Dr M: Anti-fake news law will be reviewed

Ida Nadirah Ibrahim
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a news conference following the general election in Petaling Jaya May 10, 2018. — Reuters pic

PETALING JAYA, May 10 — Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today his incoming administration will re-examine the necessity of the Anti-Fake News Act, one of the last pieces of legislation passed by the defeated Barisan Nasional.

Addressing the media at a press conference here, the prime-minister-elect said the law was a tool to cow public dissent.

“The law should be studied again to find out whether it is against fake news or political opponents.

“At the moment, we see it as a law meant to curb or silence opposition,” he said.

In the midst of the campaign period last week, Dr Mahathir was investigated under the anti-fake news law on May 2 over his claims that his private aircraft was sabotaged in the run-up to the general election.

Dr Mahathir had said that he suspected the plane that was to fly him from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi, where he was to file his candidacy, was sabotaged, after the pilot discovered some damage to the aircraft just before take-off.

Under the ruling of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the government had passed the law in April, which criminalises “fake news”.

The act had been criticised seen to be aimed at curbing dissent and free speech ahead of the 14th nationwide polls held yesterday.