Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM: Fight against fake news

PM: Fight against fake news

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hun Sen raises cybersecurity and access to information in his address to nearly 5,000 people at the correspondents’ dinner held on Friday in Phnom Penh. Hun sen’s facebook page

PM: Fight against fake news

Prime Minister Hun Sen raised cyber-security and access to information in his address to nearly 5,000 participants at the correspondents’ dinner held on Friday in Phnom Penh.

In his speech, Hun Sen called on officials and members of the press to wage a fight against fake news. He also said two laws are currently in the works to complement the existing 1995 Law on the Press.

Speaking before government officials and journalists – those who attended the annual gathering – the prime minister stressed the significance of having access to information and cybersecurity laws, on top of the press law which was adopted by the National Assembly in 1995.

“Even the countries that claim to respect freedom of speech are concerned about cybercrimes. Some countries which are regarded as [fathers of democracy] have laws to prevent and punish fake news [perpetrators],” he said.

The prime minister warned the possibility of some groups “misinterpreting” such laws and accusing Cambodia of heading towards dictatorship.

“Those who criticise the cybersecurity law have the intention to violate other people’s freedom,” he said.

Hun Sen went on share a piece of recent fake news claiming his death. It resulted in the arrest order of two prominent tycoons – Kit Meng, the owner of Cambodia Broadcasting Services, and Ly Yong Phat.

“To contribute to the destruction of fake news, what should journalists do? Spread the truth . . . that way fake news would fade away,” he said.

In his speech, he also called out some institutions who “had been objects” of “fake news” but did not “hit back in a timely manner”. Calling them “torpid”, he warned of a reshuffle in 2020 if he finds that top officials of those institutions do not react to “false allegations”.

“You must be active to solve it,” he ordered his subordinates.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said on Sunday that the in-progress cybersecurity law was inspired by that practised in other countries.

“Cambodia didn’t just take [the law] out of the jungle. We studied similar laws in the US, Britain and other countries because we are open – we are not a dictatorship or a communist country!"

“The whole world is putting its attention to cybersecurity law,” he said, adding that “those who are concerned about the law have the intention to commit cybercrimes”.

Meas Po and Khov Makara, spokespersons for the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication could not be reached for additional comments.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Phat Sophanit said the final stretches of the law is currently being reviewed by a working group before being signed off by the minister. The draft would be put for the approval of other ministries, he said.

Regarding the access to information law, Ministry of Information spokesman Meas Sophorn said it recently passed a technical assessment and will soon be reviewed by an inter-ministry committee before being forwarded to the council of ministers and parliament.

The director of the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media (CCIM) Nop Vy pointed out the importance of the access to information law and said it was “to ensure social transparency and accountability among the society”.

MOST VIEWED

  • PP massage parlours raided, 29 suspects held for prostitution

    The Phnom Penh municipal Military Police on Sunday raided four massage parlours in Por Sen Chey district and detained 29 suspects for questioning over their alleged involvement in prostitution. Deputy municipal Military Police commander Pu Davy on Monday said the four massage parlours were located near

  • PM: All 10 Asean countries to receive Rainsy arrest warrants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states will receive warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy. The warrants have already been sent to Laos and Thailand. He was speaking at a joint press conference at

  • Overtourism still threatens Angkor Wat

    Ticket sales to the Angkor temples are down. An Angkor Enterprise report has revealed that ticket sales to the Angkor Archaeological Park dropped by more than 11 per cent from the same period last year. Prime Minister Hun Sen isn’t concerned. He told journalists that

  • Human rights report biased, says Cambodia

    Cambodia has accused the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday of having “undermined the principle of objectivity”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN said the Office of the