There’s something fake about the ‘fake news’ ordinance

What is the rationale of granting the emergency “fake news” ordinance when the nation is slowly recovering from Covid 19? What is the rationale when vaccination is being carried out? And what is the rationale when Parliament can be convened soon? There is something really fake about this whole ordinance

The current emergency has a dateline, supposedly on Aug 1 and the next general election is supposedly to be carried out soon after that. So, what then is the basis of the emergency “fake news” ordinance if it is not to curb the free press, social media and freedom of expression? 

Based on the timing when BN wanted to pass the Anti-Fake News Act just before the 14th general election, there is now a gross resemblance to what Perikatan Nasional plans before the next general election. This is definitely a prelude to GE15.

The powers under the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No 2) Ordinance 2021 are draconian, dangerous and even override safeguards of laws guaranteed under the Evidence Act 1950.

The new ordinance gives the police sweeping powers at every level and worst of all, this ordinance is now gazetted and becomes law by not going through the scrutiny of political debates of the two Houses of Parliament. It also comes at a time when the majority of the ruling party is being questioned. It is passed under the worst circumstances and under the worst scenario.

A nation can be ruled by democratic norms or authoritarian norms. The people can be won over by popular support or by fear tactics. It seems the political direction taken by Malaysia is clear – we are heading towards the same route undertaken by Myanmar. The struggle for democracy seems to be the battle cry in Asean once again.

The people have no choice but to once again embark on the fight against fake truths. The struggle goes on.

S. Arutchelvan
Deputy Chairperson
Parti Sosialis Malaysia

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