Malaysia lawmakers vote to repeal anti-fake news law

Malaysian lawmakers voted for the second time to repeal a law that punished spreading “fake news” with up to six years behind bars. Critics said it was aimed at stifling dissent. 

Under the legislation, those who disseminated what authorities deemed false news – via any medium, from print to social networks – could also be fined up to RM500,000 (US$120,000).

This is second attempt by the Dewan Rakyat, or the lower house, to overturn the law. MPs had voted to repeal it last year, only for the opposition-controlled Dewan Negara, or upper chamber, to block it. Senators in the Dewan Negara are only able to block a Bill once so the Anti-Fake News (Repeal) Bill 2019 was passed 92-51 in the Dewan Rakyat.