KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to abolish the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 is expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat sitting in June, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said.
He said the ministry was preparing the necessary documents as well as seeking the views of the Attorney-General’s Chambers and other stakeholders.
Gobind said he did not see any arising issues although there was limited time to prepare the documents before the Parliament sitting which begins on June 25.
“We are not going to amend or table a new law, we are going to repeal a law, so it is a lot more straightforward than us putting up a new Bill,” he said after his maiden visit to the Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, at Wisma Bernama here today.
Gobind said that for an Act to be repealed, three matters must be considered, one of which was whether any person had been arrested and investigated under the Act.
“Secondly, if anyone has been charged under the Act, what will happen to that person, and, thirdly, if the existing Act is not used, are there other laws which can be used for these cases,” he said.
On the issue of greater press freedom, which was a pledge in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, he said several laws had to be reviewed to make them more relevant to today’s media operations.
“We have laws and the laws today allow for either civil or criminal action to be taken for false reports and such. There are provisions in the civil law which could lead to legal suits, and we have provisions in the Penal Code on defamation and so forth.
"We will be looking at these laws again to try and tweak them to make them more relevant for today's media. That is something that my ministry is working on," he said.