Former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan has proposed the setting up of an independent commission to determine if a news article is slanderous. “The commission can be tasked with making decisions on whether it (content) is slanderous, or it is merely bringing up problems that need to be addressed,” he said in an episode of the Keluar Sekejap podcast. Speaking at the same podcast, former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin supported Shahril’s proposal and said the commission would need to make such evaluations quickly.
Khairy said society is in a “post-truth” era, where some people believe in “realities” that are not based on facts.
“(If) I want to bring someone to court (for slander), it’s going to take three to four years. By then, people won’t even care about it (anymore),” he said.
“We need a mechanism that can take faster action because no matter how we respond and how many videos we make, it (the slanderous statement) will be repeated by our political enemies to the point that some people will believe it.”
On Tuesday, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) highlighted the “alarming increase” in news reports that lack responsibility, sensibility, and accuracy.
Responding to a statement by senior media figures urging it to stop playing the “big brother” role by blocking sites and questioning journalists, MCMC said that as information proliferates online, telling fact from fiction has become a challenge which could potentially threaten harmony.