Senior journalist enlightens students on dangers of spreading fake news

Peter (seated, blue shirt) in a group photo with the students of Chung Hua Middle School No. 4, in Kuching today. Joel is seated third from right, Khadijah (fourth from right) and Kon (Peter’s left).

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KUCHING, April 10: A total of 113 Form Four and Form Five students of Chung Hua Middle School No. 4 were today given an insight into the realities of the Anti-Fake News Act (AFNA) 2018 by senior political writer Peter Sibon.

He stressed that the said Act imposed a fine of RM500,000 or seven years’ jail or both, upon conviction.

“Please do not spread any news that is not verified to your friends because under the AFNA 2018, it is an offence to create, publish or disseminate any fake news or any publication containing fake news,” he said in his talk titled ‘How to Prevent Fake News’ at the school here.

Peter added that although the law was repealed in the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 16 last year, it was overturned by the Dewan Negara.

Peter, who has been a journalist for almost two decades and is also a DayakDaily contributor, said countries such as Singapore was now in the process of enacting a similar law called ‘Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulations Bill’ (Pofma).

Meanwhile, the programme’s director, Joel Peter, said Chung Hua Middle School No. 4 was chosen as the school’s management was receptive to their proposals.

“On top of that, we also want to create awareness on fake news to the students. And at their tender age, these students are beginning to be active user of the social media. So, it’s only right that they need to know what constitutes fake news and its consequences,” he said.

The outreach programme, ‘Mind The Share Button Campaign’, was organised by 41 third-year students from the Communication Studies, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Universiti Malaysia, Sarawak (Unimas).

Present at the event were the school’s principal Johnny Kon and the programme’s advisor-cum-senior lecturer Khadijah Mohamad Tuah. — DayakDaily