Beware, Anti-Fake News Act is now law

 |Apr 12, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Fake News Act 2018 has received the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s assent and was gazetted yesterday.

Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday said Parliament’s passing of the new law showed that the federal government was serious about combating the problem of fake news amid the development of modern technology that enabled speedy communications.

“I am glad to inform that just a short while ago I was informed by the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department that the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 has received the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s assent and has been gazetted today,” he said at the event to set the inaugural National Journalists’ Day yesterday.

In a statement by caretaker minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the law would be enforced from yesterday.

“In exercise of powers conferred by subsection 1(2) of the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, the minister appoints April 11, 2018 as the date on which the Act comes into operation,” the statement read.

The Act was tabled in the now dissolved Dewan Rakyat in March which was followed by heated debate.

It was later voted through by members of parliament following a bloc vote, with 123 voting for and 64 against.

Malaysia’s Anti-Fake News Act 2018 is probably only the second time such a law against false news and slander has been enacted by a government, after Germany’s Net Enforcement Act passed last year.