PUTRAJAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has called on his staff to verify the information they receive before sharing it to curb the spread of fake news.
Khairy said the Anti-Fake News Bill was not meant to restrict freedom of speech but to prevent the spread of false news which may be detrimental to society and the country.
“To stay relevant, one must be a social media savvy. The advancement of technology today requires us to communicate, work and receive news via digital and social media such as WhatsApp, Twitter and many more.
“However, you cannot just believe and absorb the news literally. Check and verify the legitimacy of the information before sharing.
“That’s why the government wants to formulate a new law to combat fake news. Not that we want to confine freedom of speech or can no longer accept opinions or criticisms, but we need to ensure that the news is based on fact,” he said in his speech at the ministry’s Excellent Service Award ceremony at Everly Hotel here.
Khairy also lambasted certain quarters which claimed that the government failed to take care of its civil servants and has intention to downsize the public service.
“That is untrue. In fact, the opposition themselves want to reduce the number of civil servants should they win in the 14th General Election.
“Their excuse is that the civil servants today are loyal with the current government. This is an immature act. They only want to use such sentiments to create fear among Malaysians,” he said.
At the event, a total 392 staff of the ministry and its agencies received the award.
The Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 proposes that under Clause 4 (1), a person who is found creating or spreading fake news can be fined a maximum RM500,000, imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or both, upon conviction.
The bill provides that any person who, by any means, creates, offers, publishes, prints, distributes, circulates or disseminates any fake news or publication containing fake news, is liable to punishment.