The Dewan Rakyat was informed of this by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said during the second reading of the Bill. (NSTP/ FILE PIC)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government today sought to amend Clause 4 and 5 of the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 to reduce the maximum jail penalty from 10 years to six years.

The Dewan Rakyat was informed of this by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said during the second reading of the Bill.

"I would like to inform the Dewan Rakyat that the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak), after discussion with Deputy Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) and taking into consideration views from other MPs, has agreed to amend the Bill.

"The word 'knowingly' in Clause 4 will be replaced with 'maliciously'.

"The prison penalty for the offences in Clauses 4 (offence of publishing fake news) and 5 (offence of providing financial assistance for committing fake news), be reduced to six years from 10 years," she said.

The maximum fine of RM500,000 for Clause 4 and 5 remains.

During the first reading of the Bill on Monday, it proposed an imprisonment of not exceeding 10 years for both offences.

"These amendments clearly shows that the government, under the prime minister’s administration, is concerned and willing to accept views and proposals (from others) to make this Bill inclusive and comprehensive."

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