Anti-Fake News Act: PH now singing a different tune, says Tiong

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, Sept 19: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has told veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang to eat his own words after the latter called for a restriction in freedom of the press.

Tiong said back when Lim was the opposition, he and his Democratic Action Party (DAP) opposed to the Anti-Fake News Act.

But now, the Iskandar Puteri MP has been singing a different tune when he made a statement recently that fake news would harm the “rakyat” if not controlled, he opined.

“This is totally at odds with his pledges of ensuring that freedom of the press would be a key policy priority and that one of the first acts of the 14th Parliament was the repeal of the Anti-Fake News Act,” said Tiong in a statement today.

The Bintulu MP reminded that when the Barisan Nasional (BN) government proposed there should be limits to freedom of the press, Lim vehemently opposed, calling it an attempt by the government to clamp down on the media and suppress freedom of speech.

“It is trully a 180-degree turn for him now to say that media and freedom of speech should be moderated, completely throwing his previous comments down the toilet.

“His comments are confusing to the masses; did he feel that fake news will not endanger social harmony during the previous administration? Is the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government so fragile that it cannot withstand fake news now?

“His logic is certainly a stretch of the imagination and deserves more clarity for the sake of the people and media practitioners,” said Tiong.

He claimed that during that time, it was convenient for Lim to speculate and incite hatred against the government to gain political capital.

But now that he is in the government, freedom of the press was just inconvenient for Pakatan because it exposes their shortcomings and failures, opined Tiong.

He believed that now, Lim had realised that fake news was indeed harmful to social harmony and may even lead to unnecessary public security issues and compromise the stable development of the country and economy.

“Lim and his DAP need to reflect on the past. Why is there constant religious and ethnic strife now? Social harmony and national unity is no longer as strong as the past. DAP, and the father-son team of the Lim family must take some responsibility.

“Quit blaming others for this decline in social harmony and looking for scapegoats. Your words are the ones published by the press and recorded in the Hansard for all to see,” said Tiong. — DayakDaily