Malaysiakini owner makes bid to strike out anti-fake news law

Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd, which owns news portal Malaysiakini, is seeking a declaration that the anti-fake news law breaches the Federal Constitution.

KUALA LUMPUR: The owner of news portal Malaysiakini wants the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 which came into effect on April 11 to be declared defective.

Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd also wants a declaration that the law breaches Articles 5 (1), 10 (1) and 8 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

The company filed a leave application for judicial review at the High Court here today, naming Putrajaya and the home minister as respondents.

It also said the law was unreasonable and irrational as the definition of “fake news” is unclear.

“The impact of the act is to remove the defence of reportage which will be available to the applicants, as well as to place an insurmountable burden to ensure that each and every item which is published is true in every sense,” said the court papers made available to the media today.

The company added that the law breached Articles 5 (1) and 10 (1) as it went against the right to livelihood and freedom of speech and expression.

The company is also seeking a court order directing the minister to revoke the gazette which brought the law into effect.

Lawyer N Surendran said a certificate of urgency had been filed for the matter to be heard as soon as possible.

Civil society groups both within the country and abroad have voiced concern over the law, claiming that the legislation was rushed through to quell political dissent.

The opposition has also pledged to repeal the law if it gains control of the federal government after the May 9 polls.

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