The tabling of Anti Fake News Bill 2018 in Parliament on 26 March 2018 signifies the launch of Barisan Nasional first “ultimate weapon” to win the upcoming general election by force.
I deem the Bill as unnecessary, undemocratic and unjust at multiple level.
We heard from Jailani Johari, the Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister that other than government-verified information, any news on 1MDB is “deemed as fake news”. This is no doubt an unscrupulous move by Barisan Nasional to dismiss any accusation from the public and opposition on 1MDB matters. The government is now in business of determining what are truths and what aren’t.
What and how exactly should Barisan Nasional determine if any information is true or fake? Will a “truth committee” be formed to process all information and give them a “true” label? IF there are no proper way for all information to be scrutinised before the government can label them as fake, there is little credibility from Barisan Nasional for Malaysians to be convinced of the necessity and genuineness of this Bill. Looking at the way Jailani Johari commented on 1MDB news, it seems that a news is only deemed “true” if Barisan Nasional deems it to be.
After being regarded as the “Kleptocracy at its worst”, not only there was absence of any degree of remorse or political will from Barisan Nasional to clear Malaysia’s name, we now see Barisan Nasional take it a step further by enacting a law to conceal it. What more hope should Malaysians expect to see Malaysia being seen a progressive and strong nation when its government is never interested in dealing with the most serious corruption scandals among other known cases?
If Barisan Nasional is prepared to dismiss any statement and accusation pertaining to 1MDB as fake, Barisan Nasional is prepared to dismiss anything and everything that can be possibly said and written by the opposition.
There are no more truths in Malaysia.