Anwar: Pakatan will repeal ‘fake news’ law

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed disgust at the BN government’s actions in bulldozing through the EC’s redelineation report that was debated for only two hours in Parliament. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed disgust at the BN government’s actions in bulldozing through the EC’s redelineation report that was debated for only two hours in Parliament. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 ― Pakatan Harapan (PH) will set up an independent election commission and abolish any legislation against “fake news”, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The PKR de facto leader expressed disgust at the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s actions in bulldozing through the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation report that was debated for only two hours in Parliament.

“This is not a proper and lawful redelineation exercise, but a blatant and unconstitutional act of gerrymandering,” Anwar said in a statement.

New constituency boundaries came into effect Thursday, a day after the EC’s controversial redelineation report was passed in Parliament. No new seats were added in the redelineation exercise.

Anwar also accused BN of trying to rush through the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018, a proposed law criminalising falsehoods.

“In pushing through the anti-fake news bill, the BN are clearly targeting the youth, who will become the main victims of this law. Fake news or false news can be dealt with by defamation laws,” he said.

Parliamentary debate on the Anti-Fake News Bill, which proposes punishing creators of “fake news” with six years’ jail, will resume on Monday.

“Harapan will set up a truly independent election commission, and repeal the anti-fake news law. I urge Malaysians to come out in large numbers and vote the BN out of power,” said Anwar.