PUTRAJAYA – The formulation of the new law to curb the dissemination of fake news is different from the Internal Security Act (ISA) which curtails freedom of speech and allows detention without trial, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said today.
She said the proposal to formulate the new act should be welcomed by everyone including the opposition as it was made based on the current trend and its significant impact to the nation.
Expressing her regret at the allegation by Pakatan Harapan chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, that the proposed law was to prevent the people from criticising the government, Azalina said: “This is a global issue and foreign countries too are taking similar measures to curtail the issue.
In a statement today, Azalina also emphasised that the formulation of the law to curb the dissemination of fake news had not been finalised yet.
She said the special committee set up was still having consultations and discussions with the interested parties before it was being finalised by the Cabinet meeting.
“Thus, it is not fair for anyone to pass judgement on the noble efforts of the government because the process was still ongoing and the cooperation of everyone is required to tackle the issue effectively and comprehensively,”she said.
Azalina said that Dr Mahathir as a former prime minister and a former member of parliament for more than 20 years should look at the effort without prejudice because it was formulated with the purpose of ensuring national prosperity and security.
She said that anyone could be a victim of the fake news including Dr Mahathir himself.
“False news too is perceived as a new war strategy that can destroy the country merely by the finger tip,”she added. – BERNAMA