The Government Must Keep Its Promise to Repeal the Anti-Fake News Act and Other Laws

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The Pakatan Harapan Government Must Keep Its Promise to Repeal the Anti-Fake News Act and Other Laws

The new Pakatan Harapan government is not repealing the Anti-Fake News Act! This was revealed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on May 13. He said the law would be given a new definition instead and made clearer so that the public and news outlets would have a clearer understanding of the law.

This is a reversal of the promise Mahathir himself made before the 14th General Election. On April 3, 2018, he was quoted in The Star newspaper as saying that if Pakatan Harapan won the elections, it would repeal several laws.

Among them are the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, the Sedition Act 1948, the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971, the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1971, the National Security Council Act 2016, and any law with mandatory death sentences.

He also said the Pakatan Harapan government would abolish several “oppressive” provisions in laws such as the Penal Code, the Communications and Multimedia Act, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, the Peaceful Assembly Act, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

“Our stance is that when we form the government, we will repeal these acts that are deemed oppressive to the people,” he said.

Repealing means throwing away the law, not modifying it. Giving the Anti-Fake News Act a new definition is modifying it. And retaining it. This would amount to breaking a promise to the people.

In any case, we don’t want old draconian laws to be amended. We want them completely expunged. The new government should understand this and keep its promises, which means repealing in due course the other laws as well. It should not become like Najib Razak who promised when he was prime minister to repeal the Sedition Act and eventually reneged on his promise.

At this early stage of its administration, the new government should be winning the trust of the people. Making a U-turn on a pledge will only earn it distrust.

We urge the new government to keep its promises.

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Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan Mesti Tunaikan Janji Mereka untuk Memansuhkan Akta Antiberita Tidak Benar dan Undang-Undang Lain

Kerajaan baru Pakatan Harapan tidak akan memansuhkan Akta Antiberita Tidak Benar! Ini telah dinyatakan oleh Perdana Menteri Mahathir Mohamad pada 13 Mei. Ia menyatakan bahawa undang-undang ini akan diberi definisi baru dan diperjelaskan lagi supaya orang awam dan saluran-saluran berita boleh memahami undang-undang itu dengan lebih jelas.

Ini bukan janji yang dibuat oleh Mahathir sendiri sebelum Pilihanraya 2018. Pada 3 April 2018 beliau telah disebut dalam suratkhabar The Star sebagai berkata bahawa jika Pakatan Harapan menang pilihanraya, ia akan memansuhkan beberapa undang-undang.

Antaranya adalah Akta Antiberita Tidak Benar 2018, Akta Hasutan 1948, Akta Pencegahan Jenayah 1959, Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti 1971, Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan 1984, Akta Majlis Keselamatan Negara 2016 dan semua undang-undang yang mengandungi hukuman bunuh mandatori.

Beliau juga berkata bahawa kerajaan Pakatan Harapan akan membuang beberapa peruntukan yang bersifat menindas ("oppressive") di dalam beberapa undang-undang seperti Kanun Keseksaan, Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia, Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (langkah-langkah khas), Akta Perhimpunan Aman dan Akta Pencegahan Keganasan.

"Pendirian kami ialah, bila kami membentuk kerajaan, kami akan memansuhkan akta-akta yang dianggap menindas rakyat," kata beliau.

Memansuhkan bererti membuang undang-undang yang berkenaan, bukan mengubahsuainya. Memberi Akta Antiberita Tidak Benar satu definisi baru ialah mengubahsuai akta itu. Dan mengekalkannya. Ini sama seperti memungkiri janji yang telah diberi kepada rakyat.

Walaubagaimanapun, kami tidak mahu undang-undang lama yang bersifat "draconian" diubahsuai. Kami mahu undang-undang itu dibuang terus. Kerajaan baru harus memahami ini, dan menunaikan janji-janji yang telah dilafazkan, iaitu memansuhkan undang-undang yang lain itu juga. Kerajaan baru janganlah berlaku seperti Najib Razak, yang berjanji semasa beliau Perdana Mentri, akan memansuhkan Akta Hasutan, tetapi kemudian memungkiri janjinya.

Diperingkat awal pentadbirannya, kerajaan baru sepatutnya berusaha mendapatkan kepercayaan rakyat. Melakukan U-turn kepada jaminan yang telah diberi hanya akan membangkitkan kecurigaan.

Kami meminta kerajaan baru supaya menunaikan janji-janjinya.



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