The “Anwar slams BN” story may well be fake news

TTF: Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim is serving jail time on a sodomy conviction involving his former aide, Saiful Bukhari. Under the circumstances, anything he communicates with an individual (hereinafter referred to as “the third party”) who isn’t an officer of the prison is subject to scrutiny by the Prisons Department. If what The Malay Mail Online reported (see news item below) is true, whoever that individual may be, he (or she) may just have assisted the jailed leader ‘smuggle’ an article out of prison.

The said article constitutes a statement regarding the Anti Fake-News Bill that the de facto PKR chief allegedly issued from behind bars. At this point in time, it isn’t clear if the statement was issued verbally or in writing to the third party. As a matter of fact, we’re not even clear if the statement was issued at all, let alone the hundred-to-one shot that it was deemed “fit for release to media” by the Prisons Department.

What we’re clear though, is that the statement was made public by three major news channels, two of which are known to be part funded by the DAP. Of the three, none established the name of the third party concerned or if the Prisons Department did indeed authorise the statement. We’re only told that the jailed leader branded the Anti Fake News Bill as an attempt by Barisan Nasional to target our youth.

Now, assuming that the third party did smuggle the article from prison, he (or she) abetted Anwar and possibly even officers of the prison commit an offence. Under the circumstances, the onus would be on The Malay Mail, Free Malaysia Today (FMT) and Malaysiakini to name the third party concerned to ascertain if indeed the statement was communicated by Anwar or if it was fabricated by the third party himself (or herself) or by any other person associated with the third party.

Yes, the reports by The Malay Mail Online, FMT and Malaysiakini may well turn out to be fake news.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) will set up an independent election commission and abolish any legislation against “fake news”, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The PKR de facto leader expressed disgust at the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s actions in bulldozing through the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation report that was debated for only two hours in Parliament.

“This is not a proper and lawful redelineation exercise, but a blatant and unconstitutional act of gerrymandering,” Anwar said in a statement.

New constituency boundaries came into effect Thursday, a day after the EC’s controversial redelineation report was passed in Parliament. No new seats were added in the redelineation exercise.

Anwar also accused BN of trying to rush through the Anti-Fake News Bill 2018, a proposed law criminalising falsehoods.

“In pushing through the anti-fake news bill, the BN are clearly targeting the youth, who will become the main victims of this law. Fake news or false news can be dealt with by defamation laws,” he said.

Parliamentary debate on the Anti-Fake News Bill, which proposes punishing creators of “fake news” with six years’ jail, will resume on Monday.

“Harapan will set up a truly independent election commission, and repeal the anti-fake news law. I urge Malaysians to come out in large numbers and vote the BN out of power,” said Anwar.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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