PETALING JAYA: The prime minister’s brother Nazir Razak wants the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 to be deferred, saying such legislation must be comprehensively drafted and debated.
In an Instagram post last night, Nazir, who is CIMB Group chairman, said the bill should not be rushed.
“This is about the basic rights of individual expression, and instilling fear of such draconian punishments based on ambiguous definitions will retard our society.”
The anti-fake news bill was tabled in Parliament on Monday.
Under the proposed law, it will be an offence to create, offer, publish, distribute, circulate or disseminate fake news.
It is also an offence to directly or indirectly provide financial assistance to facilitate the spread of fake news or to abet the offence.
The bill describes fake news as any news, information, data or report, which is wholly or partly false, whether in the form of features, visuals, audio recordings or any other form, capable of suggesting words or ideas.
Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said said the maximum jail term proposed would be reduced from 10 to six years.
She said the government would also change the word “knowingly” to “maliciously” in Clause 4 of the bill.
The maximum fine for offenders remains at RM500,000.