Despite false reports, Fahmi Fadzil still against Anti-Fake News Act

Fahmi Fadzil said he is more in favour of clearer journalistic ethics guidelines, self-regulation, and the setting up of a Media Council. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
Fahmi Fadzil said he is more in favour of clearer journalistic ethics guidelines, self-regulation, and the setting up of a Media Council. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said he remains opposed to the Anti-Fake News Act, despite a controversial report wrongly claiming the attorney-general resigned today.

In a series of tweets, he said he is more in favour of clearer journalistic ethics guidelines, self-regulation, and the setting up of a Media Council.

“I am not in favour of the Anti-Fake News Act, despite having been a target (twice, in fact, so far),” Fahmi said.

He was commenting on an article by Free Malaysia Today, which falsely reported the resignation of Attorney General Tommy Thomas based on what Fahmi said was “a single unverified, uncorroborated government source”.

Thomas denied resigning. FMT has since retracted the article and apologised.

Fahmi recalled a similar instance last month when a report claimed he was vacating his seat for Seri Setia so that PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could take over.

“That article was also immediately proven false. And just like in this case, the subject of the issue was not contacted for comment prior to running the story.

“The impact is clear: Within minutes of both articles, WhatsApp & other social media was abuzz. People had already formed opinions or make further allegations. “Why is he resigning? Who is behind this?” he said.

Fahmi believes an article’s credibility would only increase if its sole source is verified and corroborated with other sources, with a comment from the article’s subject.

Parliament passed a Bill to repeal the Act, but Dewan Negara blocked it this month.

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