Existing laws sufficient to address spread of fake news: Gobind Singh

SEREMBAN (BERNAMA) – The existing laws in the country are sufficient for the government to take action against individuals who spread false information and news, said Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

As such, he said, the question of re-introducing the repealed Anti-Fake News Act to address the matter did not arise.

“It is not a question whether there is or not the law… the law is there, and yesterday, I noticed that action was taken using provisions under the Penal Code. So, the question (now) is whether we can stop the spread of fake news altogether.

“We are also implementing initiatives or campaign seeking for (public) cooperation to reduce (the spread of fake news) and if possible, stop it, but there are individuals who take advantage and this is something that the police should look into and monitor,” he told reporters after attending the ‘Info On Wheels’ programme at Pasar Besar Seremban yesterday.

The programme was carried out to explain to the people on the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, e-tunai rakyat and toll rate reduction.

‘Info on Wheels’ is a public talk programme by the Information Department’s Mobile Public Announcement Unit to disseminate government information and policies face-to-face to the public.

Although fake news continued to be spread, he said the number showed a drop, especially after the campaign by the government seeking public cooperation to stop the spread of fake news.

“This is a time for all of us to work together to ensure what we read and what we share is information that can help us to prevent and solve the problem effectively,” he added.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo talks to a vendor at Pasar Besar Seremban. PHOTO: BERNAMA