Can the MCMC guarantee that the new law with 10-fold hike in penalties for “fake news” would be used against both “sharks” and “ikan bilis” in government including Prime Minister Najib and not just against dissent?

Can the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) guarantee that the new law with 10-fold hike in penalties for “fake news” would be used against both “sharks” and “ikan bilis” in government including Prime Minister Najib and not just against dissent?

The MCMC chief operating officer, Mazlan Ismail has suggested that the current punishments under Section 233(1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) be increased ten-fold from RM50,000 and one year’s jail sentence to RM500,000 and 10 years’ jail sentence.

Can the MCMC guarantee that such a law with 10-fold increase in penalties will be used fairly and impartially against all, regardless of their office or political affiliation, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers?

What is the use of proposing such a ten-fold increase if the MCMC cannot give a guarantee that nobody would be spared if guilty of concocting and peddling fake news and false information, including the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers?

This question is pertinent and relevant especially as the UMNO/Barisan Nasional government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister is one of biggest producers and peddlars of fake news?

I am one of the biggest victims of Najib and UMNO/BN’s fake news, viz:

  1. That the 14th General Election will be a contest between UMNO and DAP;
  2. That the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam;
  3. The “nightmares” Malay will suffer if UMNO loses power in the next general elections.

Will the MCMC charge Najib under the new law where the Prime Minister in liable to RM500,000 fine and/or 10 years’ jail for these “fake news”?

In 2001, my 15-year-old grandson was the victim of malicious “fake news”, that he had sexually molested a girl student in his school, and photographs and identity of the girl was even identified – an international chess play Anya Corke from Hong Kong, who had never met my grandson and was not even in the country.

No action had been taken against those who perpetrated the “fake news” against my grandson, although a police report was lodged by his father, Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng.

Would there be such inertia and inaction if the victim of the “fake news” allegation of sexual molestation had been the son of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or the UMNO/BN political leaders?

Najib has claimed that the 1MDB scandal and “MO1” are fake news.

Will the new penalties be used against Malaysians for raising questions about the 1MDB scandal or MO1 issue?

Last month, on the 17th January 2018, the 1MDB kleptocratic scandal was one of three cases mentioned by the US Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney-General, Criminal Division, M. Kendall Day in his testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on “Combating Money-laundering and other forms of illicit finance”.

Kendall Day revealed that out the US$3.5 billion worth of “corruption proceeds to date” seized or restrained under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, half or more than US$1.7 billion in assets were associated with the 1MDB sovereign fund in Malaysia.

Will Kendall Day be arrested and charged for “fake news” if he travels to Malaysia?

I asked whether the proposed 10-fold increase of penalties for fake news would be used against both shark and ikan bilis.

This is because a MCA “ikan bilis” peddled fake news against me yesterday, accusing me of having sensationalised two pre-Chinese New Year incidents in an alleged attempt to “incite unrest among the Chinese community and the people”.

This UMNO “ikan bilis” is not worth any attention except that he peddled fake news, alleging that I had commented on the furore over Petronas’ Chinese New Year white ang pau packet design, when I had not said a single word on the issue.

Will such an “ikan bilis” be penalised?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah