Malaysia: Dollars 130,000 or ten years jail for spreading fake news

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A chaotic Malaysian Parliament followed the tabling of an anti-fake news bill, with opposition MP’s shouting against the speaker of the Assembly.

Their rage was directed at the speaker.

The bill tabled in Parliament prescribes punishments of up to RM500,000 fine and 10 years’ imprisonment.

It is intended to prevent the spreading of fake news.

“As the technology advances with time, the dissemination of fake news becomes a global concern and more serious that it affects the public,” the Bill reads.

“The proposed Act seeks to safeguard the public against the proliferation of fake news whilst ensuring the right to freedom of speech and expression under the Federal Constitution is respected.”

A further fine not exceeding RM3,000 will be imposed for every day that the offence continues after conviction.

The Bill seeks to prosecute individuals regardless of their nationality, citizenship or location at the time of the offence as long as the fake news concerns Malaysia or if the person affected is a Malaysian citizen.

Examples of fake news offences listed in the Bill include giving a speech at a public place alleging that someone misappropriated funds collected for charitable purposes, knowing that the information is false.