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03 Apr 2019
Ministry of Law
Suggestion View - 144
Administrator for Fake News Law

I agree with the intent of the fake news law. We should stop people from deliberately creating and sharing fake news. If they do it unintentionally, they should be asked and allowed to make the correction.

Most people probably share the same view.

However, they seem to object to the approach taken in the implementation. The minister appears to be the person who decide of what is "fake news". 

The minister has explained that the court is the final arbiter of the law. This explanation does not appear to be well accepted. It is also costly to have the matter determined by the court as the final arbiter.

I also do not think that the minister should be spending time on this issue. There is also concern that he may use this power for political reasons, and act against the freedom of expression.

I wish to offer the following suggestion:

a) Define fake news more clearly in the law. 

b) Allow Parliament to appoint an independent administrator of the law. The administrator will determine the action to need to be taken under this law to deal with "fake news". The administrator should be known to the public and respected by the public as being independent. He could be a former judge.

c) The court should be used only to decide on criminal offenses under the law and the appropriate penalties to be meted out. They should not be the "final arbiter" of an administrative decision. 

I hope that that these suggestions, if adopted, will be more acceptable to the people who are concerned about upholding the freedom of expression.

Tan Kin Lian


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