Yoursay: With new law, DOJ will be deemed spreading fake news 2018-03-23 08:00:00

YOURSAY | ‘Fake news’ is now just a big smokescreen to cover up the mother of all scandals…

Gov’t: Anything unverified on 1MDB is fake news

Slumdog: Such brilliance. It has taken a genius like Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Jailani Johari to come up with a definition of fake news as “news confirmed as false by authorities with expertise in the matter”.

It would be remiss of me if I did not add that this must be the world’s first definition of fake news. It is something that Malaysians can be proud of – a contribution to the fight against the spread of fake news around the world. Other countries will be scrambling to adopt this definition.

It is people like Jailani and the rest of Umno who are the very people who peddle a litany of lies, denials, fabrications, cover-ups and fake news about 1MDB.

From now on any negative news, information or even damaging verifiable evidence about 1MDB from international sources will be deemed fake.

Anonymous #44199885: Why do you hide the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB from the public?

How do we trust institutions that continuously fail to give any plausible explanation as to the evidence uncovered by law enforcement agencies in Singapore, Switzerland and the US?

If there is no wrongdoing in 1MDB, why do we have to pay International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) US$6.5 billion?

If there is no wrongdoing in 1MDB, why have they not submitted their audited accounts and why have internationally recognised audit firms refuse to act or have resigned or stated their audit is not safe to be relied on?

If there is no wrongdoing in 1MDB, why did Red Granite sign a US$60 million settlement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ)?

If there is no wrongdoing in 1MDB, why did the PM change the attorney-general (AG) and sack his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, as well as senior minister Shafie Apdal?

If there is no wrongdoing in 1MDB, why did the AG not assist the Swiss authorities under the mutual legal assistance treaty?

If there is no wrongdoing in 1MDB, why didn’t the AG fulfil MACC’s request for mutual legal assistance to work with law enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions?

The fact is that there is probably no plausible answer and the alleged theft of the public’s money has indeed taken place as claimed by the DOJ and FBI. If it were otherwise, you could very well have given reasonable explanations and provided documentary proof to the public.

The fact is that you are unable to do so and now you want to control the public space by requiring Malaysians to only accept as the gospel truth what certain so-called experts have to say about any piece of news.

The people are not idiots. We are mostly learned and well-informed and able to judge fake news from real news. We do not need any nanny telling us what we should read or think or believe.

The attempt to create a fake news law is nothing but to shackle the public so as to hide wrongdoing, abuse of power and corruption. This is unacceptable.

Quigonbond: The bottom line – there is no doubt that the fake news legislation will be used to silence any discussion on 1MDB.

Who will be these experts? Only Malaysian enforcement officers whose office are already compromised?

Will DOJ not be considered experts? Will DOJ filings in US court need to be verified by our so-called Malaysian experts before it is rendered as “not fake”?

What about prosecution in Singapore? Will that also become fake news? What about news about other scandals or questioning of a governmental action or policy?

This suppression of discussion on issues takes us back to even before British colonial times and will be nothing short of tyrannical.

The law will be unconstitutional, but the danger is that it will be supported by sycophantic Federal Court judges, just like they have supported the National Security Council (NSC) Act.

The coming election is like no other. Malaysia is fighting for its very existence as a democracy.

Vijay47: From the moment that creature known the world over as 1MDB first reared its Medusian head, it has been a source of great confusion, though to some it was a source of fabulous wealth.

Relief seems to be in sight now that Jailani has explained that “the general definition of fake news is news confirmed as false by authorities with expertise in the matter”.

I eagerly await to see what the specific definition would be. Is fake news a status arising across the board or is it restricted to only 1MDB news? Would we soon see a single font of fake news expertise or are such skills to be also available from a multitude of sources?

Coming back to 1MDB and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), perhaps Jailani could also clarify who the pertinent experts are, whether they are the original members or substitutes like the AG and other individuals.

And the report itself, is it the one signed by all or the version supposedly contrived by the chairperson? The greatest problem as also intrigued Pilate would be in identifying “What is the truth?”

It appears that this really does not matter. Since the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB is wrapped under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), truth must remain an unknown benchmark and thus the unfortunate maker of a statement can only learn that it is false news if so determined by “authorities with expertise”.

The truth? The truth is out there, Scully.

Gerard Lourdesamy: So “fake news” is now just a big smokescreen to cover up the mother of all scandals, 1MDB – the biggest kleptocracy investigation in the history of the DOJ.

Does this mean that DOJ filings and statements are now fake news? What about statements from the regulatory and prosecuting agencies in foreign countries that are investigating 1MDB, Jho Low and his associates?

Since this government is hell-bent on depriving the rakyat of their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech, expression and the press, the rakyat should treat all statements, explanations, programmes and policies of this government as “fake news” and their leaders as “fake” as well.

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