Critics: Malaysia law against fake news 'aims to stifle dissent'

The law would come into effect just ahead of a national election, which could take place as early as next month. Press freedom advocates say they are concerned the law may be used to target voices of dissent.

    Malaysia's parliament has passed a law it says will stamp out fake news. But opponents say it will be used to stifle criticism of the government.

    Under the Anti Fake News Act, anyone found maliciously creating, or sharing information that is false, or even partly false, may be fined up to $130,000 or face jail for a maximum of six years. The law will apply to anyone, inside or outside of the country, regardless of nationality as long as the "fake" news concerns Malaysia or its citizens.

    The law would come into effect just ahead of a national election, which could take place as early as next month. Press freedom advocates say they are concerned the law may be used to target voices of dissent.

    Al Jazeera's Florence Looi reports from Kuala Lumpur.


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