Malaysia's king voices support for law against fake news

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's king has expressed his support for laws to address the spread of fake news and slander on social media.

Speaking at the opening of Parliament on Monday (March 5), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V said that social media has a significant influence in shaping the values and culture of society.

"All parties should play a role to safeguard the good character and moral values in society.

"Hence, we fully support the proposal to formulate laws to address the spread of fake news and slander on social media," said the king in his royal address at the opening of the first meeting of the sixth session of the 13th Parliament.

A new law to curb fake news is expected to be tabled at this Parliamentary session.

The king urged the government to continue to be vigilant, especially in enforcing cyberspace security, enhancing intelligence capabilities, increasing patrols of the country's borders and waters, as well as combating human trafficking.

"No one should politicise or trivialise the issue of national security," he said.

In January, the Government announced that a special committee had been formed to look into laws to curb fake news that threatens political stability and public order.

Prime Minister Najib Razak had said that it was necessary to introduce laws to curb fake news because people could be instigated to hate the government or cause uprisings.