Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) expresses our concern over the government's move to gazette an ordinance supposedly to combat "fake news" relating to Covid-19 or the emergency proclamation

Press Statement by Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) on the new ordinance to combat "fake news".



Our concern is based on the grounds that these new restrictions are not drafted by elected parliamentarians through a Dewan Rakyat sitting.
On the surface the regulations may appear to be agreeable, however, with no clear definition of "fake news", we are concerned over possible abuse that may arise as a consequence.
The gazetting of this law also appears to be controversial, taking into account dispute over the need to declare an emergency in times of uncertainties surrounding majority status of the ruling government.
Geramm therefore calls for all the laws as gazetted under the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance 2021 dated March 11, which takes effect tomorrow, to not be used as a tool to silence, pressure or bully parties with an opposing view.
The situation also poses an added difficulty for media to carry out a check and balance function, if the law is abused to protect certain parties.
We reiterate our stand as previously declared in our call against the repealed Anti-Fake News Act 2018, to fight fake news with facts, not Acts.

Among others, we have consistently supported any form of fact checking initiatives, particularly in the current times the pandemic which have seen confusion that arises from sharing of inaccurate information.

The press statement was published on Facebook