KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Malaysian government will re-table a Bill to abolish the Anti-Fake News Act in the next parliamentary meeting, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Liew Vui Keong.
Mr Liew said the one-year cooling off period following the rejection of the repeal by the upper house as provided for by Article 68 of the Federal Constitution was now over.
"It is just a requirement under the Constitution, where a Bill that has been rejected by the Senate will have to be re-tabled in the lower house.
"It will go through the same process again like a new Bill being introduced," he said.
Mr Liew, however, said that this time, the Bill would sail through when brought before the Senate, even if it was rejected.
As for the Sedition Act, Mr Liew said the Cabinet had decided to abolish it, but there were certain provisions that needed to be taken out and placed in the Penal code.
"That is still a work in progress under the Home Ministry. They are looking into it. I hope it can be done this coming October. If not, then by next year," he added.
He explained that the provisions were in connection with the royal institution, as they did not want the public to make defamatory remarks about royalty.
Mr Liew also said amendments to the Suhakam Act to give the Human Rights Commission more powers were in the pipeline.
He said this was to ensure that the commission, known by its Malay acronym Suhakam, could carry out its mandate with increased effectiveness.
"This is to enlarge the executive power of Suhakam to ensure that they are able to deal with various issues, to give them more power," he said.
This would include placing the commission under the purview of Parliament.
Mr Liew said this could perhaps be realised by next year.
Suhakam was established by Parliament under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 with a mandate to protect, promote and monitor human rights in the country.
Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph said there were several recommendations made to change the current Act, including the way commissioners were appointed.
The other recommendations include a longer term for commissioners compared to the current three years, having full-time and part-time commissioners along with a law to empower their recommendations.