Malaysia has become a target of many irresponsible quarters to spread fake news, warned Prime Minister Najib Razak last night.
He pointed out that these unscrupulous people include former leaders who frequently claimed Malaysia was a failed state and was going bankrupt.
“Thus, media publishers, editors and journalists have a duty to combat this fake news,” he reportedly said in his speech at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wanifra) Asian Media Awards.
He said fake news entering the mainstream, and lies masquerading as facts were “cancerous” to journalism, and that the disease posed very serious effects.
He called on the media not to report based on rumours, unsourced anonymous quotes, and not on invented propaganda.
He urged them to verify the source and facts before publishing news.
The problem with fake news is that the people tend to believe them whenever they were disseminated by the government’s opponents.
The premier said other countries recognised and have confidence in Malaysian’s capability as proven by recent series of large investments from China, Saudi Arabia and India.
“I ask you, does that sound like a failed state to you?,” he asked the audience, reported NST.