Putrajaya in fresh bid to kill anti-fake news law after last year’s Senate frustration

Jerry Choong
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong speaks during the 20 Years of Suhakam and Way Forward event in Kuala Lumpur September 12, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — The government will resubmit the Anti-Fake News (Repeal) Bill to Parliament next month following the expiry of the cooling-off period triggered by its rejection in Dewan Negara, Datuk Liew Vui Keong said today.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department explained that Article 68 of the Federal Constitution, which deals with the passage of laws, stipulates a one-year gap from between a Bill’s rejection to its reintroduction.

“So it will go through the same process again in the next upcoming session, first in the Dewan Rakyat and then the Dewan Negara,” Liew said after officiating the forum marking the 20th anniversary of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam). 

The minister in charge of legal affairs added that a second rejection by the Upper House this time will not result in another failure and sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for royal assent, in accordance with Article 68(2) of the Constitution. 

On September 12 last year, Dewan Negara president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran announced the Bill to repeal the law introduced by Barisan Nasional was rejected 28-21, with three abstentions.

The Act, which came into force on April 11 last year, makes it an offence for anyone to create, offer, publish, print, distribute, circulate or disseminate any ‘fake news’ or publication, or to provide financial assistance to the distributors of fake news. 

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