Stop all fake news charges pending review, says lawyers’ group

Source: Malaysiakini

All enforcement and prosecution under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 should be stopped pending the outcome of a challenge against its constitutionality, said watchdog group Lawyers for Liberty today.

LFL advisor N Surendran in a statement said this in response to news reports this morning that a Danish national will be the first person to be charged under the Anti-Fake News Act for allegedly making a false claim against the police.

“I call upon the home minister and attorney-general to halt all enforcement and prosecution under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 pending the outcome of a test case now awaiting hearing in the KL High Court,” said Surendran.

He was referring to a constitutional challenge filed by Malaysiakini last week against the legislation. Read more

Dane jailed a week, fined RM10,000 over fake news

Source: The Sun Daily

KUALA LUMPUR: A Danish national who was the first person to be charged under the newly enacted Anti-Fake News Act pleaded guilty at the sessions court here today.

Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, 46, was sentenced to a week’s imprisonment from the date of arrest and RM10,000 fine in default a month jail.

He was not represented and was charged under the Anti-Fake News Act for publishing a fake post between 6am and 9am on April 21 at a condominium in Setapak in connection to the murder of a Palestinian national in Kuala Lumpur.

He had claimed that police had arrived late at the murder scene but the police denied this and said they had arrived at the scene in less than 10 minutes. Read more

Malaysia issues first ‘fake news’ conviction

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

Bangkok, April 30, 2018–In a verdict with grave implications for press freedom, a Malaysian court today handed down the nation’s first conviction under its recently enacted “fake news” law, according to press reports.

Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, a Danish citizen, was sentenced to one week in prison and fined 10,000 ringgit (US$2,500) for posting to the internet a two-minute video criticizing police’s response to the April 21 assassination of a member of the militant group Hamas in Kuala Lumpur.

Sulaiman, who was traveling in Malaysia on vacation when he posted the video, pleaded guilty to the criminal charges of spreading false information, saying that he was unaware of local laws, and apologized to Malaysian authorities, news reports said. Read more