Let’s admit it, freedom of expression during Tun Dr. Mahathir 22-year reign was far worse than it is now. An obvious opposition news portal existing now would be barred, thrown into ISA, five seconds as their criticism headlines touches on Mahathir’s leadership hits the newsstands. Now, they are untouchable because they have the freedom. (Not to mention big daddy on their side.)
Tun Mahathir was lucky because there was no social media during his reign. So, all his restrictions went unhighlighted, covered and deep fried in ISA threat. Wait I take that back, if social media existed during his reign, we would go all China censorship on our socmed. Now that he has no power over policy making (or again, things are not in his hands to control) might as well they blow the attempt sky high.
Slamming the point home; we understand the question of many ‘Why now there’s a law against false information’ ‘Now during election? Omg so fishy’. Typical and expected.
False information is recently emerging threat that has been terrorizing the globe and Trump just happens to popularize it. Not only that, it has altered Brexit outcome, influenced Catalonia and even tried Germany election. IT IS A PHENOMENA AIMING ALL COUNTRIES. WE ARE NOT SPECIAL. ALL DEVELOPED COUNTRIES ARE FORMING LAWS AGAINST IT. WHY WOULD YOU BE AGAINST IT?
It attacks most countries stepping into elections phase. Eh hello Malaysia, we know we are behind on most things. Why do we want to make it worst? Most country just recently made fake news laws. France, UK, Germany. Please understand, Malaysia has a bureaucracy problem and slow promoting efforts. Hence, the process has been long planned but bureaucracy just decided to inform the masses late, which is undeniably asking for backfire.
Developed countries made those laws AFTER they had finished election, when they FAILED the election and when it is TOO LATE to prevent foreign intervention in their countries election outcome.
So when the government decided to take swift action on prevention act, all sorts of rebuttal accusations was made. We get it, the law might dull the 1MDB case and promote pro-government propaganda. Please move on from it. We are bored if 1MDB again is going to be the main cause an important security law is not being approved of. Bet there is more accusations that they can cook up other than that one. Or you guys are out of maggi?
The point is, fake news laws are not out of the ordinary or it is some conspiracy act. It is a long-term security prevention act to keep Malaysian socmed from bigger threat. The govt or opposition propaganda has nothing compare to the real threat of foreign entity that has been trying to get into controlling Malaysia. If you say it might influence PRU14 outcome, come on, the people already made their decision, right? Unless you have been spreading some fake news yourself that you are so up against it.
*Opinion has been made by a Malaysian Access reader.