Malaysian parliament approves law banning (fake news)



Malaysia’s parliament has approved a law against “fake news” that will punish anyone publishing information deemed false or untrue despite an outcry from activists who believe it will undermine free speech.

The law will target foreign as well as local media and covers any information that is deemed to be “wholly or partly fake”.

An initial government proposal for sentences up to 10 years in jail for those disseminating false information was lowered to six years, accompanied with a fine of $130 000.

Publishing false reports on blogs, sharing such information on social media and giving a speech containing information known to be untrue would be a punishable offence under the new law. The opposition has fiercely criticised the law, saying it imposes heavy penalties and has the potential to limit free speech.





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