PUTRAJAYA: There were no discussions of any Cabinet reshuffle when it met today, says federal government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil.
“It was not discussed (at the Cabinet meeting today),” the communications and digital minister said at a press conference at his ministry here when asked whether the Cabinet had discussed the matter.
Speculation of possible changes in the Cabinet lineup gained traction after the civil service heads of five ministries were moved to new positions yesterday.
The changes involved the secretaries-general of the ministries of health; defence; investment, trade and industry; national unity; domestic trade and cost of living; and the federal territories department.
Talk of a Cabinet reshuffle had arisen following the elections to six state assemblies in August, at which Perikatan Nasional made gains in Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan at the expense of the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional alliance.
Malay votes had reportedly swung to the opposition at the polls.
Julau MP Larry Sng had urged Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to bring “experienced Malay parliamentarians” such as former second finance minister Johari Ghani, and former health ministers Dzulkefly Ahmad and Khairy Jamaluddin into his Cabinet.
On a separate matter, Fahmi said the government has neither discussed nor considered reviving the Anti-Fake News Act, adding that Putrajaya’s focus is on reviewing the Communications and Multimedia Act.
“We are prepared to bring it to Parliament but engagements are ongoing,” he said.
The Anti-Fake News Act was gazetted in April 2018 under the Najib Razak-led Barisan Nasional government.
Under the now-abolished law, anyone found guilty of producing or disseminating fake news could be fined up to RM500,000, handed a maximum six-year imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.
PH MPs and civil society groups had opposed the Act, which was bulldozed through just before the 14th general election, saying it could be abused to muffle dissent.
It was repealed in December 2019 following the Senate’s approval.
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