NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS theSun ON THURSDAY | SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 FOLLOW ON Bid toaxe fakenews law rejected 02

BY AMAR SHAHMOHSEN newsdesk@thesundaily.com >DewanNegara votes toblockmove to abolishAct KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Negara sitting yesterday rejected the Anti-Fake News (Abolition) Bill 2018. This was announced by Senate President Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran, after the block voting saw 28members of the Senate vote

against it while 21 voted in support and three others abstained. Themotion for block voting was presented by Senator Khairul AzwanHarun as soon as Deputy Minister in the PrimeMinister’s Department MohamedHanipa Maidin concluded the winding up of the bill for second reading. In line with Regulation 45 (4), Vigneswaran later ordered for the bell to be sounded for twominutes to enable the block voting process to be carried out. The bill is to abolish the Anti- Fake News Act 2018 passed by the

Dewan Rakyat on Aug 16 after the third reading. Constitutional expert Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi told theSun the rejection of the bill meant it could not go through for a third reading, which was required for it to be passed before it could be consented by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and gazetted into law. The Universiti Malaya law lecturer said according to Article 68 (2) of the Federal Constitution, the bill would nowbe delayed for at least a year and required to be

tabled again in the Dewan Rakyat for another round of debate. “Because it’s a non-money bill, the Dewan Rakyat must pass it again. Two requirements must be met now. First, it must be tabled and passed again in the lower house, and second, theremust be a delay of one year before it can be passed again in the DewanNegara. “They (Dewan Rakyat) can initiate the tabling earlier, but the Senate can only pass the bill after one year from the date it was rejected. And should the Dewan Negara reject the bill for the second

time, the bill shall still be presented to the Agong for his assent, regardless.” With the delay of the bill for at least a year, this means the Anti- Fake News Act remains a law, and can be used by the present Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. Malaysian Senators Council president Datuk Seri Khairudin E.S. Abd Samad had, during his debate in the Upper House last month, warned that rejecting the bill could eventually backfire on Barisan Nasional as PH could use the Act against them. RM1.6B INFUELSUBSIDY KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan government has spent over RM1.6 billion to subsidise petrol prices since it won the elections up to July, the Dewan Negara was told yesterday. “At the moment, the government still maintains the retail price of RON95 and diesel at RM2.20 and RM2.18 respectively, although the market value is much higher than that,” Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ir Amiruddin Hamzah said. NEWTREASURYSEC-GEN PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir has been appointed the new Treasury secretary- general, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Ismail Bakar said yesterday. Ahmad Badri, 58, who was the Treasury deputy secretary-general, takes over from Ismail who was appointed chief secretary to the government on Aug 29. “I believe with the knowledge, experience and credibility he has, he can carry out his responsibilities effectively,” Ismail said. – Bernama AGAINSTUSSTANCE PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has expressed deep concern and strong disagreement with the recent positions taken by the US with regards to Palestine. Wisma Putra in a statement yesterday said Malaysia firmly believes that the positions taken by the US were counterproductive towards finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “It would also undermine and jeopardise the efforts of the international community in ensuring the security and stability of the region,” it said. – Bernama B R I E F S

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ... The Yang di- Pertuan Agong SultanMuhammad V inspecting the guard of honour at the Trooping of Colours event tomark the King’s birthday at Dataran Pahlawan Putrajaya yesterday.

Housepricesmay alsogodown: Lim X FROM FRONT PAGE

RM300,000 by 10%, and by 6% for affordable houses priced below RM300,000. “The federal government welcomes the decision from developers to reduce property prices in line with the SST exemption. I will meet with Rehda to discuss whether steps practised in Penang can be implemented nationwide.”

He added that the Finance Ministrywill work closelywith the Customs Department andDomestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to ensure that the Anti- Profiteering Act is strictly enforced. Campaigns will be held to educate consumers about lodging complaints if they find retailers hiking prices indiscriminately in relation to SST.

RM89,240 inclusive of GST, is now only RM86,893 with SST. On another matter, Lim ( pix ) said his ministrywill have discussions with the Real Estate Housing Developers Association (Rehda) of Malaysia onwhether it can emulate amove by Rehda Penang to reduce the prices of houses above

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