Our rights deserve a broader perspective — Azmi Sharom

Source: The Star Online

BY AZMI SHAROM

Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher.

THE anti-fake news law has already been much criticised for its vagueness and broadness and, due to that, its potential to be a potent threat to free speech and the freedom of the press.

I won’t therefore add to that line of argument.

Neither would I dwell on the disingenuous argument that anyone who does not support the new Act supports fake news. That is too facile to dignify with a response.

I would like, however, to state that I find it difficult to justify the law from a legal perspective. The Constitution states that Parliament may make laws that restrict free speech if the purpose is to protect national security, public order and morals. Read more

Anti-Fake News Act receives Royal assent, gazetted

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 has received the Royal assent and has been gazetted, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said the new law would not curtail the freedom of journalists.

“I know that some journalists are worried that this new Act will be used to restrict their freedom in reporting,” he said at the inaugural National Journalists’ Day (Hari Wartawan Nasional or Hawana) celebration here Wednesday.

“But I would like to say that this is not the right view as the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, through Section 8A, has already made it an offence to publish any fake news,” he added. Read more

Suhakam: Questions about EC’s impartiality ‘legitimate’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

An Election Commission officer, Haziyatul Amirah shows an Indelible ink bottle (L) during a demonstration at the Election Commission offices in Putrajaya on May 2, 2013. Electoral reform groups expressed concern over reports that ink to mark voters could be washed off, heightening fraud fears in what are expected to be Malaysia’s tighest fought polls ever. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today there was validity to public doubts about the ability of Malaysia’s poll regulators to act fairly and without bias.

In remarks emphasising the importance of a properly functioning democracy, it said the EC’s demonstrable neutrality and impartiality in this area were vital to preserving public confidence in the country’s polling process.

“Suhakam accepts the legitimacy of these questions and understands the declining public confidence in the EC as the redelineation of electoral boundaries was widely seen to be unfair, biased and disproportionate,” it said in a statement.

“Suhakam found that there was insufficient information on the effect of the redelineation and a lack of meaningful public consultation on the exercise, in breach of the right to freedom of information.” Read more