PETALING JAYA: Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has criticised the Barisan Nasional (BN) government for “bulldozing the redelineation proposal through the Dewan Rakyat “.
In a statement released today, he said such a proposal to amend the electoral boundaries was a serious matter which should have taken weeks to debate and discuss.
“Instead it was hurried through in just two hours!
“This is not a proper and lawful redelineation exercise, but a blatant and unconstitutional act of gerrymandering.
“It is an admission by the BN that they would lose the general election using the old boundaries,” said Anwar who is currently serving a five-year jail term at the Sungai Buloh Prison.
On Wednesday, the Dewan Rakyat passed the motion on the redelineation of electoral boundaries after MPs from both sides debated for some two hours. There were 129 MPs who voted in support of the motion, and 80 who opposed it.
Prime Minister Najib Razak had tabled the bill earlier in the day, amid protests against the redelineation outside the Parliament building by opposition MPs, Bersih 2.0 and other activists
Anwar then set his sights on the Anti-Fake News Bill, calling it a “clear sign of desperation” on the part of the government.
“The BN are also rushing the anti-fake news law through Parliament. They want this law to prevent further public discussion and criticism of the 1MDB scandal and other corruption scandals and wrongdoing of the BN.
“In pushing through the Anti-Fake News Bill, the BN are clearly targeting the youth, who will become the main victims of this law,” he said.
He added that there were already existing laws, such as on defamation and the Communications and Multimedia Act, to deal with any fake news or false news.
Malaysia’s Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 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.
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.
Anwar then called for Malaysians to come out in large numbers and vote the BN out of power in the next general election.
“Pakatan Harapan will set-up a truly independent Election Commission and repeal the anti-fake news law.”