KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has indicated that his government will keep a controversial law banning fake news that's been slammed by critics as a tool to curb dissent.
The law, which was rushed through parliament last month ahead of last week's general election, carries a stiff penalty of up to six years in jail and a fine of 500,000 ringgit ($128,000). Mahathir himself was investigated under the law before he led his four-party alliance to a stunning electoral victory that ousted the long-ruling coalition.
Mahathir said in a televised broadcast Sunday that the law will be redefined to clearly specify what constitute fake news.
He said there are limits to press freedom and freedom of speech, and that anyone out to cause chaos would have to face punishment.