‘Draft of fake news law hoped to be tabled to Cabinet soon’

SHAH ALAM: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said that it was hoped the draft of the new law to curb fake news can be tabled to the Cabinet in the near future.

She said that this was to enable more detailed discussion to be carried out including a study on the aspect of the punishment and compensation payment.

“The Cabinet ministers probably have their own opinion…maybe in terms of the government policy that wants to make specialisation in the aspects of penalty or compensation payment. All these we have to look into.

“Once we reach a consensus in the Cabinet, I hope we can take the new law to the next Parliamentary session,” she said at a media conference after launching the Legal Aid Trust Account, here yesterday.

Also present was the director-general of the Legal Aid Department (JBG) Datuk Haini Hassan.

On Jan 30, Azalina announced that the government had set up a special committee to study a new law to curb fake news that could jeopardise political stability, threaten public peace and national security.

She was reported to have said that the new measure was to tackle the spread of fake news that must be carried out so that members of the public would be more responsible in churning out, spreading and sharing unconfirmed news and ensuring that national security continued to be preserved.

Commenting further, Azalina said the special committee would hold a second technical meeting today to look at the way the draft of the new law was read together with the existing relevant laws.

“At the technical meeting tomorrow, representatives from the relevant agencies including from the Attorney-General’s Department will look at the existing law. A bit of the new law is present in the Penal Code, a bit in the Computer Crime Act 1997 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” she said. — Bernama

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