Don’t rush anti-fake news bill, says Nazir Razak

 |Mar 30, 2018
Nazir Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Prominent banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak is urging for the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 to be deferred, saying it must be comprehensively drafted and debated.

In an Instagram post last night, the CIMB Group chairman said the bill should not be rushed.

“This is about the basic rights of individual expression, and instilling fear of such draconian punishments based on ambiguous definitions will retard our society,” said Nazir, who is also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s brother.

The bill, that describes fake news as any news, information, data or report, which is wholly or partly false, whether in the form of features, visuals, audio recordings or any other form, capable of suggesting words or ideas, was tabled in Parliament on Monday .

The proposed law states it will be an offence to create, offer, publish, distribute, circulate or disseminate fake news.

Also, it will also be an offence to directly or indirectly provide financial assistance to facilitate the spread of fake news or to abet the offence.

The bill describes fake news as any news, information, data or report, which is wholly or partly false, whether in the form of features, visuals, audio recordings or any other form, capable of suggesting words or ideas.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the maximum jail term proposed would be cut from 10 to six years and the government would also change the word “knowingly” to “maliciously” in Clause 4 of the bill.

The maximum fine for offenders remains at RM500,000.