As Malaysia looks to repeal the Anti-Fake News law, Singapore has welcomed a similar legislation.

The law, called the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma), was passed in Parliament last May and came into effect last Wednesday.

Under the legislation, online media platforms, including social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, will be required to carry corrections or remove content deemed false by the government. Companies that fail to comply can be fined up to SGD$1 million (RM3.03 million).

Individuals who are deemed to have maliciously spread false information on the internet can also be jailed for up to 10 years, or fined up to SGD$100,000 (RM303,000), or both, upon conviction.

Social media accounts deemed to be spreading fake news can also be ordered to be blocked.

Those who disagree with such ruling must appeal to a minister before they can take the matter up to the High Court.

Singapore's ruling party, the People's Action Party (PAP) has justified the act, saying it is needed as the city-state is vulnerable to fake news because of its position as a global financial hub, widespread internet access, and mixed racial make-up.

Critics have lambasted the law, saying it would stifle free speech, and to help the ruling party, which has been in place since Singapore's independence more than 50 years ago, stay in power, as election looms.

Source: Reuters,
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