Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said Anwar Ibrahim did not solicit support from the five Bersatu MPs. (Azalina Othman pic)
PETALING JAYA: Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said the decision by five Bersatu MPs to declare their support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in exchange for development funds could not be considered a form of corruption.
She said it could only be considered as bribery if Anwar had made such an offer in a bid to become the prime minister.
“(But) Anwar is already enjoying the support of 149 MPs and did not require the additional support of the five MPs,” Azalina said in a talk show called “Suara Anak Madani” this evening.
The five Bersatu MPs who declared their support for Anwar were Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan), Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli) and Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang).
They said they had done so for the sake of their constituents.
On a separate matter, Azalina said the existing laws to curb fake news were outdated and needed to be reviewed.
“We need to call in all the stakeholders in order to review it. For example, violations involving the 3Rs are under the home ministry’s purview,” she said, referring to offences that are linked to race, religion and royalty.
Azalina said the people must not solely rely on laws to curb fake news, but instead regulate themselves.
“If we know something is not right, it’s our responsibility not to just forward it, but also seek clarification,” she said.
On Sept 27, communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil said the government had no plans to reinstate the Anti-Fake News Act to combat the propagation of fake news and slander.
The Anti-Fake News Act was repealed in 2019.
However, in 2021, a law was gazetted that stipulates a fine of up to RM100,000 or a maximum jail term of three years for those who create, publish or distribute fake news.News Related