IPOH, Sept 12 — The rejection of the Anti-Fake News (Abolition) Bill 2018 is just a minor hiccup, Perak state executive councillor Abdul Aziz Bari said today.
He said the public just need to wait a little longer for the Bill to be finally passed.
“This just buys them (Barisan Nasional) time. Eventually, the Bill will still have to be passed,” said the former Constitution law expert-turned-lawmaker.
“They can only block for a maximum of 12 months,” he added.
Abdul Aziz said the rejection was expected as Dewan Negara was dominated by Barisan Nasional (BN).
“I am just wondering why they blocked this Bill but the Sales and Services Tax (SST) Bill was approved in a breeze,” he said.
“Is it because BN agrees with Pakatan Harapan (PH) that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is bad news?” he added.
The Tebing Tinggi assemblyman said the decision by the Senators may be a double-edged sword for them.
“Surely, people will whack them. It is politically bad for BN,” he added.
He questioned why BN should want to retain the Anti-Fake News Act when it is one of the reasons the coalition lost the 14th general election.
“They are digging their grave deeper,” said the former academic.
Earlier today, Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran said 21 supported the repeal of the Bill, 28 were against it, while three senators abstained from voting.
There are 68 senators in the Dewan Rakyat — 18 from PH; 14 from Sabahan and Sarawakian parties, Gerakan, Indian Progressive Front, and representatives from the disabled, Siam, Orang Asli, and Hindraf groups; 33 from BN (Umno, MCA and MIC); and three from PAS.
Most of the Sabahan and Sarawakian parties are allied with the PH federal government.
Only 52 out of 68 senators participated in the bloc vote today.