New Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad vowed Sunday to examine a controversial law against "false news" that was hurriedly passed before the elections and was considered a criticism of his scandalous predecessor.
It has provoked outrage by human rights groups who believe that the law could be used to defend against dissenting opinions, Prime Minister Najib Razak before the vote on May 9
Najib's governing Barisan Nasional coalition, which has been ruling Malaysia for 61 consecutive years since independence, was sent to the polling stations by a Mahathir-led opposition alliance ,
Mahathir, who reigned for 22 years as Prime Minister of Malaysia, before resigning in 2003 and retiring to take over Najib, said the bill would be reviewed to give a clearer definition of fake news.
"The false news law will be a well-defined definition," he said in a special speech on national television.
"People and news companies will understand what fake news is and what is not fake."
Mahathir himself was criticized for having firmly clung to the media during his previous tenure as Prime Minister. But he said in his speech on Sunday that his government would not restrict the press, even if they were to bring news that the government found unpleasant.
But the 92-year-old – the oldest elected leader in the world – added that "action" would be taken if false news were disseminated with the intention of causing chaos.
"Although we support the concept of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, everything has a limit," he said.
The law has been used to sentence a person: a Dane arrested for one week for being shot down in April in Kuala Lumpur after being shot down by a Palestinian Hamas member
became Mahathir himself During the election campaign, allegedly, fake news spreads widely after it was claimed that an airplane he was supposed to be taking might have been sabotaged.
Malaysia ranked 145 out of 180 countries in the 1808 World Press Freedom Index, with number one being the freest
Block the street leading to former Prime Minister Najib Razak's residence after his shocking electoral defeat