by the committee in time for the next parliamentary session in March.

In the statement, she also noted that the government was looking to introduce the new law in Parliament during the upcoming session.

She said a new law to address the spread of false information is necessary to ensure that the public is more accountable in producing, disseminating and sharing unhealthy news and ensuring that national security is maintained.