ALOR STAR: The Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s decision to introduce Anti-Fake News law has benefitted all quarters including opposition parties.
Despite dissing the law as tool by BN to muffle disagreement or protest, the opposition leaders had apparently turned to the law to seek protection from fake news themselves, according to political analyst Dr Rusdi Omar.
Rusdi said the call made by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Padang Serai division chief Khairul Anuar Ramli for police to use the law to investigate an alleged slanderous posting levelled against him, had proved that the law to protect people, regardless of their political affiliation.
“BN has made the right move in introducing the law which was passed during the last Parliamentary sitting in April, as it helps to curb the spreading of fake news especially during this 14th general election (GE14) campaign period.
“The law was not designed to protect certain quarters but any one who becomes a victim of fake news including the opposition leaders,” he said when contacted today.
He said the law allows the authority especially the police to take stern action against perpetrators who spread fake news.
He added that the law itself is also a potent tool to preserve peace and harmony among all races in the country.
Rusdi was commenting on the police report lodged by Khairul Anuar over an allegation that he had purportedly received RM20,000 as an inducement not to reveal a personal secret of a leader from another party.
Khairul Anuar had urged the police to investigate the case under the Seditious Law or Anti-Fake News Act 2018.
He had lodged a police report at Kulim police station yesterday, claiming that the allegation, which was posted in a WhatsApp application group, was meant to tarnish his image as PPBM division leader .
Under the Anti-Fake News 2018, anyone found guilty of producing or disseminating fake news could be fined up to RM500,000 or maximum six-year imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.
The opposition lawmakers and several civil society groups had been known to oppose the act, saying that it would be misused to muffle dissent.